Gain insight into critical environmental factors affecting air, water, climate, and ecosystems. In this master’s degree program, you learn to evaluate and design practices, technologies, and systems that bring sustainable solutions to communities and organizations.
Key learning outcomes
Through the master’s degree program in sustainability you:
- Gain knowledge of sustainability criteria and benchmarking measures to critically evaluate the health of ecological and human developed systems.
- Develop an understanding of policies, technologies, and financial models that support sustainable development.
- Build competency in a variety of quantitative and analytic skill-sets requisite for success as sustainability professionals; and with these skill-sets.
- Learn to design more sustainable solutions that holistically reduce impacts and increase benefits to society and ecosystems.
The degree includes either nine courses and a thesis or 11 courses and a capstone, with at least one course taken on campus.
- Get started. You begin the admission process by completing three admission courses from the program curriculum. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your commitment and ability to perform well as a Harvard student.
- Apply to the program. While you are completing your third admission course, you submit your application. We have application periods in the fall, spring, and summer.
- Continue your studies, online and on campus. As you progress through the program, you choose from courses offered on campus or online, in the fall, spring, January session, or summer. To fully experience Harvard, you are required to take at least one three-week thesis proposal or capstone course on campus as part of your degree.
- Complete your thesis or capstone.
- If you choose the thesis track, you'll work independently with a thesis director to conduct in-depth research on a topic relevant to your professional plans.
- In the capstone track, you work in a classroom setting to apply knowledge and skills obtained in the program to design a short-term research project that has real-world application, or you'll be engaged in a consulting project for an industry client in need of an innovative sustainable solution. Past clients include Amazon, General Electric, State Street Corporation, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and NYC Health + Hospitals.
- Graduate with your Harvard degree. You participate in the annual Harvard Commencement, receiving your Harvard University degree: Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in extension studies, field: Sustainability.
Affordability is core to our mission. Our 2016–17 graduate tuition is $2,550 per course, and the total tuition cost of earning the master’s degree is approximately $25,500 to $30,600.
There are a number of financial aid options available once you’re admitted to the program.