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Masters (MA) in Applied Environmental and Sustainability Studies

Learn to think in systems that underscore how human beings and nature can thrive on a rapidly changing planet. Gain skills in environmental studies, sustainability, and policy and governance. The interdisciplinary structure of this online program combines cutting-edge academic knowledge in environmental issues and questions of sustainability with oral and written communication and problem solving.

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At a Glance

Fall 2024

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Spring 2024

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Credits and Tuition Cost (2023-2024)

Credits Required: 30
Cost Per Credit: $737.00


Fully Online

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Masters in Applied Environmental and Sustainability Studies overview

Program format
Fully Online
Total credits
Total Credits
Degree awarded
Degree Awarded

What You'll Learn


21st Century Careers in Environmental and Sustainability Fields

The climate crisis, environmental justice challenges, and the visioning of sustainable futures are some of the most urgent issues of our time. We are enthusiastic about the power of online education on these issues to make advanced degrees accessible to working professionals and non-traditional students. In this vein, our program brings a range of media (e.g., podcasts, video lectures, documentaries, academic and popular readings) and assignments (e.g., written, audio, and video responses; research projects; writing for a general audiences, such as op-eds or blog posts) into classes to appeal to students with different learning styles and backgrounds.


Our teaching is oriented around publicly engaged practice with a focus on project-based, experiential, and community-based learning that brings academic work done online into the real world in ways that feel timely and relevant to each student. We look forward to working closely with students online each term to engage with the course material and help students to identify and hone their interests and the application of these interests in their future careers.

Focus Areas

  • Analyze complex environmental and sustainability issues from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives
  • Critical thinking skills to create sustainability solutions to the planet's environmental challenges
  • Effectively communicate environmental issues and sustainability solutions through scientific and non-scientific writing
  • Recognize and engage in practices that work toward social and environmental justice


Course Examples

  • Core classes include:
  • ENS 601 Environmental and Sustainability Studies: Issues and Ideas
  • ENS 602 Environment and Sustainability Policy and Governance
  • ENS 603 Communicating Environmental Knowledge
  • Plus electives that relate to environmental and sustainability studies
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How to Apply

Application Requirements

Standard graduate application requirements apply.

  • CV or resume
  • 2-3 pages Statement of Purpose

Admissions Criteria

Program Contact

Michael Samers
Director of Graduate Studies


Fall 2024

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Spring 2024

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Distance Learning

Licensure & Authorization

Where you live matters when completing distance education activities. If you will live outside of Kentucky while completing your program, please check the Distance Learning Authorization & Licensure page to confirm that the program can be offered in your state or country, and if relevant, that it meets professional licensure requirements in your state. Please note: Admission and enrollment in a fully-online program can NOT lead to the issuance of a J-1 or F-1 student visa. 

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University of Kentucky has been approved to participate in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Student Support

Once you become a student, you will have access to a wide variety of academic support services to maximize your success. These services are available completely online to meet the needs of our online students.

Why UK Online


No test scores required.

UK degree

Degrees are conferred by the University of Kentucky, an accredited university.

Grad tuition cap

Save money by paying for only 9 standard credit hours, even if you take more.

Flexible schedule

Fit learning into your busy schedule with no prescribed class times.
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