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    Jul 13, 2020  
American University Catalog 2019-2020 
    
American University Catalog 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Global Environmental Policy (MA)


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Offered by the School of International Service , the Global Environmental Policy (MA) program provides an in-depth understanding of both the biophysical dimensions of environmental issues and the socioeconomic and political processes that shape the relationship between human beings and the natural world. Graduates are equipped to engage in the policymaking process and develop policy-formulation skills for an increasingly complex, threatened, and interdependent world.

Admission to the Program


Applicants must hold an accredited bachelor’s degree with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.30 (on a 4.00 scale). Students who do not meet these minimum requirements, if otherwise admissible, may be assigned additional coursework in excess of degree requirements specified at the time of admission. Students should normally have several years of professional or practical experience.

The application deadline for fall admission is January 15; for spring admission October 1 (September 15 for international students). Admitted students may defer matriculation for no longer than two semesters provided that a written request for deferment is submitted to and approved by the SIS Graduate Admissions Office.

A Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is optional. Applicants who have completed the exam are welcome to submit their scores as part of their application. Non-native English speakers are required to submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) unless they hold a degree from a U.S.-accredited institution before enrollment at SIS. The minimum TOEFL score for full admissions consideration is 100 on the Internet-based test (iBT) or 600 on the paper-based test (PBT). The minimum IELTS score is 7.0. Fall applicants should plan to take the appropriate test no later than December to ensure full consideration of the application by the January deadline.

All applicants must submit two letters of reference evaluating undergraduate academic performance and suitability for graduate study in international affairs, at least one of which should be from an academic source. A resume should be included in the application. Applicants must submit transcripts from all institutions attended. Cultural factors are considered in evaluating transcripts and examination results.

Requests for the transfer of a maximum of 6 graduate credit hours from other accredited institutions to be applied to a master’s degree must be completed in the student’s first semester in the graduate program at American University. A minimum grade of B in each course is required for transfer. Transfer courses must have been completed within five years of admission and must fulfill stated requirements of the degree program.

Degree Requirements


  • 36 credit hours of approved graduate coursework
  • Minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA required to remain in good academic standing and to earn the degree
  • Evidence of professional experience in the field: Relevant internship or work experience must be certified
  • Proficiency in a modern foreign language: Research competence in English and another language relevant to the student’s career objectives must be certified
  • Capstone Experience: Completion of coursework that clearly relates to the field of Global Environmental Policy via one of the following:
    • Practicum: 3 credit hours, with grade of B or better
    • Substantial Research Paper: 3 credit hours, with grade of B or better
    • Master’s Thesis: 3-6 credit hours and submission of the thesis

Course Requirements


Core (15 credit hours)


Concentration (9 credit hours)


  • 9 credit hours of faculty-approved coursework constituting an academically-sound functional area (e.g., Climate and Energy; Environmental Law and Policy; Food, Agriculture, and Global Health)

Global Environmental Policy (MA) and Business Administration (MBA)


For approved dual degree program, see Global Environmental Policy (MA) and Business Administration (MBA) .

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