Acquire what you need to make a significant and meaningful contribution to the field of development.

SIT offers two master’s programs in sustainable development: in Vermont and Washington, DC. Both programs bring together students with career interests in the fields of sustainable development, international development, international aid, advocacy, community development, and international relations.

Master of Arts in Sustainable Development: Advocacy, Leadership and Social Change (Brattleboro, VT)

field workProgram features include:

  • Two-year format. Students spend an academic year taking coursework on SIT’s campus in southeastern Vermont before beginning the practicum phase.
  • Course electives and multiple options. Vermont-based students can take classes offered through SIT’s degree programs in conflict transformation and international education and/or complete intensive field-based courses in the US or abroad.
  • Six months (minimum) of field practice. With support from SIT's Career and Practicum Services Center, students find a practicum position that matches their interests; the practicum can be anywhere in the world.
  • Optional concentrations. Concentrations offered to Vermont-based students have recently included community development and social action or development management.
  • Optional specialization tracks: Students can gain specialization in one of three professional areas: monitoring, evaluation, and learning; policy analysis and advocacy; or social innovation and management.

Why Study in Vermont? Vermont is at the forefront of sustainable development initiatives in the US. Students in the VT-based program regularly connect with local communities and relevant organizations, including those led by SIT alumni.

Master of Arts in Sustainable Development: International Policy and Management (Washington, DC)

classroomProgram features include:

  • One-year format. The DC program entails an intensive, full-time structure broken up into three semesters: first-term coursework (Sept–Dec); full-time practicum and coursework (Jan–May); and coursework, research, and writing (June–August). Students graduate with an MA in just 12 months.
  • Field courses abroad. In January, students can enroll in one of SIT’s intensive field courses providing excellent opportunities to interact with practitioners in the field, learn onsite, and expand professional networking.
  • Three months of field practice. Students spend the spring semester engaged in a full-time practicum placement with a relevant development or impact-investing organization. Practicum placements provide exceptional in-depth, hands-on learning; enhance résumés; and expand professional contacts.
  • Specialization tracks: All DC students gain specialization in one of three professional areas: monitoring, evaluation, and learning; policy analysis and advocacy; or social innovation and management.

Why Study in Washington, DC? SIT’s MA program in DC takes full advantage of the resources and connections of its base in the US capital. Students can expect to interact with a full spectrum of international organizations, representing the government, private, and civil society sectors, as well as locally based and visiting international development professionals.

Both of SIT’s MA in Sustainable Development programs follow SIT’s experiential learning model and include on-campus coursework and interactive workshops; the Global Leadership Seminar Series; a supervised professional practicum in which students work for an NGO working in development; and the opportunity to make an original contribution to the field of development studies through a final capstone paper.

Coursework on both programs is delivered by senior development studies faculty and experienced program practitioners, including grassroots leaders working in a diversity of development capacities around the world and senior staff at SIT’s parent organization, World Learning. Being the accredited academic institution of a global nonprofit provides SIT students with invaluable professional opportunities.

SIT Graduate Institute has been preparing international and community development professionals for more than four decades.