Acquire the skills, knowledge, and experience to make significant contributions in the field of development.

SIT’s Master of Arts in Sustainable Development: Advocacy, Leadership, and Social Change program prepares graduates for positions in organizations working toward a more equitable and sustainable use of the world’s wealth and natural resources.

The program emphasizes the importance of NGOs, community programs, social movements, coalitions, and faith-based organizations. Vermont is at the forefront of sustainable development initiatives in the US, and students in the program connect with local communities and relevant organizations, including those led by SIT alumni.

Students in the program can expect to:

  • Develop the analytical and hands-on skills of highly effective development practitioners.
  • Examine competing theories and approaches to development.
  • Build competencies in key areas such as community empowerment, monitoring and evaluation, policy analysis, advocacy and training, economic development, program planning, and proposal writing.
  • Customize learning. Students can focus on one of two concentrations: Community Development and Social Action, or Development Management. 
  • Gain access and exposure to development professionals through the connections of SIT faculty, alumni, and program partners in Vermont and worldwide.
  • Learn through experience. with a six-month practicum and optional field courses—and through the experience of SIT peers and faculty.

Students can specialize in:

  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Social Innovation and Management
  • Policy Analysis and Advocacy 

Degree Sequence

On-Campus Coursework, Two Terms, 9 months (28 credits)

  • Fall Term: September–December
  • Field Courses (optional): January
  • Language Intensives (optional): January
  • Spring Term: January–May

Practicum, Two–Three Terms, 6–12 months (12 credits)

  • Two or three terms working with an organization

Capstone Paper and Presentation

  • Final paper and presentation on campus

Review past Sustainable Development capstone papers.