Cultivate your mastery and deepen your passions with an education of personal and planetary significance. Apply learning and research to inspire a more interconnected, humane and healthy future.
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July 10, 2023
July 08, 2024
Designed with the earth in mind, the Master of Arts in Environmental Education and Communication features a comprehensive curriculum that concerns itself with both the beauty and the despair of the world.
Integrate what you know with what you learn here, for practical action in your life and work. You'll develop a broader understanding of sustainability, learn general systems theory and cultivate your own ecological identity. In the larger context of learning, our students often get outside — of the classroom, and of their own mindsets.
You'll also learn creative and strategic communication skills, and practice design thinking. Worldviews, ecopsychology and Indigenous ways of being and knowing will shape a critical awareness of multiple perspectives, and foster a closer connection with the natural world.
Your learning will focus on how we live, act, relate, teach and communicate. Discover more about the interconnectedness of the biosphere through hands-on experience at field school within various Indigenous communities.
This is an invitation to build upon your skills and imagination as an environmental educator and communicator. Applied projects and research that makes a difference will let you immediately practice and live what you are learning.
A highlight of the program is a one-week field school during second residency. Your cohort will immerse in the experience of Indigenous ways of being and knowing, and learn in nature.
Situated in traditional coastal territories within various Indigenous communities, you will study biodiversity and adaptation within a “living laboratory” of the field.
Guest lecturers and Elders from the communities share their knowledge in-situ, allowing you to explore ecological principles that govern ecosystem dynamics and sustainability alongside Indigenous customs, heritage, and lands.
Locations may vary from year to year. To fully participate, a moderate amount of physical activity is required.
You can build to here
If you are interested in this program, you can build up to it gradually, with a one-year graduate diploma or five-month graduate certificate. Connect with an advisor to explore how this program can fit with your work and life.
Once you have completed this program, you'll have skills in finding, and communicating, viable solutions to 21st century challenges. You'll be prepared to inspire change in a broad range of sectors, including communication, policy making, teaching, research and counseling.
This program is delivered through a blend of online learning and on-campus residencies.
Online courses consist of assigned readings, synchronous or asynchronous lectures, interactive discussions, and individual and team assignments.
You’re expected to meet deadlines and contribute meaningfully to your class. Your contributions are a big part of everyone’s learning.
You’ll take one online course at a time for a period of 10 to 12 weeks, with a brief break in between. Each online course requires approximately 10-15 hours of work per week.
You'll start your program with a non-credit, but required, course about academic integrity.
This blended program has two three-week residencies and one two-week residency. The residencies take place at the beginning, middle and end of your program.
Residencies are intensive and immersive. Many students say this time together is the highlight of their program.
During your residency, you can expect to:
- attend classes full time (e.g., Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
- complete homework and individual and team assignments outside of class hours
- take part in extracurricular activities
Expect to encounter:
- experiential learning
- arts- and nature-based inquiry
- field school and field trips
You'll complete your degree by writing a thesis or conducting a major research project combined with an additional elective.
A thesis is a systemic and theoretical study of a significant problem, issue or phenomenon. It demonstrates your ability to analyze research and data, and apply it to solve a problem, understand an issue, or explore an opportunity. The result is a synthesis of information and/or recommendations for further action.
Thinking ahead about what you would like to research is helpful, as it is useful information to include in your application.
Major Research Project option
A Major Research Project is an alternative to the more traditional thesis. It has a more applied focus to address real-world challenges, and the final knowledge products vary widely. You may collaborate with an organization, community or association to conduct a participatory research project that leads toward positive ecological, social and/or structural change. Or, you might focus on creating curriculum, developing teaching tools, writing communication plans and policies, or conducting program evaluations. You could also explore arts-based research to present your final project as a film, podcast series, performance, exhibition or installation.
Work while you learn
Online courses, combined with residencies, allow you to learn without having to give up your current employment. You'll want to check with your employer about your course schedule and any time off you might need. In many cases, employers may support, mentor or sponsor you in your studies.
- Four-year (or comparable) undergraduate degree in a related field, with a minimum GPA of 'B' (3.00/4.33), from a recognized post-secondary institution.
- At least two years of relevant work or volunteer experience.
- Applicants who meet the degree requirement, but not the GPA requirement, will normally be required to complete "Academic Writing and Critical Thinking" several weeks prior to starting the program and obtain a minimum final grade of B (73%).
Applicants who do not meet the Standard Admission requirements will be considered for flexible admission and assessed as follows:
- Normally, six years of relevant work experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
- All flexible admission applicants will normally be required to complete "Academic Writing and Critical Thinking" several weeks prior to starting the program and obtain a minimum final grade of B (73%).
English language proficiency
- If English is not your primary language, please review our English language requirements.
- Our program is designed to be of benefit for a wide range of education and communication practitioners, especially those who have an interest in or a responsibility for leadership in the context of sustainability. As such, work and volunteer experience are key requirements of admission to the program.
- Indication of potential thesis topic and thesis sponsor is beneficial to a candidate’s application.
Learn more about the application requirements.
All applications to this program require submission of the following information and supporting documents before your file can be assessed for admission:
In order to apply online, you will be required to create a log-in account using your email address. You will be required to list all credit courses and/or programs you have completed or are currently enrolled in. An application fee will be required. If your application fees are being paid by a third party, review sponsored student information. Once submitted, you may check the status of your application at any time.
Applicants are responsible for arranging for the submission of official transcripts from ALL post-secondary (higher education) institutions currently or previously attended, for all credit courses and/or programs. Transcripts are not required for non-credit programs or courses, though some programs may require proof of professional certifications or designations.
Transcripts are considered official only if submitted directly by the Registrar or other recognized authority of the providing institution in the institution's original, sealed envelope. If the envelope has been opened, the transcripts are no longer official and new (official) transcripts will be required to complete your application.
All international transcripts or credentials are subject to an international transcript and/or credential evaluation.
Your personal statement should indicate your motivation for seeking entrance to the program. It should comment upon your personal and career goals, the expectations you have for the program in relation to the achievement of your goals, and the strengths you feel you can bring to the program. In your personal statement, it would be useful to discuss the type of project that you would be interested in pursuing as part of your studies. Length of the personal statement should be two pages.
Letters of reference
Ideally, one reference letter is based on your work experience; the other on either your academic performance or your community service. However, two work-related references are acceptable in certain cases.
Reference letters are individual documents that can take a number of formats. Length and level of detail can vary; there is no set standard. That said, your reference letters should confirm that your referee feels you are a suitable candidate for the MA in Environmental Education and Communication, that you will succeed in the program and why, how they feel it will benefit you, and any additional information from the referee that indicates you are a good fit for this program. The context in which the referee has come to know you should also be mentioned.
Your detailed résumé should include the following:
- Education: List all post secondary education, degrees, diplomas, and certificates you have achieved.
- Training/professional development: List career related training and professional development programs completed within the past five years. Include the source of training, and the duration and year completed. List other training and personal development programs not already identified.
- Work experience: Please unpaid work experienceWork Experience: List and describe any voluntary/unpaid post-secondary employment and/or community service experience. Please include the name of the organization, length of service, and a brief description of duties. List positions you have held in this service.
- Information technology training and experience: Briefly describe your level of training and experience in the use of information technology including computers, software and telecommunications networks as tools for business, education, teaching and personal use.
- Professional memberships and affiliations: List memberships and positions you hold/have held in professional associations, service clubs, community/volunteer sector.
- Publications and relevant projects: List of publications and relevant projects.
- Other relevant information : Provide any other information which you believe is relevant to your application and will be of assistance to the review committee.
- Applicants declaring permanent resident or Convention Refugee status in Canada, must submit a copy of their Permanent Resident Card (PR card) along with their application.
- Transcript evaluation fee or credential evaluation report, if submitting international transcripts.
- An official English language proficiency score report or other evidence of proficiency if English is not your primary language.
- Other information or documents as may be requested to determine your eligibility.
For information on how and where to send your supporting documents, please refer to the document submission guidelines.
Financial aid and awards
BMO Bank of Montreal Scholarship for Single Parents
For single parents with high academic standing in a full-time program who value community involvement and personal leadership.
Active students (In-course)
Budh Singh and Kashmir Kaur Dhahan Award
To assist underrepresented students and reward their excellence in education and community leadership.
Active students (In-course)
Indigenous or Metis International Single Parents
Building Peaceful Communities Award
Assists students from Alberta enrolled in Justice Studies and Conflict Analysis and Management programs who demonstrate competency in negotiation and mediation.
Active students (In-course)
Business for Business - Student Entrepreneur Award
Business for Business Networking Group assisting BCom students who demonstrate entrepreneurial spirit and plan to establish or work with a small business in Victoria, BC.
Active students (In-course)
Canada Graduate Scholarships - Doctoral (CGS D) and Doctoral Fellowship program
To reward and retain top-level graduate students at Canadian institutions, to enable a high-quality research training experience for award holders and to foster impacts within and beyond the research environment.
$20,000 to $35,000 renewable for up to 3 years
Student research funding
Canada Training Benefit
The Canada Training Benefit gives workers money to help pay for training, provide income support during training, and offer job protection so that workers can take the time they need to keep their skills relevant and in-demand.
Up to $5,000
Canadian Federation of University Women Victoria - Helen Joy Russell Bursary #3
A bursary for female students in the School of Tourism and Hospitality to reflect Joy's lifelong enjoyment of international travel.
Active students (In-course)
Canadian Federation of University Women Victoria Award in Honour of Elsie M. Stapleford
This award is open to female degree students who reside in BC who have a record of academic excellence.
Active students (In-course)