Frequently Asked Questions

How does your program work?

Goucher's M.A.E.S. program is designed to accommodate working professionals, non-traditional students, and students recently graduated from undergraduate programs.

There are multiple entry points to the MA and the program utilizes a “rolling” admission, therefore students can begin classes in either Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters.

Classes are offered in three formats: online, on-campus, and our intensive course abroad.  Scheduled course times for online and on-campus are offered in the evenings to accommodate student work-life-school balance.  Online courses allow us to draw a very diverse student and faculty population that is flexible and able to fit graduate learning into their active lives.  By taking classes online or “from home,” students may research, partner with, and develop resources with their communities or organizations, while being connected to a supportive, insightful, and resourceful group of professors, peers, and mentors.  Our intensive course abroad is offered in the January term and travels to Nepal to explore sustainability, culture, and climate adaptation in the region.

Is there a residency requirement?

No, there is no residency requirement.  Students can complete their entire (100%) masters degree online if they wish.  They can also choose to take one or more classes on-campus or to participate in our optional study aboard to Nepal.

How large are the classes?

Both on-campus and online classes are designed to be small (6 - 15 people) and interactive. Students often work in small groups in which there is consistent engagement and dialogue with faculty.

What kind of equipment will I need for the program?

Students will need a laptop with internet access for online courses and should plan to bring their laptops to campus for our in-person classes.

Technology Requirements

How long will it take to get my degree?

The M.A.E.S. program offers a flexible timeline.  Most students earn their 36 credits within 2 years, but they have up to 5 years to complete the degree requirements.  The pace at which students progress is determined by the number of credits they take per semester.  Students can take 3 to 9 credits per semester.  Courses are offered in fall, spring, and summer semesters, and occasionally in the January term.

Who are the faculty?

Program faculty are scholar-practitioners working in their chosen fields and bringing practical experience and a network of professionals and resources to our students.  They are working professionals and professors with both practical and theoretical expertise in government, corporations, environmental consulting, and NGOs.  Our faculty have academic degrees and experience in environmental science, environmental economics, anthropology, environmental policy, climate change, and business.  From all over the country, they bring a depth of experience that is invaluable to students.

M.A.E.S. Faculty

How much does the program cost? Is there any financial aid?

Goucher M.A.E.S. students are eligible to apply for federal student loans, outside grants and scholarships, and Goucher financial aid.

Tuition & Financial Aid

What qualifications do I need for the M.A.E.S. program and how do I apply?

Admission to the program is granted to selected applicants who demonstrate a clear understanding of what environmental sustainability and management means to them, good communication skills, and success in self-directed graduate study.  Students who are citizens of or in residence in other countries must have the ability to function successfully in English and are currently only eligible to participate in this program through the fully online modality.

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Do I need to take the GRE or other graduate-level entrance exam for admission to the program?

No.  We do not require GRE scores, though if you would like to submit them with your application, you may.  Our admission decisions are based on past academic history, recommendations, your essay, and your overall goals.

What is environmental sustainability and management? Do I need a science background?

Environmental sustainability is an interdisciplinary field and refers to the responsible use and preservation of natural resources and ecosystems to ensure that present and future generations can meet their needs without depleting the environment in the face of complex challenges like climate change and environmental injustices.  With the inclusion of management practices, these problems can be mitigated or eliminated.  Environmental management involves the planning, implementation, and monitoring of strategies and actions to mitigate environmental impacts, reduce pollution, and promote sustainable practices to protect and conserve the environment.

At Goucher, the M.A.E.S. program approaches sustainability and environmental management through an integrative science and social science perspective, enabling students to better engage corporations, communities, and government agencies.  Students design research projects, develop scientific literacy, and manage multi sector projects designed to mitigate environmental threats.  Thus, a science background may be helpful, but is not required to begin this degree.

What will I be able to do with my degree?

Our degree program is intended for those with the passion to apply interdisciplinary tools and theories of change and those seeking solutions to complex environmental problems.  Students interested in careers in the environment, sustainability, conservation, climate change, compliance, policy, environmental justice, environmental communication, or research can benefit from this degree.  

Students currently working in nonprofits, corporations, or organizations that seek to make a change upward or outward in their careers will benefit from the tools we offer and from the education and credentials of the M.A.E.S degree.  Students recently graduated from undergraduate programs, looking for the next big step in their lives, will benefit from entering the job market with a master’s degree in an area that is quickly becoming recognized as essential to sustainability and compliance.  Our graduates are future directors of nonprofits, sustainability offices, communicators and activists, teachers and change agents of all kinds.

Careers for M.A.E.S Grads

Where is Goucher, and what is the campus like?

Goucher is an independent, selective, coeducational liberal arts college located on 287 beautiful acres just north of the city of Baltimore.  Goucher enrolls more than 1,400 undergraduate and 1,200 graduate students.  It was founded in 1885 and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.  Goucher offers a wide variety of undergraduate majors, and all undergraduates are required to participate in at least one international study program, testing and enhancing classroom learning through real, firsthand experience in the world.  Graduate programs based on Goucher’s undergraduate strengths and institutional mission include the same close interaction with faculty that is a cornerstone of a Goucher education.  Goucher’s strong belief in the importance of staying connected to the world outside campus through community action, intercultural awareness, and international exploration is in clear evidence throughout the curriculum of our Master of Arts in Environmental Sustainability and Management program.