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Master's Degrees

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A master’s degree and executive master's degree from Vermont Law and Graduate School is about more than legal theory. By studying advocacy, regulations, legislation, and markets, you will acquire the tools needed to create a more sustainable world.

Our master’s degrees are designed to be completed in 12 months on-campus or as little as 18 months online, though students have up to five years to obtain their degree. The programs (excluding our executive master's) can be started on campus in the fall semester, or online in semester.

Also, all master’s degrees with the exception of the Executive Master in Environmental Policy can be pursued jointly with our juris doctor program.

Our executive master's degree is designed to be completed on a part-time basis in 16 months with 7-week accelerated courses for working professionals.

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree is a 36-credit interdisciplinary degree designed to provide students the tools necessary to understand and solve complex issues related to public policy. This program will help students develop knowledge in foundational elements of public policy coupled with concentration in animal protection policy, food and agricultural policy, community resilience, energy regulation, and justice reform policy. MPP courses are offered online and in person during our summer session.

Master of Legal Studies (MLS)

The Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program is a one-year, 30-credit program designed for non-lawyers who would like to learn about U.S. laws and regulations. This program will help students develop legal knowledge, skills, and networks in specific areas of law tailored to their career interests. The curriculum includes three required courses, a variety of electives, and an advanced writing requirement. MLS courses will initially be offered as a residential program on the VLGS campus in South Royalton, Vermont, with online and hybrid options planned for the future. Students will benefit from intensive mentor guidance and strong comparative law expertise.

Executive Master of Environmental Policy (EMEP)

(Offered online only)

The Executive Master of Environmental Policy (EMEP) degree is a public policy degree created for mid-level professionals seeking advanced credentials or a career change. Designed to be completed on a part-time basis through an accelerated 7-week course structure to complement a professional’s busy work schedule, students are afforded many opportunities to connect with a wide range of like-minded peers and instructors who are leaders in their field. Although all courses are offered online, students have the option to attend on-campus courses in Vermont, including during the 2-week summer sessions. The EMEP degree is designed for professionals in a variety of fields including environmental compliance, water/wastewater, regulatory affairs, city and regional planning, sustainability specialists, and risk management specialists.

Master of Climate and Environmental Policy (MCEP)

(Offered residentially and online)

The Master of Climate and Environmental Policy (MCEP) degree is a robust applied public policy degree dedicated to the environment. Degree-seekers will receive the tools needed to make change — especially finding and implementing solutions to the greatest challenges of our day at the intersection of climate change and environmental justice. MCEP students may specialize in a range of areas within the field of environmental policy, including Climate Change, Environmental Justice, or Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). All MCEP students choose between a "research track" to write a thesis, or a "practice track" to pursue an externship or on-campus clinic. MCEP students gain the core skills needed to shape environmental policy and integrate issues of racial and economic justice into practice and policymaking — including environmental research and writing, policy design, climate justice, structural inequality, public participation, and consensus-building.

Master of Animal Protection Policy (MAPP)

(Offered residentially and online)

The Master of Animal Protection Policy (MAPP) degree is designed to educate animal law and policy leaders. Through specialized courses and practical training, students gain skills to navigate law and policy landscapes and effectuate change for animals in a wide range of arenas and growing career paths. Animal law and policy is a rapidly expanding field, with an increasing number of students and employers recognizing and focusing on the interconnection between human, environmental, and animal well-being. VLGS is uniquely positioned to train students to effectively advocate for animals given the decades-long history as a pioneer in animal law, distinguished faculty, robust and active network of alumni in leadership positions, and collaborative programs.

Master of Energy Regulation and Law (MERL)

(Offered residentially and online)

The Master of Energy Regulation and Law (MERL) degree is focused on law and policy governing energy use, production, and transmission. You’ll develop a broad-based understanding of the intersection of energy and law, regulation, policy, and economic analysis. The MERL offers practical training in public advocacy and writing for a legal and policy audience, opportunities for independent research with support from faculty, and externships at organizations around the country.

Master of Food and Agricultural Law and Policy (MFALP)

(Offered residentially and online)

Taught by faculty affiliated with the school's Center for Agricultural and Food Systems, the MFALP program teaches students to use law and policy to support sustainable and just food systems. The curriculum includes food and agricultural law and policy classes, a wide range of environmental law and policy electives, and courses in writing and advocacy. Experiential opportunities with state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and advocacy groups prepare graduates for careers in policy and advocacy.

Master of Arts in Restorative Justice (MARJ)

(Offered residentially and online)

The Master of Restorative Justice (MARJ) degree was created for students who want to address deficiencies in our justice system and become the next generation of justice leaders. The curriculum combines traditional law courses with restorative justice courses, simulations, and experiential learning opportunities to prepare graduates for careers in restorative justice. The program is poised to train students who want to develop new approaches to criminal justice.