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University for Peace MSc in Ecology and Society
University for Peace

MSc in Ecology and Society

Ciudad Colón, Costa Rica

3 Semesters


Full time

31 May 2024

Aug 2024

USD 19,500 *

Blended, On-Campus

* tuition is to be paid in USD only. Payments via wire transfer or with credit card, except American Express & Discover cards


This MSc in Ecology and Society has been designed in response to the currently recognized global need for Master's-level trained Ecologists to address local to international level environmental issues. Students will gain the knowledge and skills to characterize, understand, restore, manage and maintain the planet’s ecosystems, and determine the correlations between healthy, sustained habitats and the ecosystem services they provide to benefit society and the rest of the biosphere, all while being able to explain/describe these concepts from the scientific, quantitative, societal, political, temporal and spatial perspectives, all of which are required of the next generation of fully engaged Ecologists.

During this program, students will also learn to conduct ecological research, to assess ecological impacts of various types of disturbances and other management practices, to propose restoration strategies and management plans that help to avoid future ecological problems through sustainable practices, to educate the public, and to develop sustainable communities – including humans – in the whole ecosystem.

Individuals trained at this level can pursue careers in the public and private sector at local, regional, national, and international levels as ecological scientists, foresters, conservation scientists, natural resource and wildlife managers, recreation managers, environmental assessment scientists, sustainability scientists, and public school and college science educators.

The Program Objectives are to provide students the knowledge and skills to understand the multiple levels of biotic and abiotic components that drive ecosystem functions; compare these components between different ecosystems and determine how they are influenced by human interactions and other disturbances; conduct scientifically rigorous ecological research projects, collecting samples, analyzing data, applying high-end critical thinking and quantitative methods to address current issues in the ecological sciences; connect these research experiences to relevant socio-cultural aspects, with the recognition of the strong connection between the ecological sciences and the various aspects of society; develop into the next generation of ecosystem scientists, with a deep understanding of ecological theory and its’ applications to a complex society that is leaders in the abilities to understand and address current and future local, regional, and global environmental issues affecting the planet.

What is an Ecologist, exactly?

Ecologists contribute significantly to the understanding and preservation of the natural world and all its habitats and ecosystems, and the processes and critical conditions driving the structure of the natural world. They generate new knowledge concerning how the living and non-living (i.e., nutrients, water, etc.) components of all ecosystems interact together to create the conditions within all different global habitats, using this knowledge to solve environmental problems through ecological scientific investigations. They study the differences in all these components between different heathy, diseased or damaged habitats, ecosystems, and landscapes while sharing this information with appropriate users to help them design better, more sustainable strategies for maintaining or restoring all ecosystems. They often serve as educators of students from high school to colleges and universities, and in museums and nature centers. Many Ecologists work in governmental natural resource agencies and scientific laboratories, non-profit organizations, governmental planning offices, where they study natural and modified environments, such as in forestry, agriculture, land development, and areas damaged by natural disasters. As scientists, Ecologists also write reports, journal articles, and environmental impact statements providing the information to help all levels of government policymakers, and managers of natural resources through their activities of monitoring, managing or restoring populations and ecosystems.

Where will you be studying?

The MSc in Ecology and Society is offered by the internationally recognized Department of Environment and Development of the University for Peace. As a leading center of environmental research and education, our department offers three distinct degree programs:

  • M.A. in Environment, Development, and Peace
  • M. A. in Responsible Management and Sustainable Economic Development
  • MSc in Ecology and Society.

Our department caters to a diverse global body of students and instruction is provided by a group of leading scholars and expert practitioners in the field.

The University for Peace – established by the UN General Assembly in 1980 – has been training leaders for peace for the past four decades. It is the world’s leading educational institution in the field of peace and conflict resolution in its pursuit of the mandate given to it by the General Assembly, namely "to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace and with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations."

About the School