Overview of Environment-related Programs at Naropa University


MA in Environmental Leadership

Employing an integrated, living-systems perspective and infused with insights from ecopsychology and contemplative traditions, the program offers a balance of theory, skills, inner development and experiential application preparing student with the leadership skills to lead towards a socially just and  ecologically sustainable future.. Under this new paradigm of leadership, MA students are empowered to direct and manifest an emerging future that integrates multicultural perspectives, collaborative decision-making and cutting-edge environmental thinking on behalf of the earth and all living beings.

  • Credits and completion time: 39 credits, 2 years
  • Format: residential
  • Key components: professional training in leadership skills, ecological literacy and theory, and contemplative as well as nature-based practices.  Wilderness solo course. Applied Leadership Project is culminating project carried out in collaboration with community partners.
  • Career directions: leadership towards sustainability and environmental health in organizations, communities, or self-designed businesses.
  • Sample of post-degree employment: .Founder and owner, Boulder's Best Organics,   Resource Conservation Specialist with the City of Boulder, Board of Directors of Naturally Boulder- a task force of the Boulder Economic Council, National Outreach Coordinator of Northwest Earth Institute in Portland, OR, Founder and Director of  Community Cycles, Boulder, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Local Environmental Action Division, City of Boulder, Founder of Syzygy Community House a non-profit dedicated to creative sustainability prototyping and education, Executive Director of Colorado Canyons Association, Special Assistant/Community Liaison Office of the Mayor of the City and County of Denver and many more great jobs across the country.
  • Program prerequisites: BA with suggested (not required) undergraduate course from the natural sciences and one undergraduate course from the social sciences.

MA in Transpersonal Psychology – Ecopsychology concentration

Ecopsychology integrates psychology and ecology in the study of human-nature relationships. The low-residency MA provides a thorough overview of the intellectual, philosophical and practical aspects of ecopsychology, deepens our understanding of and connection with nature, articulates our emerging worldview of the human-nature relationship, and contributes in some tangible way to the earth and our communities as a result of our insights, actions and service work.

  • Credits and completion time: 38 credits, 2 years
  • Format: online with short residential components
  • Key components: ecopsychological and transpersonal psychology theory and practice, including contemplative practice. Wilderness solo course. Service learning placement in the student’s community. Master’s thesis.
  • Career directions: Graduates will apply it in a variety of career areas including education, business, social services, health care, environmental advocacy, organizational development and community development.
  • Sample of post-degree employment: wilderness work with corporate leaders, creating websites and study groups on ecopsychology, teaching in a Waldorf high school, wilderness rites of passage with teens, teaching art and ecopsychology at the university level, and guiding ecopsychology retreats and seminars.
  • Program prerequisites: BA and writing sample; some familiarity with transpersonal psychology or ecopsychology.

MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology – Wilderness Therapy concentration

The Wilderness Therapy curriculum combines psychological counseling skills with disciplines such as adventure therapy, ecopsychology and wilderness skills training. The Wilderness Therapy program prepares students to become professional counselors with the skills and knowledge needed to work in wilderness settings as well as in traditional clinical settings.

  • Credits and completion time: 60 credits, 3 years
  • Format: residential
  • Key components: professional training in counseling as well as wilderness/nature/ecopsychology-based therapy. Contemplative practice. Multiple backcountry expeditions, one as a wilderness solo.
  • Career directions: LPC licensure in traditional counseling or nature/wilderness-based therapeutic programs.
  • Sample of post-degree employment: therapist at a nature/wilderness-based program, therapist at residential program including nature/wilderness-based therapy, addictions counselor, private practice in equine-assisted therapy; counselor in school or college setting.
  • Program prerequisites: BA courses in human development, abnormal psychology, theories of personality plus 14-day wilderness trip.