Program Overview

The program’s distinguishing characteristics include:

  • An emphasis on the practical skills that students need to make a difference in the world.
  • A faculty that comprises Earth Institute scientists, experts in the School of International and Public Affairs and leading sustainability practitioners.
  • New York City, a hub for sustainability innovation, becomes an extension of the classroom.
  • Graduates who stand apart in the field of sustainability because they learn to make and communicate science-based policy and management decisions.
  • An alumni network of some 800 leading professionals across the world.

The skills and concepts that students learn include:

  • Environmental economics, politics, policy, and management;
  • How to manage organizational change and innovation;
  • Perceptions of environmental quality and environmental values, and how to explain science to non-scientists and manage the work of scientists;
  • Public and environmental ethics;
  • The connections among policy intent, program design, organizational capacity, and political feasibility;
  • The relationship of program to organization and organization to budget;
  • The design of studies that are methodologically rigorous and defensible within the constraints of available resources;
  • How to work in groups and deal with group conflict;
  • Professional communication, including memo and report writing and oral briefings.

The program’s graduates become sustainability leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors:

Our graduates are employed, in about even numbers, in business, government, and nonprofit organizations in the United States and countries around the world. Their employers prize their management and analytical skills, as well as their knowledge of basic applied environmental science. In recent years, organizations such as the American Museum of Natural History, Apple, Bloomberg Associates, the City of New York, the Sierra Club, Pacific Gas and Electric, and the US Department of State have hired our alumni.