Global Master of Arts in
Sustainable Development Practice (Full-Time)

Pre-Program Documents



We are pleased to welcome you to SIT’s Graduate Institute and the Master of Arts in Diplomacy Practice program. We are excited for you to begin your studies soon. Everyone at SIT, faculty and staff alike, is looking forward to working with you. Please read through the information provided on this pre-program information page carefully.  If you have any questions, please contact your admissions officer directly or [email protected].

Program Chair Welcome Letter

Read the welcome letter from program chair and assistant professor Joseph Lanning, PhD.

Program Dates

Preparing for Your Program

Student Health, Safety & Wellbeing Services

Health Form

SIT Graduate Institute is committed to the health and safety of all program participants. Through our years of experience, we have found that preparation, prevention, and communication are key to keeping students healthy and safe.

A health review will occur for all admitted students prior to departure. Download the full health form packet here. Both forms (outlined below) are due by June 15th for admits to global master’s programs.

Part I: Personal Health History & Authorization Form: To be completed through your confirmation materials portal upon admission. Students are strongly encouraged to fully disclose their health history so we can prepare you properly for your experience, make any necessary special arrangements, and in some cases, assess whether there may be any health reasons why you should consider another program.

Part II: Health Report & Examination: To be completed by your medical provider based on an exam conducted within 12 months prior to the program start date. Once complete, the form can be uploaded through your confirmation materials portal, emailed to [email protected], or faxed directly by your provider to 802-258-3509.

Additional supplemental medical or mental health forms may be requested by the Student Health Office. If you have any significant medical or mental health history, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your treating provider as soon as possible to have the applicable supplemental form completed. If this applies to you, we also encourage you to contact our Student Health Office as early as possible to help us understand your needs and to best support you in preparing for your program.

This information is kept confidential and provided to our in-country program directors to assist them with planning for any serious medical conditions and to facilitate emergency healthcare needs that may arise during the program. A member of SIT’s staff may contact students to discuss program realities and to clarify expectations.

Health Insurance

SIT Graduate Institute provides students with accident and illness coverage for the international components of your program. Please note that this coverage is not in effect for any medical expenses incurred in the US. It covers you from the time you arrive to your program site until your program ends at that site. Therefore, we highly recommend that you maintain your ongoing coverage in the US, if applicable.

SIT does not provide dental coverage or property loss insurance. We encourage you to purchase personal property insurance independently.

Health Insurance and iSOS

Student Support Services

SIT places the highest priority on each student’s safety, security, and health. During orientation in each country, our staff will provide the resources and knowledge needed for a safe and productive academic experience in each location. SIT provides student support through both in-country staff and staff and resources in Brattleboro, Vermont. Detailed information about health, wellness, and mental health resources in each location will be delivered during your in-country orientation.

Disability Services

Wellness Tips & Mental Health Resources

Sexual Safety & Title IX

Flight, Visa, & Passport Information

Program Sites

Cape Town, South Africa

The legislative capital of South Africa, Cape Town is a world-renowned port city, famous for its natural beauty and is the recipient of many international travel awards. It is also regarded as the most unequal city, within the world’s most unequal country. Because of its history, politics, geography, and natural resources, Cape Town is a compelling location from which to examine the tensions, contradictions, and consequences of the global development agenda, and allows for deep insight into the implementing the Sustainable Development Goals within complex socio-economic contexts. Learn from case studies delving into the core issues of development practice, such as community analysis and assessment; local participation in project design and implementation; and the methods and tools for monitoring and evaluation.

Lilongwe, Malawi

The SIT Global MA in Sustainable Development Practice partners with faculty from the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR). Students access library, classroom, and dining facilities on the Bunda campus of LUANAR, which enrolls more than 4000 students. Offering degrees in agriculture, environmental sciences and development studies, LUANAR and the nearby campus farm serve commercial, practical, academic, and research purposes for the city of Lilongwe and the region. During rural field visits to the Ntcheu District, classes occur in the open-air amphitheater space at Zisinthe Farm and Community Garden. Students have access to Zisinthe’s working agro-ecological demonstration farm, student meeting spaces, and walking trails. Classes, office hours, and student gatherings are immersed in nature as well as over 60 different plant species, goats, chickens, and rabbits at the farm.

Greater Quito, Ecuador

The SIT Global MA in Development Practice partners with Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) and Balance Works, an organization focused on educational and cultural exchange programs. USFQ is a liberal-arts university located in Cumbayá, just outside of Quito. It is the first liberal-arts institution in the Andean region and its faculty comprises one-half of all Ecuadorians who hold doctoral degrees. USFQ is the top-ranked university in Ecuador with an educational model focused on entrepreneurship, innovation, and service to local and regional communities. At USFQ, SIT graduate students have access to the library, education and research laboratories, classrooms, and seven restaurants. Faculty office hours and professional development meetings occur in the office and classroom of Balance Works. The classroom sits at 9,000 feet above sea level in the Mariscal sector in the northern part of Quito, overlooking the Andes mountains.


Registering for Classes

Dear Student,

Congratulations on your acceptance to the School for International Training (SIT) Graduate Institute!  As Registrar, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to our community.

The registrar’s office staff are happy to support you in your academic career with all that concerns course registration, enrollment certification, veterans’ benefits, grades, academic policy, degree audits, transcripts, application to graduate, and issuance of diplomas.

Approximately two weeks prior to the beginning of your first term of enrollment, I will send more detailed information to you via your SIT email address about when and in which courses you should register, rather than overwhelm you with information now.  In the meantime, I invite you to familiarize yourself with Colleague Self-Service, the online interface with Colleague, our Student Information System, which you will use to register for classes, consult your course schedule, final grades, tuition bill and financial aid, and progress toward graduation.

Should you have any questions, please never hesitate to contact us.  We are happy to help!

Ginny Nellis, Registrar

[email protected]

Office: 802-258-3283

Cheryl Haskins, Associate Registrar

[email protected]

Office: 802.258.3582

Academic and Technical Support

The following support services will be available to you as soon as your program begins.

Language Support
Mango Languages is a service available to all current SIT students, faculty, and staff. Mango Languages provides access to more than 70 foreign language courses and 17 English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.

Academic Writing Support
The Online Writing Center is available to all Graduate Institute students who are working on course and degree related writing projects. Students can work one-on-one with a trained writing coach to receive objective, constructive feedback on their writing projects at any stage of development by scheduling a synchronous or asynchronous appointment with the Online Writing Center at

Library Services
The Donald B. Watt Library provides access to electronic resources including e-booksjournalsonline databases, and DigitalCollections@SIT, which include selected Graduate Capstone Papers, MA TESOL Independent Professional Projects (IPP), and Undergraduate Independent Study Projects (ISP). In addition to these resources, our professional librarians provide both real time and asynchronous general reference consultations, database  navigation and research assistance, citation management instruction, and liaison with other libraries to obtain outside materials via Interlibrary Loan. For library hours, collection access, or to schedule an appointment please visit us at or contact us at [email protected].

Canvas Support
Online courses at SIT utilize the learning management system called Canvas. In Canvas, students interact with online learning environments created by their instructors. Canvas is a secure and integrated system that can be used to review syllabi, watch embedded video, post in forum discussions, and submit assignments.


Canvas Username Recovery/Password Resets
For Canvas support issues or questions, please send an email to: [email protected]. To reset Canvas passwords, click HERE and select “Forgot Password?”.

Technical Support
For technical issues or questions, please send an email to [email protected].

Career Services

SIT offers a variety of services to help students explore their career options, develop their professional networks, build their job seeker skills, and connect them with internship and job opportunities. Learn more here.

SIT Graduate Institute Course Catalog