The Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (SFS) will launch a new masters of science in environment and international affairs (MS-EIA) in August 2024 as a joint degree program between the SFS’ Science, Technology and International Affairs Program (STIA) and the Earth Commons, Georgetown’s institute for environment and sustainability. Applications for the MS-EIA degree program are open now for the Fall 2024 semester.
The new major will feature three interdisciplinary concentrations: global sustainable energy technology and policy, global environmental science and policy, and environmental science and international security. At the end of the year-long program, graduates will develop expertise in a specific field of environmental and energy challenges, along with an international perspective on climate change, according to the MS-EIA website.
The program’s mission is to give students the tools to apply international affairs training, environmental science and policy expertise to address pressing global climate issues, according to SFS Dean Joel Hellman.
“The issues of climate change and migration are at the very center of the global challenges we now face,” Hellman said in a recent press release from the SFS. “These new degree programs will ensure that SFS continues to fulfill its mission of preparing new leaders to address the most critical issues in our world.”
According to STIA Program Director Joanna Lewis, students in the MS-EIA will have the resources and opportunity to address specific global environmental issues, such as atmospheric and ocean pollution, food and water insecurity, and the transition to clean energy.
“Graduates of this program will be equipped with the latest scientific and analytical tools combined with international perspective and experiences, and ready to pursue careers in public, private, nonprofit and international organizations,” Lewis wrote to The Hoya. “The program also includes a unique capstone experience that will pair students with organizations working on global environmental challenges around the world.”
The MS-EIA will also be providing students an important avenue to address the world’s most pressing environmental issues through policy, according to Tico Ángel (SFS ’25), who is majoring in STIA with a concentration in environment and energy and is interested in the new master’s program.
“With the current state of the climate and the global scientific consensus that we need to keep warming to below 1.5-2 degrees Celsius, immediate action is necessary,” Ángel wrote to The Hoya. “This program, similar to other science and international affairs programs, will combine an in-depth understanding of science with coursework in international affairs and policy, preparing students for a multitude of careers within and outside of government.”
As a student in the SFS, Angel said he looks forward to seeing the work that will be done now that the school is collaborating with the Earth Commons.
“I think the Earth Commons has a lot of experience in looking at the science behind the changing climate and sustainability. The SFS, on the other hand, has a long history and deep understanding of legislation and international issues,” Ángel wrote. “By combining these, Georgetown will be better prepared to tackle the complex issues that the climate crisis will present, both in regards to policy and beyond.”
Lewis added that the program’s specific focus on environmental studies was previously lacking at the graduate level of the SFS.
“This is the only master’s program at SFS with an explicit focus on the environment,” Lewis wrote. “Furthermore, the elective offerings in this program will be open to other SFS graduate students to help fill the overall gap in dedicated courses focusing on the critical global environmental challenges of our time.”
Ángel said he would consider applying to the new master’s program, as it would offer an opportunity to combine his interest in the environment and his passion for policy at a graduate level.
“I am super interested in renewable energy technology and policy, so having the Global Sustainable Energy Technology and Policy concentration aligns perfectly with my overall academic and career interests,” Ángel wrote. “On top of that, being in D.C. for my undergrad degree has really shown me all the benefits of studying a degree, especially a policy-focused one like the MS-EIA program, in an area like D.C.”