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School of Graduate Studies

A line of large wind turbines set in front of a blue sky

School of Graduate Studies

Master of Arts in Sustainability Studies M.A.

Contemplate the critical environmental, economic, social, and cultural challenges of our time. Solve problems. Lead the way.

In Sustainability Studies at Trent, you will have the opportunity to turn interdisciplinary inquiry into insight to solve problems and increase sustainability.

The first program of its kind in Canada, this program encourages you to tailor your educational experience. Pursue your interests as you explore the sustainability of human societies and the natural environment.

At Trent, you will work with award-winning scholars, leading academics and practitioners as you contemplate complex challenges. Your education and research will be contributing directly to the understanding of environmental sustainability, economic prosperity, and social responsibility. Whether you’re headed for further academic training, or setting out to meet the growing demand for highly qualified personnel in the public and private sectors, you will be preparing to make a difference.

  • Make connections with organizations that strive to minimize the environmental footprint while contributing to the economic and social advancement of communities in which they operate.
  • Prepare for a cutting-edge career in the green economy, social enterprise and entrepreneurship.
  • Live and learn in a spectacular campus that walks the talk of a sustainable community.

Help to meet the increasing worldwide demand for organizational sustainability professionals by choosing the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management stream.

As a dedicated Sustainability Studies student who is committed to enacting change, you can pursue interdisciplinary inquiry and solve problems through course work, research and experiential learning opportunities.

At Trent, a Canadian originator of academic programming in this area, you will gain real-world experience through a full-time, co-op field placement in year two of your degree. Guided by complementary course instruction in research methods, professional development and entrepreneurship, you will acquire the tools and expertise to address complex social and environmental challenges in practical ways.

With the support of award-winning scholars, leading academics and practitioners, your action research will be contributing directly to existing scholarship and professional practice related to environmental sustainability, economic prosperity and social responsibility. You will be prepared to lead, build, and maintain start-up enterprises and small, growing operations in the public and private sectors.

Sustainability Studies M.A. website

Program Options 

  • M.A.
  • Full- or part-time studies
  • Thesis-based, major research paper or internship
  • 2 years full time

​Admission Requirements 

  • B.Sc. or B.A. honours degree (a four year undergraduate bachelor's degree) in a related field
  • At least A- (80%, GPA 3.7) in the last ten undergraduate credits
  • Appropriate previous education and training, plus feasible proposed course of study and research project
  • A foundation in appropriate research methodology

Required Documents

Official Transcripts

Submit one official copy for all post secondary education institutions, including incomplete studies/programs, transfer courses, letter of permission and exchanges. In order to be considered official, transcripts must be received by Trent University in envelopes sealed by the issuing institution, or received from the Ontario Universities' Application Centre. Trent students do not need to order Trent University transcripts. The School of Graduate Studies will obtain your Trent University transcripts for your application free of charge.

Two Letters of Reference

Academic references are preferred; however, professional references will be accepted. Links for your referees to submit an online reference will be sent directly to the referees you have provided on your application. We recommend you contact your referees prior to submitting an application to confirm their availability and contact information. If your referee does not receive the link, you can suggest that your referee check their junk email folder and email setting.  The email may have unintentionally been blocked by their email server.

Proof of Citizenship

(ie. copy of passport or birth certificate)

Proof of English Language Proficiency

Proficiency in English usage, both written and oral, is essential to pursue graduate studies at Trent University. It Is required for applicants to demonstrate an adequate level of English proficiency, regardless of their citizenship status or country of origin. Applicants who completed two or more years of post-secondary education at a university in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the USA are exempt from this requirement. If you have completed two or more years of post-secondary education at a university where the primary language of instruction is English, the School of Graduate Studies is prepared to consider alternate proof of English language proficiency.

For detailed information about English Language Proficiency requirements, see International Applications

Applicants must make their own arrangements for taking language tests and having the results sent to the School of Graduate Studies in time to meet application deadlines by contacting the centre in their locale or by writing to one of the above.

Plan of Study          template

Typically 1-2 pages, outlining applicant's objectives in a graduate program. Any specific research interests (if known), relevant experiences, and/or career aspirations can be included. If a potential supervisor has been discussed, please identify this in your plan of study. Please indicate in the subject line of your email: student name and MA.SUST. Email to: graduate@trentu.ca .

A Writing Sample

Submit a sample of your writing of about 20 pages or less. Writing samples preferred format is PDF. Hard copies will not be accepted. Good choices for writing samples include:  an undergraduate essay, lab report, research report, journal article, a chapter from a masters thesis, or a published article. Please indicate in the subject line of your email: student name and MA.SUST. Email to: graduate@trentu.ca .

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