Earn your Master's as a DOI/VISTA

OSMRE and DOI/VISTAs have an opportunity to earn their Master's degree through our partnerships with two different universities, Michigan Technological University and Western State Colorado University.

Michigan Technological University

The Program

Participants are required to meet the admissions requirements for one of the participating Masters of Science (MS) programs and be accepted into a participating MS degree programs.

The DOI/VISTA - Michigan Technological University Master’s Program operates as follows:

  1. Participants will complete one year of service with the DOI/VISTA Team.
  2. Upon the completion of the participant's first year and upon acceptance to a MS degree program at Michigan Tech, the participant will then attend Michigan Tech for one academic year. In some cases, based on the prior academic background of the student, additional time on campus may be required.
  3. Following the participant's year of study at Michigan Tech, the participant will then complete a second year of service with the DOI/VISTA Team at a site that addresses the participant's academic area of study (dependent upon availability).
  4. After the participant's second year of service with the DOI/VISTA Team, the participant will return to Michigan Tech for one semester to complete his/her MS degree.

Education awards earned from the two years of service will closely match tuition. Participants will also be eligible for scholarships and financial assistance. Michigan Tech will pay for the participant's tuition while the participant serves on the DOI/VISTA Team.

Areas of Study

Participants will apply to one of the MS degree programs in the following disciplines:

  • Master of Science in Forestry
  • Master of Science in Applied Ecology
  • Master of Science in Geology
  • Master of Science in Biological Sciences
  • Master of Science in Industrial Archaeology
  • Master of Science in Environmental and Energy Policy
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering
  • Master of Science in Environmental Engineering

For more information, visit the MTU website at or contact Blair Orr,


Western State Colorado University

The Program

Students interested in this program must meet the admission requirements for the participating Masters in Environmental Management (MEM) degree programs, and be accepted into one of the programs. Additionally, students should meet the requirements of the DOI/VISTA Team. Participants will complete the core requirements for MEM before or during their VISTA term. The program enables VISTAs to complete a Master's degree through a combination of online and on-campus coursework.

Areas of Study

  • MEM Integrative Land Management Track
  • MEM Sustainable & Resilient Communities Track

National Service Fellowships

Western State Colorado University seeks to honor those individuals who have either completed their national service or are actively embarking on service opportunities in the Peace Corps, VISTA AmeriCorps or the military.

MEM Service Graduate Fellows who are residential students will work with the graduate program director to bring their life experience to service and leadership projects within the University and local community.

Please contact Dr. John Hausdoerffer with questions, 

For more information, visit the Western State Colorado University website at or contact Dr. John Hausdoerffer,