Graduate Programs in Sustainable Development

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

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

SIT student meeting with secretary of tourism in India

Coursework is delivered by senior development studies faculty, experienced program practitioners—including World Learning development staff—and grassroots leaders working in a diversity of development capacities around the world.

Programs are offered in Vermont and Washington, DC. Both programs follow SIT’s experiential learning model and include: on-campus coursework and interactive workshops; the Global Leadership Seminar Series; a supervised professional practicum with a development organization: and the opportunity to make an original contribution to the field of development studies through a final capstone paper.

Please visit the individual websites of the Vermont- and Washington, DC-based programs for additional information. Select program differences are outlined below.

MA in Sustainable Development: Advocacy, Leadership and Social Change (Brattleboro, VT)

  • Two-year format. Students spend an academic year taking coursework on SIT’s beautiful campus in southeastern Vermont before beginning the practicum phase.
  • Course electives/options. Vermont-based students can take classes offered through SIT’s degree programs in conflict transformation and international education and/or complete an intensive field-based course in the US or abroad.
  • Six months (minimum) of field practice. With support from SIT's Career Services, 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; development management; and policy analysis and advocacy. *Not all concentrations may be available every term.

Vermont is home to a number of local movements and initiatives centered on sustainability and social justice.  This creates a dynamic laboratory in which to examine sustainable development.

MA in Sustainable Development: International Policy and Management (Washington, DC)

  • One-year format. The DC program entails an intensive, full-time structure broken up into three semesters: coursework Sept–Dec; full-time practicum Jan–April; and coursework, research, and writing May–August. Students graduate with an MA in just 12 months.   
  • Four months of field practice. Students spend four months applying their learning to a relevant project with a development organization. Students apply for their top-choice placements from a pre-determined list; placements are typically made based on a number of factors, including experience, interest, and the needs of the practicum organization. 
  • DC-based students can take advantage of the proximity to World Learning’s International Development and Exchange Programs and other leading development organizations based in DC.

The strategic international setting of Washington, DC offers an exciting learning environment for the one-year program.

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