Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Arlington, VA


Details at a Glance

  • School Type

  • Application Fee

  • Average In-State Tuition

  • Average Out-of-State Tuition

  • Financial Aid Available


Our Program

Programs designed for future global sustainability leaders in business, government, and civil society

Serving students since 2010, the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability is housed within Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Virginia Tech’s educational capabilities are globally respected, and students are ensured a quality educational experience with our fully accredited university. 

The Master of Natural Resources (MNR) degree is designed for working professionals aiming to advance their careers or shift to leadership roles in the environmental and sustainability fields or functions. 

Our interdisciplinary graduate education programs equip current and aspiring environmental and sustainability professionals with the competencies, connections, and confidence to become more effective leaders, now and in the future.

Subjects of Study:

Climate Change and Resiliency

Energy Systems

Food and Agriculture

Water and Watersheds

Poverty and Development

Urbanization and Sustainable Cities

Circular Economy and Sustainable Business

Market and Governance Transformations

Global Flows and Supply Chains

Biodiversity and Ecosystems

Delivered through two flexible programs—Executive (in-person/online hybrid) and Online—our innovative instruction allows you to immediately apply what you learn to real-world challenges.

Flexible Formats: 

Diverse undergrad majors welcomed

Graduate in as few as 12 months

30-credit, non-thesis degree

10-day overseas Global Study 

No GRE required

Environmental science background is not required

Admission decisions are based on both academic and professional experience

No additional cost for out-of-state or international students

Executive program meets one weekend a month in the Washington, D.C. metro area

A graduate degree from a widely respected and fully accredited university like Virginia Tech can lead to new rewarding career opportunities, whether you are looking to step up or pivot. To help chart career trajectories, all of our students receive personalized career coaching.


  • Application Fee



  • checkbox-altTOEFL
  • checkbox-altCertified Academic Transcripts
  • checkbox-alt2 Letters of Recommendation
  • checkbox-altRequirements for admission include: Undergraduate degree (minimum GPA of 3.0*) Virginia Tech Application for Admission $75 non-refundable application fee Prior professional experience Current resume / CV Two professional recommendations Official copies of relevant academic transcripts No GRE required; TOEFL may be required for international students per Virginia Tech Graduate School requirements. *If your GPA is below 3.0, but you have performed at a B-level of higher in other graduate courses, your application will be considered.

Additional Requirements

Financial Aid

Most students opt for the Federal Stafford Loans to cover the costs of attending the program. Contact Emily Talley, our academic advisor, at to discuss further.

Employer Support

We encourage our applicants to involve their employer’s management and human resources decision-makers early on in the application process. This allows employers to understand an applicant’s motivation for pursuing the MNR degree and appreciate the benefits of having their employees participate in the program.

Application Deadline

Executive MNR admissions are processed on a rolling basis. The application process takes approximately two to three weeks. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible, as annual cohorts have only a limited number of students and tend to fill up quickly.

Executive MNR Early Admission Scholarships:

$2,000 for qualified applications submitted by May 1

$1,000 for qualified applications submitted by August 1

Online MNR program accepts applications for Fall, Spring, and Summer terms. Deadlines are as follows, but we encourage students to apply as early as possible once they have made their decision:

Term Deadline

Fall August 1

Spring January 1

Summer May 1

Student Body

  • Total Students

    pound35 Students
  • Female

    female63% Female
  • Male

    male37% Male


  • checkbox-altApproximately half of our students are “career advancers,” meaning they have an academic and/or professional background in this field and are looking to use their Master’s degree to help improve their job performance or advance on a particular career path. The other half of our students are “career changers,” meaning they may not have any academic or professional experience in the field and are looking to make a significant career transition. We work with each student to help them accomplish their own academic and career goals.
  • checkbox-altAverage Age: 36 and Age Range: 25-51
  • checkbox-altSector of primary professional experience: Business: 40% Government: 30% Civil Society : 30%
  • checkbox-altGeography Virginia: 20%; Out-of-State: 80% Note: 40% of students commute to D.C. for monthly meetings by plane

What Our Students Say

  • “In the program, my cohort was so diverse, both in backgrounds and geographies, that I learned a lot about where people are coming from and what they have at stake. The range of issues we covered in the courses showed me that sustainability can be applied everywhere.”

    KARLEE SIEPIERSKI, Master of Natural Resources ‘16
  • “I was looking to move my career from a mid-level government employee to an executive position. A year and a half after graduating, I am now the executive director of a non-profit.”

    KATE FRITZ, Master of Natural Resources ‘12
  • “They're really teaching you the skills you need to be a leader in your field and to understand decisions that other leaders are making.”

    VIRGINIA FOSTER, Master of Natural Resources ‘13

Tuition & Financial Aid

  • Average In-State Tuition

  • Average Out-of-State Tuition


Additional Information

  • checkbox-altFinancial Aid Available
  • checkbox-altExecutive MNR: Total program cost is $41,500 for all students, including a $500 non-refundable deposit to confirm a place in the cohort. Online MNR: $900 tuition per credit hour. The Virginia Tech College of Natural Resources & Environment (CNRE) has a special rate for graduate students in the Online MNR.