A version of the ISAT master's degree is offered as a dual degree, international master's program jointly with the University of Malta and is supported by JMU's Center for Global Engagement. This 42-credit hour program offers a specialized course of study in environmental management and sustainability and is taught entirely in Malta as an accelerated 12-month degree program. Both JMU and University of Malta faculty contribute equally to instruction and project or thesis supervision. Students who successfully complete the degree requirements are awarded a Master of Science degree from each university.
The M.S. in ISAT with a concentration in environmental management and sustainability is designed to build holistic thinking and problem solving using systems perspectives on environmental and sustainability challenges. The curriculum explores principles of sustainability science from Earth systems, natural resource and societal perspectives. It also builds a suite of analytical methods and competencies including GIS, cross-cultural project management, field techniques and statistics. Elective course work builds depth through specialized classes in additional analytical methods, policy analysis, and resource conservation and management. Students broadly focus on either natural resource conservation (such as biodiversity, water resources or agricultural resources) or on sustainable technology management (such as energy conservation or industrial processes). Electives are selected in consultation with, and approved by, the student's graduate adviser to help students build a coherent and meaningful program of study.
Students complete a four credit hour capstone project; exceptional students may opt to complete a master's research thesis, which requires approval from the program's Board of Studies. Students completing the thesis option should expect that their program of study will be 16 months instead of 12. Details on the curriculum structure, required course work, available electives and a program calendar may be found on the program website.