Environmental Policy

Admission to the International Environmental Policy program is based on a candidate's prior academic record, professional experience and foreign language proficiency.

Admissions Requirements Overview

Language Proficiency

You have the opportunity to develop and integrate foreign language and intercultural communication skills within your degree program for professional purposes.

Native English Speakers

You will complete at least 8 credits of advanced language courses as part of your language and intercultural competency degree requirement. You may choose to select an additional 1-4 credits of language coursework or 1-4 credits of intercultural competency coursework to satisfy this requirement. To ensure the greatest improvement in your second language ability, the 8-12 credits of language study must be dedicated to a single language, unless you have 400-level or above proficiency.

You are expected to be at the following level by the time you begin the degree program:

Spanish or Arabic: At the 200-level, equivalent to second-year college level
You will have completed at least one recent academic year of beginning language coursework successfully. OR You will have completed one summer of intensive language course successfully before enrolling in your degree program.

Chinese, French, Japanese Russian or any other language: At the 300-level, equivalent to third-year college level
You will have completed at least two recent academic years of language coursework successfully. OR You will have completed one recent academic year plus one summer of intensive language course successfully before enrolling in your degree program.


Please note that it is not the number of years of language study you have completed that determines your eligibility to enter our language program, but your ability to read, write, speak and listen in your language of choice at the time of enrollment. Your past academic coursework is not part of this requirement.

Non-Native English Speakers

We recognize that many of our international students come to the Monterey Institute with sophisticated language backgrounds. Terms like "native-speaker," "fluent," or "bilingual" often do not accurately reflect the rich backgrounds of our students.

If you did not receive your high school and/or college education in English, your Language of Study will be English. You will be asked to demonstrate English proficiency as part of the admission process.

TOEFL or IELTS Scores

You must provide evidence of English proficiency from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examinations. Scores are valid if you've taken the exam within the last two years.

Minimum TOEFL Scores Minimum IELTS Scores
  • Internet-based test: 79
  • Writing sub-score: 23

(No sub-scores below 19)

  • 6.5 Overall

(No Sub-score below 6.0)

Alumni of U.S. or U.K. Colleges and Universities

If you have completed your entire undergraduate program at a U.S. or U.K. college or university, you will not be required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS scores. These scores may also be waived on a case by case basis, if you have completed extensive academic work in English. Contact us to learn more >>

Test Your Language Proficiency

Diagnostic Test

Self-assess the level at which you read, write and understand your target language of study.

Placement Test

New students are required to complete an online language placement test prior to orientation week.

Summer Language Scholarships

If you're an admitted student, the Betty and David Jones Language Scholarships will offer you the opportunity to attend the Monterey Institute's summer language programs and to enhance your language skills before your master's program begins. Languages include: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.

Economics Prerequisite

While completed coursework in economics is not a requirement to apply to the Monterey Institute, we strongly recommend that students preparing to enter the IEP program complete their economics study before matriculating to the Monterey Institute. There are several ways you can meet the economics prerequisite.

Students in the International Environmental Policy (IEP) program will only need to demonstrate proficiency in microeconomics in preparation for the required Environment & Natural Resource Economics (IPOL 8542) course. A background in macroeconomics is recommended, but not required.

Standardized Test Scores

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

GRE scores are not required. However, applicants who have taken the GRE are encouraged to submit them because they may positively influence merit scholarship awards. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 are strongly encouraged to submit GRE scores for admission consideration. Please use our four-digit institution code [4507] to send us your scores.

Accelerated & Advanced Entry

Applicants may qualify for advanced entry if they meet one or more of the following requirements: you have an advanced degree, significant coursework in environmental studies, and significant professional experience. We grant advanced entry students up to 24 academic credits based upon their qualifications.

Additionally, our students may qualify for accelerated entry if they have past graduate coursework in related fields. You may transfer up to 25% of total degree program credits from an accredited college or university and, therefore, complete your degree in three semesters.

Joint MBA/MA in International Environmental Policy

Students can broaden their career options by earning both an MBA in Global Impact Management and an MA in International Environmental Policy in 5 semesters. Applicants may qualify for the joint degree program if they meet the requirements above (including language), as well as submit test score from the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) with all other application materials. GRE test scores may be received as a substitute for the GMAT, as our Admissions Team is able to convert the score.
Learn more about the Joint MBA/MA in International Environmental Policy program.