Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. –Nelson Mandela
Viridis Graduate Institute is on the forefront of a changing landscape in education.
The Master of Arts in the Social Sciences with an Emphasis in Ecopsychology & Sustainability (MASSES) combines experiential and inquiry based learning in a dynamic online global classroom with instruction in natural settings (ReWilding Residency), making education a more diverse, expansive and inclusive experience.
Our role as citizens of the Earth is being questioned at the deepest levels by global ecological and economic crisis, a changed climate, gender violence, and habitat destruction that are breaking individual and community psyches. We need now, more than ever, an ecopsychological education.
Ecopsychology is a comprehensive examination, exploration and inquiry into our manner of living. Students examine the human ecosystem, as well as organizations, institutions, communities and global societies as interconnected systems on earth. The study of interactions among organisms that create the many ecosystems on our planet and their environment is the study of home, of our ecology.
We are a species that impacts all other species and habitats on the earth. We are in relationship to all of life whether we are conscious of this or not – this is the study of our psychology. Psychology is the language psyche or soul uses to communicate and educate us about our behaviors and attitudes – about who we are.
Ecopsychology offers ways to change behaviors driving destructive patterns in our lives and how we think about solving some of the complex interconnected social, economic and environmental problems in our world.
VGI graduates are prepared to tackle community and global issues by applying ecopsychological skills, training and knowledge toward creative, practical and inclusive solutions that effect sustainable change in any organization, institution, industry, or vocation. Our focused curriculum combined with the most creative teachers make all the difference in providing students with a high quality education that has personal and social value.
This is an excellent next-step program for students graduating from environmental studies, the social and natural sciences, or the humanities.
As a second degree, it offers a deeper complexity to an existing knowledge base for those in the health care and therapeutic fields, community/urban design, business and executive leadership, governance, policymaking, education, community leadership, local and international activism, personal coaching, and for those citizens interested in how we can participate in our evolutionary process.
Applications are accepted year around, however to secure place in class application must be in by June 1 for fall program start date.
VGI will be starting our second Master’s program in ecopsychology fall of 2015. Applications are being accepted.
Tuition and Other Fees
Tuition 2015: $15,000
VGI believes that all individuals – regardless of income, socioeconomic background, or geographic location – should have access to quality, cost-effective higher education. Therefore, an essential part of our mission is to keep tuition very affordable.
Note: Tuition fees does not include textbooks costs, ReWilding fee, or graduation fee.
Year 1: $7,000
Summer Internship: $500
IT Fee (nonrefundable): $500
Year 2: $7,000
ReWilding Fee: $475 four day residency (Thursday evening – Sunday noon).
Airfare not included in ReWilding fee. Students make their own convenient flight and transportation arrangements for each ReWilding Residency.
Competency Based Education
Each course is 3 competency units. There are three courses per quarter totaling 61 CU’s. Students must complete 61 CU’s to graduate with MASSES degree.
Competency-based programs allow students to demonstrate through assessments that they have acquired the set of competencies (levels of knowledge, skill, and ability) required for a particular degree or certificate. VGI students demonstrate mastery of competencies by exhibiting their understanding, skill and knowledge through the completion of application-based projects, written papers, creative projects, and completing assessments.
An assessment may come in many different forms, including:
- Assignments involving problem-solving skills, critical thinking, creative and imaginative thinking, reasoning, novelty, communication and presentation skills.
- Projects requiring the student to design based on ecopsychological principles and applications;
- Reflection essays, individual journaling; and
- Research papers on particular topics.
Student Summer Internship Program
Students engage in a summer internship their first year in the MASSES program. Students choose an appropriate internship site where they can begin applying ecopsychological principles and ideas, and to obtain training experience in an area of their interest.
- Gain on-the-job experience
- Have an opportunity for permanent job placement
- Establish important local, regional and international relationships
- Benefit from Mentorship
Program Start Date
The master’s program starts off with our fall ReWilding Residency: August 27-30, 2015.
We will get to know each other, begin our instruction with you and explore some of the most beautiful landscapes together.
Courses begin: September 14, 2015
Length of Program: 7 quarters
Fall Quarter: September – November (December off)
Winter Quarter: January – March
Spring Quarter: April – June
Summer Quarter: July – August
All degree courses meet weekly for two hours online with VGI instructor in live interactive format.
Viridis Graduate Institute’s online educational delivery system (OCEANS) is designed for students to learn from a variety of methods and materials. Our WebEx robust virtual classroom provides the best technology for student / teacher interaction, as well as for students to develop an interactive community on their own.
Bachelor Degree Required: Yes
Minimum Bachelor GPA (4.0 Scale): 3.0 or Higher
Bachelor Degree Must Be in Same Subject Area: No
Non USA Students Eligible: Yes
Dual Degree Options
Students may be enrolled with VGI and a second graduate school program simultaneously while pursuing a dual degree with MBA / MPA / MPP / MIA / MSN / MEM / MF / Med / MS Conservation / JD degrees.
International Students – English Proficiency Requirement
VGI programs are offered in English. Please be sure that you meet this requirement before submission of application.
Course work at Viridis Graduate Institute requires strong English language skills. VGI measures your English proficiency by either (a) your performance on the TOEFL or IELTS exam or (b) your educational background. We strongly recommend that all students whose first language is not English take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. Minimum acceptable scores on the TOEFL exam are 600 for paper-based, 250 for computer-based, or 100 for internet-based. The acceptable minimum for IELTS is a score of 7. Students who have completed a bachelors, masters, or doctoral degree from an accredited institution in the United States or an English-speaking country will be considered for exemption from the TOEFL or IELTS.
Work experience in a related field is considered desirable, although not required. Students are selected for admission based on their academic background and related work experience.
Credits do not transfer due to the specialization of the degree. However, courses taken by the student are taken into consideration as part of the admission process.
Consideration for admission will be based not only on the completion of an earlier course of study, but also upon the quality of the record presented and assessment via an interview process to establish the candidate’s personal fitness to pursue professional work.
What Our Students Are Saying
This first year of the program has been more rewarding than I could have ever anticipated. I feel I am gaining the subtle yet crucial abilities that are so often overlooked in more traditional sustainability-oriented programs. The deep personal work these courses require has enabled me to make connections, sharpen my systems thinking skills, and spot patterns that have helped me develop new ways of thinking.
This program is about flourishing and lives up to its claim every day, supporting us and creating a warm community in which one can easily forget we are miles apart. I will be forever grateful, and so happy we still have a year to go.
With one year of learning under my belt, I am grateful for my experience in Ecopsychology and Sustainability at Viridis Graduate Institute. It is so meaningful to combine my love of nature with human behavior as we explore how to make changes so important for our planet. Studying the natural world in terms of sustainability better positions those of us who love the earth to protect all forms of life that surround us.
We look forward to your participation.