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Program Options

Our programs are for individuals who are passionate about their leadership role in moving organizations and communities toward sustainability. Students represent a wide variety of fields, and are in varying stages of their careers. All of our program options offer a 3-class sequence to learn the core systems of sustainability:  environmental, social and economic; and the models, frameworks and tools to lead systematic change. The MA Program continues with the study and application of sustainability principles and leadership skills, while allowing students to specialize in their area of professional interest. See the course descriptions or contact us to discuss which program option is best for your personal and professional goals.

Master of Arts in Sustainability Leadership

Our current environmental, economic and social challenges call for innovative leadership to create thriving communities and organizations across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. With a transformative and systems approach, students learn how to approach the complex problems and opportunities of our time to engage in real, sustainable solutions through collaborative leadership across diverse organizations, cultures, and sectors. Students in the Master’s Degree program deepen and broaden their knowledge of sustainable systems through project-based coursework (see course descriptions), electives, and a Capstone Project of a focused sustainability plan. The Capstone Project, along with elective coursework allows students to specialize in their field of interest, such as business/social entrepreneurship, organizational development, education, healthcare, international community development, and more. Students can complete their 33-credit Master’s Degree in as few as 15 months, or choose to extend their studies depending on full or part-time status and course load. All courses offerings accommodate the schedules of working professionals. View schedules and contact our admissions advisor to consider your path to complete your Master’s Degree.

Accelerated Master's Pathway

Undergraduate students at Edgewood College have the opportunity to begin a Master of Arts in Sustainability Leadership while an undergraduate. The Accelerated Master's Pathway allows students who are juniors or seniors at Edgewood to take 12 credits (3 courses) of the Sustainability Leadership Master's Program while undergraduates in order to earn a Master of Arts within one year of completing an undergraduate degree. These 12 credits can count as electives for an undergraduate major or minor while fulfilling the first three required courses of the graduate program. The courses are: Sustainable Development Leadership, Ecological Sustainability, and Social and Economic Sustainability. For more information, contact your undergraduate advisor or Stephan Gilchrist, Sustainability Leadership Graduate Program Director at or 608-663-6991.


Graduate Certificate in Sustainability Leadership

The Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate is ideal for those seeking a new direction, and for   adult professionals wanting to make an impact in their workplace or community. The certificate is a great fit for individuals working in a wide range of fields, including nonprofit and corporate management, economic development, education, local government, facilities operations, public health, energy and utilities, regional planning and design, hospitality, religious service, law and more. A sequence of 3 classes (12 graduate credits) is completed in 9 months. Each year a cohort of 15-20 students work together with faculty and program partners to develop innovations in sustainability. Through a project-based approach, participants build a portfolio of work and a professional network of sustainability experts.

Community Fellowship, Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate

Working professionals with significant experience in a particular area of sustainability can apply for a Community Fellowship in Sustainability Leadership. This mutually enriching arrangement lets the Fellow share sustainability expertise with other program participants while receiving the framework and support to complete a significant sustainability project or develop a more holistic understanding of sustainability leadership. The Community Fellowship role combines traditional roles of participants as students and instructors, with more flexible roles of participants as teacher/learners, community partners, mentors and servant-leaders. Community Fellows receive a certificate of completion for participating in the program but do not earn graduate credit. They pay a reduced program cost. Fellows may be sponsored by an organization (e.g., their employer) that in turn benefits from the professional development and community engagement of the Fellow and from recognition as a supporter of sustainability in the larger community. Click here for a detailed Community Fellowship description and application instructions (pdf).

MBA with Sustainability Leadership Concentration

The School of Business, with global accreditation from ACBSP, is committed to values-based graduate programs tailored for working professionals interested in making a meaningful difference. Programs are offered on campus and online, and are designed in response to the growing demands of business and society for ethical leadership, entrepreneurship, and sustainability in a global economy. The School of Business offers Sustainability Leadership as a concentration in the MBA program. Alternatively, students who first earn the Sustainability Leadership Graduate MA or Certificate may later apply those credits toward an MBA degree as qualifying electives.

MA in Education with Sustainability Leadership Concentration

Educators and schools are an integral part of any sustainable community, and teachers are increasingly looking to incorporate sustainability concepts throughout their curriculum. Edgewood College offers an MA in Education with a concentration in Sustainability Leadership to support teachers in their growth as sustainability leaders in their classrooms. Teachers can integrate their Sustainability Leadership projects directly into their lessons, curriculum or larger school- or district-wide initiatives.

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