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Top Five Green Masters Degree Programs

Top Five Green Masters Degree Programs

Sustainability has moved from an organic buzzword to a benchmark in the business world over the last ten years. Sustainable business practices, sustainable energy generation, sustainable land management - all of these concepts have ostensibly been embraced by corporate entities large and small. It is not entirely clear how much of this new embrace of environmental consciousness is another marketing ploy, or whether the notion of sustainable practices has somehow intersected with the bottom line. It is conceivable that good business practices now include conservation and a sustainable approach to development and growth. In any event, the academic community has developed a series of degrees that are designed to fill professional roles in an economy which includes environmental protection as a benchmark. Here are five of the best.

  1. Antioch University of New England has developed a Master of Education degree with emphasis on Educating for Sustainability. This degree curriculum pulls together what the school describes as the three principal elements required to intersect properly for a sustainable project: environment, economy, and equity. The school describes educators as "agents for change" and offers the Educating for Sustainability (EFS) program as training for this proactive role. The degree is being offered online with two week long periods of residency on the Keene, NH campus.
  2. University of Maryland University College offers the Master of Science in Environmental Management to students who meet the undergraduate prerequisites, which include one class each in biology and chemistry at the undergraduate level. The curriculum for this MS in Environmental management is multifaceted, providing students with the ability to function in a variety of settings with a variety of challenges. Graduates from this program will be trained to work at pollution prevention, waste management, and the development of environmental management systems.
  3. Walden University has a Masters in Management program which includes a specialization option in Sustainable management. This online program is a thirty six credit hour commitment that can be completed in eighteen months to two years. Two of the interesting course additions to this curriculum that are not always found in environmental management degree programs are in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, and in Initiating & Managing Change. Also included as an elective is Social and Environmental Responsibility in Entrepreneurship.
  4. Ashford University offers an MBA with emphasis in Environmental Management. This is an online degree that calls for the usual curriculum found in most business schools, supplemented with courses on alternative sources of energy and the economic impact of sustainability. Students are expected to emerge having learned how to use the tools necessary to compete in the next-generation economy - which presumably will have sustainability incorporated into it.
  5. Kaplan University has an online program for the Masters in Environmental Policy, offered through the School of Legal Studies. This degree focuses on how environmental policy is codified through legislation and circumvented through loopholes and overriding jurisdictions. Environmental policy has been a contentious issue as long as there has been an EPA or a Clean Air Act, and a graduate with this degree will have no problem fitting into a public sector role at the municipal, regional, state or federal level.