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Online Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Sustainability

Advance Your Career Combating Climate Change

100% Online

20 Months

30 Credits

Multiple Start Dates

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Drive Sustainable Solutions

Learn how to design, implement, and manage sustainable solutions for a wide range of organizations. You will be prepared to lead initiatives for governments, nonprofits, and businesses to advance environmentally sustainable solutions when you earn the Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Sustainability online at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Throughout this public administration degree program, you’ll gain expertise in economic viability, environmental protection, and social equity—the three pillars of sustainability— as well as organizational development and leadership.

Inspire change in your organization while stewarding human, financial, and environmental resources.

Build Your Expertise and Experience

10 Total Courses

Real-World Experiences

The 10 courses (30 credits) in this program are all asynchronous (no required live class meetings), so you can continue working as you learn to thrive as a sustainability professional.

You will develop real-world skills that you can immediately apply to your work through course projects, like creating an assessment report for an organization of your choice to improve its performance.

Required Courses

  • Sustainability and Climate Science
  • Policy and Social Justice
  • Sustainability Assessment and Disclosure
  • Sustainability Strategy and Action
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Organizational Development and Leadership
  • Program Management
  • Data Analysis and Evidence-Based Decision Making
  • Finance and Budgeting
  • Practicum
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Competencies Include:

  • Science: Apply climate and sustainability science concepts.
  • Strategy: Design and implement sustainability strategies through the lens of social and climate justice.
  • Policy Analysis: Integrate sustainability-related policies, standards, frameworks, and best practices.
  • Risk Assessment: Conduct climate and Environmental & Social Governance (ESG) risk assessments.
  • Collaboration: Foster effective collaboration within and across public, private, and nonprofit organizations to address systemic issues.
  • Communication: Communicate complex sustainability concepts, ideas, and results through multiple channels to diverse internal and external audiences.
  • Leadership: Lead individuals, teams, and organizations.
  • Project/Program Management: Design, implement, manage, and evaluate programs and projects using a systems-thinking perspective.

Collect, analyze, manage, and visualize data to make evidence-based decisions.

Manage budgets and mobilize private- and public-sector funding.

Industry Insights: Public Administration and Sustainability

Build the skills and experience you need to succeed in the fast-growing sustainability industry. Recent surveys and reports highlight the increase in demand across the public and private sectors:

  • U.S. employment in sustainability has increased by 237% over the past five years.1
  • 33 states and 35 of the largest fifty cities in the U.S. have adopted climate action plans.2
  • 40% of Fortune 500 companies have set net-zero carbon emissions targets.3
  • Public-private partnerships can improve efficiency, increase access, and reduce the risks of investing in sustainable infrastructure to meet policy goals.4
  • Companies with the best ESG scores performed 8% better than the broader U.S. market.5
  • 76% of Americans want companies to take action against climate change.6

Sustainability Officer$110,000per year7

Sustainability Manager$88,610per year8

VP of Sustainability$159,343per year9

“Your greatest resource at [the Middlebury Institute] is your professors. Your success is their success.”
– Matthew Levie (Graduate 2018)

Admissions Requirements: Get Started Today

We’re excited you’re taking the next step to make a difference in the world! We look forward to welcoming you to our 100% online Master of Public Administration in Sustainability program. There’s no GMAT or GRE required. To be considered for admission, you will need to complete an application, which includes the following:

Nonnative English speakers will need a TOEFL score of 80 or an IELTS score of 6.5 in addition to the requirements listed above.

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Tuition Overview

Your education is an important investment in your future, and who you learn from matters. Our tuition rate is $850 per credit.

Many employers help cover the costs of your professional development, so we encourage you to contact your human resources department to take advantage of any tuition benefits available to you. Our Student Financial Services team is ready to help you determine your financial aid eligibility. You can speak to an enrollment advisor to explore options or call 1-800-390-8580.

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Why Choose the Middlebury Institute of International Studies?

Our online students benefit from personalized support, exceptional professional education, a globally connected alumni network and more. When you learn with us, you can:

Advance Your Career as a Leader

Sustainability has emerged as one of the top priorities for governments, nonprofits, and businesses. You will gain essential knowledge, insights, and skills to lead sustainability initiatives in a range of roles.

Build Expertise in Sustainability

Our real-world learning approach allows you to immediately apply practical skills from your courses to solve problems in your workplace. You’ll gain professional experience and exposure to relevant networking opportunities that lead to jobs and promotions.

Learn Intercultural Competence

Sustainability threats and solutions span borders. We help you work collaboratively with teams around the world so you can foster mutual understanding, build partnerships, and effect social change.

See Sustainability in Action

Sustainability isn’t just a program; it’s a way of life at the Middlebury Institute. We promote the responsible use of our resources in practical applications and the education and engagement of our students.

Doctor Mahabat Baimyrzaeva

Dr. Mahabat Baimyrzaeva, Professor

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Mahabat Baimyrzaeva

Dr. Baimyrzaeva’s focus areas include organizational learning, capacity building, change management, and strategy development using innovative methods. She has designed and taught more than 40 courses, including organizational leadership/management, social innovations, policy analysis, and applied research methods and design.

She regularly mentors students and delivers presentations, workshops, and hands-on training in decision-making, strategic leadership and change management for leaders across industries globally.

Dr. Baimyrzaeva has worked at government, nonprofit, academic, and international organizations, including as a civil society expert at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and as director of the Bureau of Legal and Social Assistance for Refugees in Kyrgyzstan. She is fluent in English, Russian, and Kyrgyz, speaks basic Turkish, and has basic familiarity with other Turkic languages.


The first step is to start your application.

The MPA in Sustainability program is available asynchronously online (no required live class meetings). This allows you to continue working while you earn your degree. You can schedule your weekly coursework around your other personal and professional responsibilities. Your time zone will not affect your ability to complete your coursework so that you can study from any location in the world.

You may choose to participate in optional live group meetings online.

The 100% online MPA in Sustainability degree program is designed for working professionals with busy lives, so if something interrupts your course of study, you don’t have to worry about losing the credits you’ve completed. If needed, you can take up to five years to complete the degree.

To earn your master’s in sustainability online, you’ll complete 30 credits.

The tuition rate for the online Master of Public Administration in Sustainability degree is $850 per credit. You need to complete 30 credits, so the total tuition is $25,500. Check with your employer’s HR department for tuition benefits to help offset your costs. You may also contact our Student Financial Services team about your loan options.

Graduates with an MPA in Sustainability often pursue careers in urban planning, emergency management, transportation, health care (especially public health), economic development, urban management, community development, education, and environmental policy.

Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

You Want to Change the World. We Will Teach You How.

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies is a graduate school of Middlebury College and a training ground for developing and implementing practical solutions. It is home to some of the world’s leading experts in sustainability, global security, development, education, and language services. They will be your mentors, teaching you how to advance understanding, promote peace, and drive change in pursuit of a more just world.

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  1. LinkedIn Economic Graph. Global Green Skills Report 2022. Retrieved from
  2. Center for Climate Change Energy Solutions. U.S. State Climate Action Plans. Retrieved from
  3. Climate Impact Partners. Fortune Global 500 Climate Commitments. Retrieved from
  4. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Public-Private Partnerships Beneficial for Implementing Green Infrastructure. Retrieved from
  5. Morningstar. Why Sustainable Strategies Outperformed in 2021. Retrieved from
  6. Green Business Bureau. Why Is Sustainability Important In Business? Retrieved from
  7. Average Sustainability Officer Salary. Retrieved from
  8. Average Sustainability Manager Salary. Retrieved from
  9. Average Vice President of Sustainability Salary. Retrieved form