MA in Sustainable Development
Acquire the skills, knowledge, and experience to make significant contributions in the field of development.
SIT Graduate Institute has been preparing international and community development professionals for more than four decades.Coursework is delivered by senior development studies faculty, experienced program practitioners—including World Learning development staff—and grassroots leaders working in a diversity of development capacities around the world.
Programs are offered in Vermont and Washington, DC. Both programs follow SIT’s experiential learning model and include: on-campus coursework and interactive workshops; the Global Leadership Seminar Series; a supervised professional practicum with a development organization: and the opportunity to make an original contribution to the field of development studies through a final capstone paper.
MA in Sustainable Development (Vermont)
- Two-year format. Students spend an academic year taking coursework on SIT’s beautiful campus in southeastern Vermont before beginning the practicum phase.
- Course electives/options. Vermont-based students can take classes offered through SIT’s degree programs in conflict transformation and international education and/or complete an intensive field-based course in the US or abroad.
- Six months (minimum) of field practice. With support from SIT's Career Services, students find a practicum position that matches their interests; the practicum can be anywhere in the world.
- Optional concentrations. Concentrations offered to Vermont-based students have recently included community development and social action; development management; and policy analysis and advocacy.
*Not all concentrations may be available every term.Vermont is home to a number of local movements and initiatives centered on sustainability and social justice. This creates a dynamic laboratory in which to examine sustainable development.
To be considered for admission to the MA in Sustainable Development program based in Vermont, an applicant must meet the following criteria:
- US bachelor's degree or an equivalent that demonstrates academic ability
- Demonstrated English language ability (see details below)
- Intercultural and professional experience
- Demonstrated ability to use experience as a source of learning
English Language Ability
Applicants whose first language is not English and who did not graduate from an English-speaking institution in a country whose official language is English submit test scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or the PTE (Pearson Test of English). (Applicants can access free TOEFL and IELTS practice tests online.)Applicants taking the TOEFL must receive a minimum score of 600 on the paper-based test (PBT) 250 on the computer-based test (CBT), or 100 on the internet-based iBT. Applicants taking the IELTS must receive a score of Band 7.0 or higher. Applicants taking the PTE must receive a minimum score of 68.
These scores are considered the minimum proficiency needed to undertake graduate-level work. Scores must be dated within two years of the start date of your academic program at SIT.
SIT Graduate Institute’s Selection Process
SIT has a self-selective applications process. Prospective students typically discover through this process whether SIT is a good fit for them. Our admissions staff works one-on-one with every applicant to facilitate a highly informed and multidimensional admissions experience: applicants are encouraged to attend an open house, talk with SIT faculty and staff, and hear from current students and alumni. As applicants become familiar with the attributes of an SIT education - grounded in the experiential learning model and focused on social justice and leadership skills in intercultural environments—they determine for themselves in what ways SIT can help them meet their educational and career objectives.
SIT welcomes students from all economic backgrounds. Students commonly fund their SIT degree through a variety of sources, including federal and private loans, SIT grants and scholarships, scholarships from other sources, and personal and family funds. SIT Graduate Institute’s financial aid office provides information on all aspects of funding an SIT degree.
We recommend that you begin the process of applying for financial aid as soon as possible, even before you are accepted for admission.