Scientific discovery is groundbreaking, but advocacy is essential to forging real progress and enacting systems-level change. Whether you want to make an impact at the community, state, national or international level, we’ll help you develop the knowledge, skills, and networks to be effective. Equip yourself with the skills to bring environmental issues to the forefront of global progress.
This degree is offered by AU New England.
Direct community-based organizations, research solutions to critical environmental and social challenges, or lead communications and development projects for a range of organizations. Advance clean energy. Mitigate climate change and help communities adapt to its impacts. Lead conservation and sustainable resource initiatives. Lead organizations committed to economic, environmental, and social justice. You choose the type of advocacy work you want to do and we’ll help you prepare for it.
Length of Program:
This program can be completed in 5 semesters. Classes take place 2 days a week along with occasional weekend options, internships, and a capstone project.
To earn the MS degree in Environmental Studies with an Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability concentration, you must earn a minimum of 36 credits distributed as follows:
Core Areas (9 credits, select 3 out of 4 courses):
- Earth Systems and Climate Change (3) -Required
- Community Ecology of the New England Landscape (3)
- Political Economy and Sustainability (3)
- Leadership for Change (3)
Concentration courses (15 credits):
- Environmental Advocacy: Essentials (3)-Required
- Environmental Advocacy: Applied (3)-Required
- Citizen Participation (3)
- Civic Ecology and Community Resilience (2) FST
- Conservation Biology (3)
- Conservation Psychology (3)
- Principles of Sustainable Systems (3)
- Program Evaluation (3)
- Program Planning and Design (3)
- Soil Ecology (3)
- In consultation with a student’s academic adviser, other courses may be selected from the complete suite of concentration course offerings
Skills courses (6 credits):
- Intro to GIS (3)
- Advanced GIS (3)
- Applied GIS (3)
- Communication in the Digital Age (2)
- Consulting Skills (1)
- Dispute Resolution (1)
- Diversity, Justice & Inclusion (2)
- Field Study Trips (2-3)
- Proposal Writing and Project Management (3)
- Service Learning Seminar (1)
- with permission of the academic adviser, students may substitute 2-3 credits of skills with a concentration course
General Internship (3 credits)
Capstone Project or 2nd Internship (3 credits)
Most course offerings rotate over a 2-year cycle; Professional Science Masters students should select courses in consultation with their academic adviser to meet additional requirements; Students who select 1 and 2 credit courses should plan carefully with their academic adviser to avoid additional cost; Students entering under a recognized partnership with AUNE should discuss degree requirements with their academic adviser.
Combine this concentration with Peace Corps service. Through the AUNE International Service Program, you can earn credit for your service tuition-free and change the world.
Over the last five decades, there has been exponential growth in the number of social movement organizations, a significant growth in memberships and budgets, and a corresponding growth in the number of available paid advocacy positions.
Eight Areas Where You Can Do Good Work
- Professional public interest advocacy organizations usually work on a single issue or set of issues through research and education, lobbying, litigation, inter-group coalition building, and high-level negotiations with decision-makers.
- Grassroots organizations mobilize specific communities and constituencies to take collective action through community organizing, popular education, community development, alternative institutions, and direct action campaigns.
- Labor unions and professional associations represent and mobilize their members on political, economic, and social issues of interest to members and the public.
- Progressive electoral public policy groups such as third parties, major party caucuses, non-partisan groups, and Political Action Committees.
- Social action training and political education groups work with other advocacy organizations and activists to build up their personal and organizational capacities as advocates and organizers.
- Research and data management organizations help meet the information needs of social movement organizations, often in direct collaboration and sometimes even with the full participation of community and public interest groups.
- Progressive media and cultural groups produce documentaries, radio shows, books and periodicals, web-pages for activists and the public; offer public relations assistance to activist groups seeking to influence the mass media; and create art, music, and theater that inspire activists and the public.
- Progressive, social change philanthropy groups including individual foundations and coordinating groups like National Network of Grantmakers and the Donor Organizers Network.