Skip Navigation

Website Sections


Master of Environmental Law and Policy

The Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) degree program offers interdisciplinary training in environmental law and policy, science, economics, and public advocacy. Most students complete the 30-credit program in 12 months, but students have up to five years to obtain their degree.

Vermont Law School's MELP program responds to the cutting-edge environmental challenges facing the United States and the world today, including climate change, sustainable agriculture and food safety, degradation of water resources, and conservation and management of public and private lands. Well-trained professionals with the MELP degree are needed to become effective agents of change in the nonprofit sector, government, and business.

Masters of Environmental Law and Policy students choose from more than 50 environmental law- and policy-related courses, taught by the world-renowned faculty of Vermont Law School. The MELP program is administered by the law school's highly respected Environmental Law Center.

The MELP program provides students with practical training in public policy advocacy and writing for a legal policy audience, opportunities for independent research with support from faculty, and externships with organizations around the country and the world.

The Master of Environmental Law and Policy program is open to students enrolled at other law schools who wish to combine their JD with the MELP degree from Vermont Law School. Students pursuing this option may complete the program by taking courses in the VLS Summer Session and engaging in experiential learning. In addition, students may complete the program on a summers-only basis by taking courses in the VLS Summer Session. Students selecting these options also can take courses in Vermont Law School's online Master's degree program in Environmental Law.

Career Pathways

The Vermont Law School MELP program prepares students to manage environmental organizations, lead land trusts, lobby on behalf of environmental causes, and become policy leaders in federal and state government.


The Master of Environmental Law and Policy is a 30-credit Master's degree with three required courses, a selection of core courses covering different disciplines, and the opportunity to select from the law school's large number of elective courses.

What Graduates Say

Vermont Law School graduates go on to influential careers in the United States and abroad, with governments, non-profit organizations, and leading private firms.


The faculty at Vermont Law School includes dedicated teachers, scholars, litigators, policy makers, and mentors for our students.

Admissions   New window icon

An excellent general education, along with an inquiring, disciplined, and cultivated mind, are the most important qualifications for the study of environmental law and policy. Vermont Law School looks favorably on undergraduate and graduate programs that give students an opportunity to analyze critically and think creatively. Precision, fluency, and economy in speaking and writing are the most vital skills for success at Vermont Law School.