Program Description

The Master of Arts in Environmental Practice (MAEP) is designed to provide lifelong learning opportunities for environmental professionals and leaders in Canada and beyond. It provides the knowledge and practical hands-on skills and experience to enable you to successfully tackle the intractable environmental issues of our age - from local to global scales.

The flexible, self-directed, fully online program allows you to pursue your own interests and curiosity through the courses and activities you choose and enables you to stretch intellectually into leading-edge research and application with which you may not be familiar. As a self-directed online program, the MAEP allows you to speed up completion or slow it down depending on what your life is like at any given time.

Professionals with heavy job requirements, people living in remote areas, or those with family or community demands that do not permit travel or physical presence on campus, have chosen this program to achieve a Master’s credential which might not have otherwise been possible. The program enables you as an environmental professional, to advance your career or to transition into the exciting and rewarding environmental sector from other areas.

While the MScEP program encourages an integrated science approach, addressing all of the social, natural, physical sciences, cultural and humanities aspects of environmental problems, the Arts stream prepares environmental professionals to address the crucial human dimensions of environmental issues.

As an MAEP student, you'll be able to take the Graduate Certificate in Science and Policy of Climate Change as part of your program. A unique opportunity for cross-border awareness and for a broader perspective is provided by access to courses offered by the University College, University of Denver, in their Master's degree program in Environmental Policy and Management. Our 30 credit totally online Master of Arts in Environmental Practice degree prepares you, at your own pace, to transition into an exciting new career, to advance your existing career, to receive professional certification, to contribute to solving environmental problems, and to ensure a future for our planet.

Who It’s For

Students who have graduated from this program praise it for giving them the flexibility to complete the program no matter what life throws in their way. The Master's in Environmental Practice is designed for those seeking a program that is flexible, self-directed, practical, and professionally-focused that can lead to professional certification. The program is primarily designed for:

  • someone who wants to make a difference to your world and ensure a future for our planet;
  • a graduate from any relevant university undergraduate program (very broadly defined since the environment includes everything!);
  • an environmental professional who wishes to advance in your career;
  • environmental professionals seeking leadership and managerial level positions through an advanced degree;
  • an environmental practitioner seeking professional certification or already certified as “environmental professional” (EP) but may require updating to retain active certification;
  • a graduate of the Bachelor of Environmental Practice program or other undergraduate environmental programs;
  • those who wish to transition to an exciting and rewarding environmental career, and;
  • an international university graduate.

If you do not have the formal academic education to qualify for admission, you may be assessed on the basis of both your formal education and your informal learning and experience, in accordance with the Flexible Admission Policy.

How is the program designed and delivered?

This fully online program consists of 30 credits (9 or 10) courses. To begin the program you’ll take two required core courses and at the end of the program, you’ll choose to take either the practicum or the research paper course. In between, you have a choice of core and elective courses.

You may also take up to 3 elective courses from the University of Denver and, with permission, you may also include the 9 credit Graduate Certificate in Science and Policy of Climate Change as part of your program. Unlike correspondence courses, all courses begin and end on a given date and must be taken during that time frame. Royal Roads University instructors are active scholar-practitioners and the courses are designed with cutting edge educational interactive technologies and activities to ensure engagement and interaction with professors and your fellow students. Learn more about the program's delivery model

Outcomes and Careers

Graduates of the MA in Environmental Practice are working in a wide variety of jobs in the private, public, and civil society sectors. Graduates will have the skills and knowledge to manage environmental professionals to effectively address the human dimensions of environmental problems. As a graduate, you will be able to:

  • apply your knowledge to environmental issues in your work environment;
  • assess the environmental and socio-economic elements of sustaining a healthy environment and societal well-being as an environmental practitioner Develop and evaluate goals, objectives, and strategies, for approaching environmental problems taking a range of perspectives into consideration;
  • prepare, communicate and implement action plans;
  • manage projects and write policy briefs;
  • advise Governments and Organizations about environmental issues, standards and legislation;
  • make decisions that require a broad understanding of environmental knowledge, policy and regulation, and leadership skills;
  • solve problems effectively in differing workplace situations;
  • act as a leader who can meet the fundamental challenges of addressing complex environmental issues;
  • possess the skills and knowledge to coordinate and integrate different perspectives to aid public and private bodies to make informed decisions;
  • possess a broad environmental vision and a sound understanding of how environmental issues are addressed under different jurisdictions and the dynamics of both the public and private sectors.

The environmental jobs sector is one of the fastest-growing employment sectors in Canada. Research by ECO Canada has shown the most important technical and soft skills needed for a career in the environmental professions are the following:

  • Policy and legislation
  • Sustainability
  • Climate Change
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Public Awareness
  • Industry Knowledge
  • Health and Safety
  • Research and Development
  • Collaboration
  • Project Management
  • Report Writing

All these skills are part of the MAEP curriculum, both directly in courses such as ENVR 571: Legal Aspects of Environmental Management, ENVR 560: Environmental Accounting and Reporting, ENVR 626: Leadership and Sustainable Development, ENVR660, Environmental Management Tools, and PJMN 501: Managing Complex Projects and also as learning outcomes within many of the program courses.

Graduates have gone on to successful careers in roles such as:

  • Environmental Policy analyst
  • Environmental Planner
  • Environmental Manager
  • Environmental and Social Impact Assessment
  • Health and Safety and Environmental Coordinator
  • Manager of Environment and Climate Change
  • Environmental Project Coordinator
  • Environmental Educator
  • Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting

In organizations including:

  • Municipal Governments
  • Environmental Consultancies
  • Government Agencies at all levels
  • NGOs
  • First Nations
  • Natural Resources Companies
  • United Nations
  • Industry

Download the ECO Canada guide about the Masters Environmental Practice program and learn more about outcomes and careers in the environmental field.

In addition, the environmental jobs sector is one of the fastest-growing employment sectors in Canada. Watch this webinar recording to hear the latest labor market findings for environmental work in Canada.

Professional Certification

The Royal Roads University and ECO Canada (Environmental Careers Organization of Canada) partnership was established in response to the growing demand for environmental education that teaches applied, practical, industry-standard skills and prepares graduates for immediate entry to the workforce.

Through this strategic partnership, we are able to provide knowledge and skills training aligned to National Occupational Standards (NOS), and informed by Canada’s leading center for environmental labor market research.

Environmental Professional (EP) Certification

Upon completion of the Master of Arts in Environmental Practice program, you will have fulfilled the academic requirements for Environmental Professional (EP) certification through ECO Canada.

Depending on your work experience and competency levels across NOS skill and knowledge domains, you may be eligible to apply for EP certification upon graduation. As a nationally-recognized designation that signifies professional excellence and integrity, EP certification follows the EP Code of Ethics and requires a commitment to continuing professional development and current practices. Explore additional benefits of certification, and find out if you qualify by taking the EP Assessment quiz. Learn more about becoming an Environmental Professional:

Learn more about the admission requirements. For more information about the MAEP program or how to apply, connect with an Advisor by email, or call 250.391.2528 or 1.877.778.6227 (toll-free).

Curious to know more about Royal Roads' School of Environment & Sustainability? Visit our blog to read all about our exciting projects, faculty research, reflection on current events, and more.