State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

MPA ESP Alumni Discuss Success After Graduation

As the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy Class of 2015 starts their second semester of courses, we invite you to learn more about the 682 alumni of the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program. Over the past 12 years, the program has seen graduates take on leading roles in the public, private, and non-profit sectors all over the world. Their diverse training in the hard sciences, social sciences, and practical, real-world Workshop courses allow the students to excel in jobs across all sectors. We recently asked some program alumni to reflect on their professional success after graduation from the program.

“There is no program like ours in the world,” said Steven Cohen, Director of the program. “So, employers call us all the time looking for our graduates. Our students get opportunities nobody else does.”

Throughout this one-year program, students are immersed in courses that combine Columbia University’s hands-on approach to teaching public policy and administration with pioneering thinking about the environment. Drawing on resources from the School of International and Public Affairs, as well as The Earth Institute, MPA ESP students have a competitive advantage upon their completion of the degree.

“Going to the ESP program was the best decision I ever could have made,” said Hannah Thonet (ESP ’13), who serves as the Chief of Staff for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. “It catapulted my career forward. I couldn’t be happier.”

Applications are now available for the Summer 2015 term. Visit our website to learn more about the application process. Or join us for one of our upcoming information sessions, hosted both on-campus and across the United States.


Students in the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program enroll in a year-long, 54-credit program offered at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, in partnership with the Earth Institute.

Since it began in 2002, the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program has given students the hands-on experience, and the analytical and decision-making tools to implement effective environmental and sustainable management policies. The program’s 682 graduates have advanced to jobs in domestic and international environmental policy, working in government, private and non-profit sectors. Their work involves issues of sustainability, resource use and global change, in fields focused on air, water, climate, energy efficiency, food, agriculture, transportation and waste management. They work as consultants, advisers, project managers, program directors, policy analysts, teachers, researchers, and environmental scientists and engineers.

Visit our website for more information:


Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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