Georgetown’s New Degree: Tackling, Not Just Talking About, Climate Change

Vishal Agrawal


As a STEM-designated program, a large portion of the coursework is related to the areas of science, tech, engineering, and math. “One of the major reasons for the STEM designation is because we want students to be prepared to analyze complex data and then interpret and apply the data,” says Agrawal.

“At the same time that we’re teaching business skills, we’re teaching quantitative and analytical skills,” adds Sens. “Plus, our location in Washington is extremely important; students have the opportunity to essentially rub elbows with policymakers as they’re working on business and science. I think this is a crucial feature of the program.”


According to Sens, in the past few years Georgetown began developing interdisciplinary programs across schools. This degree is the first of a set of degrees that Georgetown is planning on launching, most of which are related to the environment. “Georgetown is deeply committed to the idea that there are some problems in the world that require solutions,” he says. “By bringing together people working in business, environmental science, and public policy, we’re creating something that’s more than the sum of its parts.”

“We wanted this to be a truly interdisciplinary, integrated approach which really can only be done by collaborating schools across campus,” adds Agrawal. “Our environmental business undergraduate programs didn’t have the environmental science expertise that this new degree has. We wanted to make sure that even if somebody is going into business, they have an environmental science component.”


According to Petrova, millenials make up the majority of the program’s applicants. “Millenials are the most interested in making changes, and making these changes the status quo,” she says.

To gain admission to the program, a GRE or GMAT is not necessary. Plus, there are no requirements for the amount of work experience a prospective student has. “Students could be fresh out of their undergraduate degree, or they could already be in the field and want to add business or environment skills to their portfolio,” says Agrawal.

The school is looking for motivated and dedicated individuals who are passionate about changing the way we do business. In prospective students’ applications, they must submit answers to three essay questions that explain why they want to get accepted in Georgetown’s MS-ESM program. They’re also required to do a short video presentation explaining their career goals and what motivates them to study environment and sustainability.

Agrawal says that this program will allow students to thrive in their careers while also making meaningful change for the world. “Environmental challenges are ever-evolving,” he says. “This program helps to give students the skills they need to keep up with these changes.”

“We have a grand vision, and also a student-centred one,” adds Sens. “This is a program that has tremendous possibilities. I am certain that the student body will have a very satisfying experience.”


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