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. Because there are multiple entry points to the MA, students can begin new classes in a fully online session either in the Fall or Spring semesters. Students also have the option to attend on-campus classes, which are offered at night.  The distance learning format allows us to draw a very diverse student and faculty population that is flexible and able to fit around their daily lives. By taking classes at a distance 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 peers and mentors.

How large are the classes?

Both on-campus and online classes are designed to be small (6 - 20 people) and interactive. Students often work in small groups in which there is consistent engagement with faculty.

What kind of equipment will I need for the distance learning program?

 Students should plan to bring their laptops to campus for our in-person classes.

Technology Requirements

How long will it take to get my degree?

Most students take two to three years to complete the required 36 credits to graduate, depending on the number of courses taken in a given semester.  Once enrolled, students must take at least one course per semester, and have a maximum of five years to complete all requirements. Students who are working full time will often take a lighter load.

Who are the faculty?

Program faculty are working professionals and professor with both practical and theoretical expertise in government, corporations, and NGOs.  The faculty have academic degrees and experience in the fields of environmental science, economics, anthropology, geography, and business. They come from all over the country and bring a depth of experience that is invaluable to students. Because a number of faculty members in the M.A.E.S. program are currently working in their chosen fields, they bring both practical experience and a network of professionals to our 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.

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. 

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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 defined by the broad scope of natural and built environments in human interaction and employing academic disciplines and perspectives to focus on identifying and solving complex problems that arise from these interactions. Through the inclusion of management practices, those problems are mitigated or eliminated.  As a result, this field uses the disciplinary tools of economics, ecology, sociology, communications, business, and other physical and social sciences to explore these problems and issues. At Goucher, the M.A.E.S. program approaches the field through social science perspectives, enabling students to engage corporations, communities, and government agencies.  Students, too, are able to design research projects, develop scientific literacy, and manage multi sector projects designed to mitigate environmental threats. A science background may be helpful but is not required.

What will I be able to do with my degree?

Our degree program is intended for those with the initiative to apply disciplinary tools and theories of change to seeking solutions to real-world environmental problems. Anyone who is interested in careers in environmental or sustainability management, compliance, administration, communications, or research other issues affecting the world today can benefit from this degree. Those currently working in nonprofits or corporations, who 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 master’s degree. Those just out of college, 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 will be 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.