Executive MNR

XMNR-AdilSustainability requires innovation and leadership, on the part of public and private partners working together to solve complex problems at multiple scales. Our Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) program emphasizes the need for effective partnerships involving interdisciplinary, multi-institutional, and cross-cultural collaboration among business, civil society, and government. Our students work in teams to develop solutions to real world problems. All aspects of the program — including coursework, the international residency, and capstone directed study projects — are designed to bring about institutional and policy change, as well as personal and cultural transformation.

Summary & ScheduleAdmissionsProgram ElementsFAQsTuitionCore CompetenciesInternational ResidencyFaculty

  • Timeline: 14 months
  • Orientation Session
  • New students begin the program each January
  • Classes meet one weekend each month (e.g., Friday afternoon and Saturday)
  • International Residency (10 days)
  • Capstone Directed Study Projects

Virginia Tech’s Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) program is an accelerated, 14-month graduate degree for full-time working professionals with significant prior work experience. Students represent a wide range of organizations in the public and private sectors throughout the Washington, DC region and beyond. Immediate program outcomes include organizational and policy changes while long-term outcomes include personal and cultural transformation.

In January of each year, a new cohort of students starts the program and begins a rigorous process of peer-to-peer experiential learning and collaborative problem-solving. By focusing on the needs of their own organizations and the needs of others, students gain a robust understanding of the opportunities to address a broad range of sustainability challenges in local communities and throughout global society. During the program, students work individually and in interdisciplinary teams to develop strategies for real-world challenges. Major elements of the XMNR program include an orientation session; series of core courses, learning modules, and skill development seminars; international residency project and study tour; and, capstone directed study projects.

All aspects of the curriculum emphasize the development of advanced leadership, management, and administrative skills for achieving local, regional, and global sustainability goals. Students graduate with competencies in leading people, leading change, business and political acumen, and demonstrated results for their respective employer. The program emphasizes a broad range of leadership skills and executive core qualifications identified by public and private sector employers, including interpersonal and organizational communication; financial, information and technology management; program evaluation and policymaking; marketing and public relations; partnerships, team building and conflict resolution; entrepreneurship, innovation and resilience.

Requirements for Admission:

  • Undergraduate degree
  • Prior work experience

Requirements for Application:

  • Application Form
  • Goal Statement
  • Transcripts
  • Resume
  • Interview
  • Recommendation letters
  • $75 non-refundable application fee

Application Deadlines:

  • Rolling admissions. Process takes approximately 2-3 weeks. Note: Apply as soon as possible; the program fills each year.

***If you are interested in applying to the XMNR program, please complete the Pre-Assessment Form and Contact Us for more information and to schedule an interview.

International Residency
Capstone Project
What are the admission requirements?
Is financial aid available to Executive MNR students?
What should I know about Employer Support?
What is the approach to teaching in Virginia Tech's XMNR?
How are we graded?

Program Cost Includes:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Books, supplies and course materials
  • A laptop with a full array of accessories configured to facilitate learning and team dynamics
  • Friday night lodging, meals and parking during weekend class meetings
  • International Residency: round-trip international airfare, lodging and meals

Total Program Costs

$42,000 for in-state
$62,000 for out-of-state

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to XMNR students in the form of scholarships and loans. Most students opt for the Scholarships, Federal Stafford Loans, and Graduate Plus Loans. For more information on financial aid options, please visit Virginia Tech’s Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Download XMNR Core Competencies [PDF 62 KB]

This core competency reflects strategic leadership skills as identified in public and private sector professional development programs such as Senior Executive Service of the Office of Personnel Management.

  • Ethics and integrity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication
  • Team building
  • Strategic thinking
  • Vision and creativity
  • Flexibility
  • Problem solving
  • Conflict management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Building coalitions
  • Political savvy
  • Social movements
  • Cultural transformation
  • Global perspective

This core competency reflects multi-scale issues identified by organizations such as the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE), Ecological Society of America (ESA), US Green Building Council (USGBC), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

  • Earth systems
  • Ecological services
  • Climate and energy
  • Land and water
  • Biodiversity
  • Population change
  • Globalization
  • Health, welfare, equity
  • Risk and security
  • Indicators and criteria
  • Life cycle analysis
  • Certification and standards
  • Behavior change
  • Planning and design
  • Resilience

This core competency reflects core requirements for graduate programs such as Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), and Master of Organizational Development (MOD).

  • Finance and accounting
  • Human resources
  • Technology Marketing
  • Law and policy
  • Critical analysis
  • Strategic planning
  • Negotiation
  • Decision making
  • Partnering
  • Accountability
  • Performance evaluations
  • Adaptive management
  • Market-based strategies
  • Governance

The International Residency is a distinctive 10-day experience planned and organized for each cohort. The purpose is to network with global partners and apply lessons learned during the program to develop multi-scale strategies for global sustainability.

Students gain a better understanding of the opportunities and constraints for working internationally and in an increasingly global society. Locations vary and include diverse places and topics of interest to faculty and students.