What is a master's in sustainability management?

By Kate Warren, Kelli Rogers 29 October 2016

David Green, director of admissions at the Kogod School of Business, American University, talks to Devex about the master’s in sustainability management.

Housed within the American University Kogod School of Business, the master’s in sustainability management is a program offering students an education at the intersection of business administration, environmental science and public policy.

Devex’s Kelli Rogers sat down with admissions director, David Green, to discuss what this unique program offers, who makes a successful student, and tips for getting in.

In addition to taking a business-centric approach, the degree can leverage others schools on the American University campus, for examples, the school of public affairs, international service or arts and science. They can offer a “robust offering of electives where [students] can tailor or customize their specialization or track,” shared Green.

What do they look for in prospective students?  “Two to three years of professional work experience,” offers Green who goes on to say that they take a holistic view in admissions where grades, experience and motivation all come into play. They seek students who have done “volunteerism, made impact in their community no matter how small or global” with a willingness to focus on the experiential learning components of their program.

For those considering applying, starting your research a good 18-24 months in advance is advised. Showing interest early can also help you with financing. Scholarships are merit-based and highly motivated students are more likely to see those dollars come their way. “We are a business school, we teach negotiation,” Green shares while not making any promises.

You know you need a postgraduate degree to advance in a global development career, but deciding on a program, degree and specialization can be overwhelming. In partnership with the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, Duke Center for International Development, American University Kogod School of Business, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore and the MPA/ID Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, we are digging into all things graduate school and global development in a weeklong series called Grad School Week. Join online events and read more advice on pursuing a postgraduate education here.

About the authors

Warren kate 1
Kate Warren@DevexCareers

Kate Warren is the senior director and editor of careers and recruiting content at Devex. With more than a decade of international development recruitment experience working with international NGOs, consulting firms and donor agencies, she has a finger on the pulse of hiring trends across the industry and insider knowledge on what it takes to break in.


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Kelli Rogers@kellierin

In her role as associate editor, Kelli Rogers helps to shape Devex content around leadership, professional growth and careers for professionals in international development, humanitarian aid and global health. As the manager of Doing Good, one of Devex's highest-circulation publications, she is constantly on the lookout for the latest staffing changes, hiring trends and tricks for recruiting skilled local and international staff for aid projects that make a difference. Kelli has studied or worked in Spain, Costa Rica and Kenya.


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