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International Applicants

International Students at Bard GPS

Bard Graduate Programs in Sustainability welcome applications from international students from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. Our alumni include citizens of many countries in Africa, Asia, South and Central America, and Europe. 

Due to the differing structure of our MS/M.Ed and MBA programs, different visa options are available to international students for different degree programs. Please read this page closely to ensure you understand your eligibility for each degree offering.

M.S. in Environmental Policy
M.S. in Climate Science and Policy
M.Ed. in Environmental Education

International students applying to the Bard CEP degree programs (listed above) qualify for an F or J status student visa. International applicants must be highly proficient in both reading and writing English. Financial Aid options are available for international students.

International Applicants should follow the instructions below. Please plan ahead for international mail delays and request transcripts, translations, and test scores well ahead of the application deadline for which you are applying. 

Please review the admissions requirements carefully prior to starting an application.

Financial Aid information can be found here.

MBA in Sustainability

The hybrid structure of the Bard MBA program does not qualify students for an F or J status student visa. International students applying to the Bard MBA in Sustainability program must either be lawful permanent residents, temporary residents, asylees already in the US,  refugees already in the US, or possess certain nonimmigrant statuses that allow for academic study in the U.S.

Please contact our Admissions Team to verify that your immigration status qualifies you for MBA enrollment prior to applying to the Bard MBA program.

Application Timelines

All MS/MEd programs only accept applications for a fall semester start.

International Applicants:
MS & MEd Degrees*

Milestone First Round Final Round
Submit Application December 1 February 1
Program Decision January  16 March 15
Financial Aid Package January 23 March 22

*Applicants who require an F1/J1 student visa are eligible to apply for the MS in Environmental Policy, MS in Climate Science and Policy, or MEd in Environmental Education. F1/J1 students are not eligible for admission to the MBA in Sustainability. 


Admissions Requirements for International Applicants

Here are the criteria we are looking for in strong international candidates for the program:
  • GPA above a 3.2 US equivalent
  • Proof of English proficiency. Students must either have completed their undergraduate study at an American college/university OR submit English proficiency test scores from one of the three testing agencies listed below. Scores must be equal to or above:
    TOEFL: 100+
    IELTS: 7+
    Duolingo: 120+
  • Completion of 2 undergraduate or graduate science courses with a B- or better grade (biology, ecology, chemistry, environmental science, etc.)
  • Well written personal statement that clearly answers the questions asked and clearly demonstrates your interest in one of our MS or MEd degrees
  • Strong letters of recommendation
  • Ability to finance the degree: while we provide scholarships that cover 60-90% of tuition for international students, we do not cover the full costs of attendance. To qualify for a US visa, you must be able to show you have between $20,000-$25,000 per year in funding in addition to the scholarship we provide. If a student does not have these funds available, we can not process their application.

Financial Aid for International Applicants

GPS International Fellowship: All international applicants are eligible for our GPS International Fellowship. This fellowship covers 60-90% of tuition and is need plus merit-based. All accepted international applicants will be automatically awarded this fellowship if they qualify for the funding. Low-need international applicants will qualify for our GPS Fellowship which offers a 10-40% tuition discount. 
Wangari Maathai Scholarship:* Our Wangari Maathai Scholarship is awarded to one outstanding international student as part of the Wangari Maathai Scholars program each year. This program grants scholarships offering 30-90% tuition discounts to international students who shows promise of a leadership career in environmental policy based on a strong academic portfolio, professional experience, and high quality scholarship application.

Interested students should submit a application of no more than 500 words with their application to the program on the following topic:
Please define and explain leadership in the context of the sustainability challenges we face in the coming decades.

Applicants must be accepted to the Bard CEP masters program and have completed an International Application for Financial Aid in order to qualify. Applications are are reviewed as received, so early application to the program in encouraged.
*This scholarship is received in place of the GPS Fellowship, not in combination with it.

Student Employment:** On-campus employment is available to all international applicants who wish to work while enrolled at Bard. Employment is only available during the first year (if enrolled in the two-year track).  Student employees are paid $6,000 for the year.
**Please note that international students are not eligible to work off campus per US immigration regulations. 


How To Apply

1. Earn an Application Fee Wavier

2. Start the Online Application

Create an account in our online application system and complete all required fields. 

Applications can be accessed here.

3. Submit First Round Application Documents

Via the online application, submit the documents listed below. 

  • Proof of English Proficiency: 
    Students must either have completed their undergraduate study at an American college/university OR submit English proficiency test scores from one of the three testing agencies listed below. Scores my be equal to or above:
    TOEFL: 100+
    IELTS: 7+
    Duolingo: 120+
  • College transcripts (must show that applicant has completed two science courses e.g. ecology, biology, chemistry etc.). Applicants should submit original copies of transcripts as well as copies translated into English.
  • International Financial Aid Application
    Application must show that applicant has at least $20,000 per year in funding available for their studies at Bard GPS. The International Financial Aid Application can be accessed here.

4. Submit Second Round Application Documents

Applicants who advance to the second step in the application process will be asked to submit the following documents to complete their application:
  • Personal Statement: Provide a written personal statement that addresses the following points. Personal statements should be a maximum of 1000 words, double spaced, and submitted with your online application.
    1. Introduce yourself, providing context for your interest in joining Bard's Graduate Programs in Sustainability to pursue a purpose-driven career. Tell us how your personal, academic and/or professional experiences have informed your desire to do this work and the impact you hope to have with your career.

    2. Speak to the environmental or social problem around which you see the biggest opportunity to drive change. Tell us what the issue is, why you’re motivated by it (be specific), and why you think it's poised for meaningful change. '

  • Request Two Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation are required for admission, preferably from both an academic and professional source. Letters may be submitted through the online application system. When prompted in the Recommendations section of the application, enter each recommender's name and contact information. The recommender will then receive an email with detailed instructions on how to submit his or her recommendation online.
  •  Submit a Resume/CV: A current resume or curriculum vitae highlighting your professional experience and relevant qualifications should be submitted with your online application.
  • Wangari Maathai Scholarship Application (if applying) See Financial Aid section above for more information.


5. Schedule GPS Admissions Assessment

All international applicants who advance to the third step in the admissions process, are required to complete the GPS Admissions Assessment. This assessment tests for the scientific, quantitative, and reading comprehension/analysis skills needed to succeed in our graduate programs. Applicants will be invited to complete the assessment after submitting the documents required in Step 4. 

Please contact Margo Bogossian with any questions about the assessment.

6. Schedule an Admission Interview

The final step in the admissions process is a personal online interview with the Bard Graduate Programs in Sustainability Admissions Committee. If you qualify for an admissions interview, you will receive an email notification with additional information.

Need Help? Contact our Admissions Office today! 

Want to learn more?
Let's chat!

We love to chat one-on-one with aspiring change agents. Our team is happy to schedule a call to discuss your sustainability career goals and tell you more about our various programs.