Why should I choose Naropa University’s MA in Environmental Leadership?
The unique integration of contemplative practices, theory and practical application creates a one-of-a-kind learning community and a rich, wholistic curriculum. Solid leadership skills, based on cutting-edge thinking and an understanding of living systems, pave the way for you to become a creative change agent in our complex world.
How will I benefit from studying at Naropa?
You will graduate with mature leadership skills applicable to a broad range of occupations. Moreover, you will gain experience and understanding in how to lead from a place of inner strength and self-awareness. You are supported by a close learning community of faculty and peers, as you discover your own unique leadership style.
In what career directions will my MA in Environmental Leadership take me?
Career options are diverse. Whether your interest is in sustainable business practices, community development, environmental education, coaching and organizational consulting, ethical and sustainable land use, business ownership, social justice, policy change or cultural renewal, this MA will provide you with a solid platform for taking your passion and creativity into work that matters to you and serves the well-being of our planet. The MA provides a firm foundation for mature leadership in established organizations as well as start-up endeavors.
What kinds of work are alumni doing?
A sample listing of alumni employment includes the following:resource conservations specialist with Boulder County, executive director of a nonprofit recycling facility, director of a natural science school, environmental education director for an environmental education center, co-founder of a nonprofit firm consulting with indigenous peoples, co-founder/director of an institute for sustainable business practices, regional interpretive ranger for state parks, fundraiser for an international nonprofit environmental funding agency; educational and outreach coordinator with local environmental action division City of Boulder, ecological restoration specialist, environmental educator, city sustainability director, director Boulder Entrepreneurs Support Team, and so many more!.
Do I need experience in a profession related to the environment?
Helpful, but not necessary. At a minimum, you should have a passion for some aspect of environmental concern, even if you haven’t had a job in the field. What is more important is that you have some experience in a leadership role and some sense of your capacity or potential as a leader.
Do I need a science background?
No. There are no prerequisites for applying to the program, but we encourage courses in the natural sciences (biology, geography, earth science, ecology, etc.) and social sciences (sociology, psychology, political science, anthropology, etc.). The ability to understand scientific material is valuable to environmental leadership; however, we equally recognize and invite leadership grounded in social, political, artistic, business and other diverse backgrounds.
Do I need background/experience in meditation?
Although helpful, meditation experience is not necessary. However, an openness to learning meditation and engaging with awareness practices is important for the clear thinking, nonjudgmental attitude and emotional flexibility that underscore solid, creative leadership.
What are you looking for in your applicants?
We’re looking for highly motivated individuals who are called to do this kind of work and who are willing to undertake the deep inner work that is the foundation for leading with integrity in the future.
What are the backgrounds and occupations of the students?
Student profiles are quite varied, with the age range from mid-twenties to mid-fifties. They come from professions in business, environmental activism, healing arts, community development, natural history interpretation, science, psychology, Peace Corps and teaching. All share a commitment to bettering our world and healing the earth.
What is your approach to diversity and multicultural issues?
At Naropa we respect and welcome diversity and incorporate that perspective into the very fiber of our curriculum. Environmental and social justice; acceptance of gender, religious, ethnic, and racial differences; and the capacity to work across cultural, national and political boundaries are key components of our approach.
Is there a graduate thesis required to complete the MA?
The Applied Environmental Leadership Project during the second year replaces an academic thesis. This is a hands-on, creative project integrating theoretical perspectives, personal leadership skills and tools for social change within a community or organizational setting. A formal, professional-level report and presentation conclude this project.
Are there any electives in the program?
There are no electives, as the program is focused and tightly sequenced to maximize student learning within a two-year format. However, you are welcome to enroll in or audit other courses to augment your learning in specific areas.
Is the GRE required?
No, it is not. We rely on the application, references, intention letter and personal interview to make our decision.