Natural Resources and Sustainable Development

The Master of Arts Dual Degree Program in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (NRSD) allows participants to study environmental and development policies and practices from the perspectives of both Global South and North, and from both local and global viewpoints. Students spend one year each at UPEACE and at American University's School of International Service in Washington, D.C. American University contributes with strengths in international relations, environmental policy, and economics, while UPEACE provides a unique opportunity to study sustainable development, environmental governance, and natural resources management on the ground in a developing context. All courses at UPEACE include field trips to different locations around Costa Rica where students will learn through direct engagement with government and non-governmental organizations, community members, and other local stakeholders. Graduates of this program receive an MA in International Affairs from American University and an MA in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development from UPEACE.


Admission is handled by American University. Accordingly, all candidates must follow the procedures listed at:

Once the admission applications are complete, applicants are evaluated by faculty at both universities.

To apply on-line, click at:

To receive additional information about the admission process, send a request to:
School of International Service
American University
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C., 20016-8071
Fax: 202-885-2494
Tel: 202-885-164 202-885-1646
While at UPEACE the required courses are:
- Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies (3 credits).
NRD-6020 - Introduction to Research Methods
NRD-6040 - Ecological Foundations for Sustainable Land Use (3 credits)
NRD-6060 - Environmental Conflicts Management (2 credits)
NRD-6080 - Internship (3 credits)

Elective courses at UPEACE may include:
NRD-6020 - System Thinking (1 credit)
NRD-6027 - Fundraising for Sustainable Development (1 credit)
NRD-6050 - Agriculture, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (3 credits)
NRD-6051 - Measuring Sustainability (1 credit)
NRD-6075 - Forestry, Forests and Poverty (3 credits)
NRD-6081 - San José Environmental Seminar (1 credit)
NRD-6083 - Natural Resources Management Field Course (3 credits)
NRD-6092 - Management of Coastal Resources (3 credits)
NRD-6093 - Sustainable Tourism (3 credits)
ESP-6010 - Introduction to Environmental Security (3 credits)
ESP-6051 - Environmental Justice and Social Movements (2 credits)
ESP-6060 - Water, Security and Peace (3 credits)
ESP-6070 - Disaster Risk Reduction at the Local Level (3 credits)
ESP-6071 - Urban Environmental Security (3 credits)
ESP-6090 - Hunger, Famine and Food Security (3 credits)
ESP-6100 - Environmental Security Assessment (3 credits)
ESP-6120 - Human Vulnerability and Climate Change (3 credits)
ESP-6150 - Environmental Governance (1 credit)

For complete course descriptions, course calendar and information about the prefessors, please follow this link.

For a list of the courses offered at American University, please follow the link of the School of International Service.