Explore the critical environmental
 factors affecting air, water, climate, sustainability, and ecosystems. Equipped with the master’s degree, you’ll be primed to create solutions to the crises affecting our global community.

Online and on-campus study

  • Through online and evening courses, you can balance school and other commitments. At least one on-campus course here in Cambridge is required.
  • Choose from two concentrations, both involving either nine courses and a thesis, or 11 courses and a capstone course.
    • Ecosystems concentration: focuses on the stewardship of natural assets and the handling of contaminants.
    • Sustainability concentration: focuses on developing practices that conserve resources for future generations.
  • Courses run in fall or spring terms (about 15 weeks each), a three-week January session, or a seven-week Harvard Summer School term.
  • You have five years to complete the degree.

Review the full degree requirements.

Admission and getting started

Admission is based on your ability to do honors-level work at Harvard. There are no standardized test requirements. Before applying, you take three courses from the program curriculum. For admission, you must earn a grade of B in each. See all the admission criteria.

Once you have been admitted, a number of resources open up to you. See Degree Candidate Privileges.

Tuition and financial aid

Graduate-credit tuition is about $2,000 per course. In total, tuition is roughly $20,000 (with a thesis) to $24,000 (with a capstone). After you are admitted, a variety of financial aid options may be available, including grants, scholarships, and loans. See the financial aid options for admitted degree candidates.

Harvard faculty, Harvard degree

Instructors include Harvard faculty and affiliates, faculty from Boston-area universities, and environmental professionals. Browse the environmental studies courses to see who teaches our classes. The program administrators include:

  • Director: John D. Spengler, Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Assistant directors: George D. Buckley, Ramon Sanchez, and Mark Leighton

The degree is awarded by Harvard University. It is the Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies in the field of sustainability and environmental management with a concentration in ecosystems or sustainability.

Career outlook

Our alumni have pursued careers in a variety of environmental arenas. The following are just a few examples.

  • Environmental law
  • Sustainable architecture
  • Corporate sustainability
  • University research
  • Green consultancy

A Harvard credential. See what employers and alumni have to say about the value of the Harvard Extension degree experience on Your Degree, Your Career.

Student profile

  • Total degree candidates: 300
  • Age range: 23–64 (average: 38)
  • Enrollment: 90 percent part time
  • Degree completion: three to four years
  • Graduation rate: 89 percent
  • Global impact: students representing 46 US states and 118 countries register in courses each year