Work with an AUNE advisor to strategize and design a program that aligns with the career path that you envision for your future. We understand that if your career goals transcend the academic boundaries of our existing Environmental Studies programs, you may consider a more individualized approach. That’s why we work with you to develop a rigorous, yet rewarding, academic framework that is both goal oriented and structured enough to bestow the academic depth needed to engage in meaningful practice. If your interests lie at the intersection of disciplines, this option provides the specific customization you’re seeking.
This degree is offered by AU New England.
This intersection of disciplines might occur at nature and writing, conservation and communications, agriculture and community, art and environment, ecology and psychology or another combination of focuses. Those choosing this option must have a predominantly environmental focus, a strong academic background, experience in their proposed field of study, and clearly articulated professional goals.
Consider a sampling of some of our students’ Self-Designed Study titles: Green Marketing, Endangered Species Management and Biological Conservation, Environmental Advocacy and Journalism, Environmental and Social Sustainability, Environmental Geoscience, Environmental Social Justice Education, Environmental Media Arts, Environmental Writing and Creative Arts, Materials Management & Sustainability Science, Public Understanding of Earth Systems, Sustainable Recreation, Urban Environmental Stewardship, Watershed Management.
Length of Program:
This coursework for this program can be completed in 5 semesters. Classes are held 2 days a week plus internship and capstone.
This program is designed for students with strong academic backgrounds in their concentration and significant work experience in the environmental field. Students interested in self-designed studies must submit a program title, description, and course plan to the Director of Self-Designed Studies for approval upon matriculation. The approved plan must then be placed in your academic record in the University Registrar’s Office. To earn an MS in Environmental Studies, with a Self-Designed Studies, 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)
- Community Ecology of the New England Landscape (3)
- Political Economy and Sustainability (3)
- Leadership for Change (3)
Concentration courses (15 credits):
- To be selected with academic adviser from 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)
- Natural Resource Inventory: field Techniques (2)
- Proposal Writing and Project Management (3)
- Service Learning Seminar (1)
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.
The diverse career paths of graduates from Self-Designed Studies reflect the unique goals of these students. Many students use the program to develop skills and expertise to advance existing careers through the development of an environmental specialty. Other students use the program to empower their environmental work with specialized skills in organizational administration, communications or field sciences. Graduates of the program are employed in every sector of environmental work, from private consulting and regulatory enforcement to education, advocacy and the arts.
One of the hallmarks of our program is that students are required to complete at least one applied internship (3 credits), in which they gain valuable skills and build important professional networks. Students may choose to do a second internship in lieu of a final Capstone project or thesis. Examples of internships include:
- Audubon International: Assisted in the Audubon certification of Baker Hill Golf Club in Newbury, NH, including wildlife and habitat management, integrated pest management, water conservation, outreach, and education
- Grafton Nature Center, Grafton, VT: Designed and implemented environmental education curriculum focused on watersheds
- Lake Sunapee Protective Association, Sunapee, NH: As Watershed Protection assistant, assisted water quality restoration projects, prepared environmental education materials, and answered local citizen’s questions about the watershed
- Living on Earth, Somerville, MA: Researched, produced, and edited weekly environmental issues show on public radio
- National Environmental Education and Training Foundation, Washington, DC: Provided upcoming program support including a new page on the Classroom Earth website and a new educational partnership with NOAA
- New England Wildflower Society, Framingham, MA: Assisted in teaching second and fourth grade public school classrooms about local flora
- Pitcher Mountain Community Supported Agriculture, Keene, NH: Worked on the CSA farm including planting, harvesting, watering, and building raised beds
- Seeds of Solidarity, Orange, MA: Developed and taught a garden program for teenagers, developed a handbook for local schools on how to create and maintain school gardens
- Stonewall Farm, Keene, NH: Environmental educator for grades PreK-6, led classes including wildlife in winter, ice harvesting, and maple sugaring
- Tanglewood 4H Camp and Learning Center, Lincolnville, ME: Coordinated and trained summer staff, developed environmental education curriculum, coordinated and taught day camp program
- Ashuelot Valley Environmental Observatory, Keene, NH-Designed and co-facilitated educational workshops relating to citizen science initiatives
- Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, Waterbury, VT: Developed and led youth conservation crew experiences, designed and implemented a plan for a pilot AmeriCorps program at the VYCC
- Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY: Exhibit design and interpretation projects at the Bronx Zoo; researched and evaluated existing exhibits at the zoo
- Conservation Psychology Network/Antioch Environmental Studies Department, Keene, NH: Created book prospectus, including sample activities, for conservation psychology activity book for use by formal and nonformal educators to teach and apply principles of this growing field
- Whole Terrain, student editor, Keene, NH: solicited authors and crafted Antioch University New England’s journal of reflective environmental practice from “zero to press”
- Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY: Completed research interview process with children to gain a deeper understanding of ecoliteracy
- Cool Monadnock (Partnership between Antioch New England Institute & Clean Air Cool Planet), Keene, NH: Collected energy and fuel data for municipality’s buildings to create town greenhouse gas inventory reports. Created communications plan for Cool Monadnock Neighbors Helping Neighbors program
- Student Conservation Association, Seattle, WA: Served as crew leader for high school students doing trail work at Mt. Rainier National Park
- U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development: Worked with president on wide-variety of projects, ranging from marketing and writing articles to fundraising efforts and web creation to support creation of this international organization.
- Life Is Good Company, Hudson, NH: Designed educational programs on site to enhance sustainability efforts
- International Crane Foundation, Baraboo, WI: Developed and led interpretive tours and programs associated with crane exhibits, nature trails, ecological restoration, and other site features