New Graduate Institute to House Goddard MA Degrees

PLAINFIELD, Vt. – Goddard College today announced the creation of the Goddard Graduate Institute, which will house three of its master’s degree programs.

Bringing together faculty from across the humanities, social sciences, and health arts disciplines, the Graduate Institute seeks to integrate scholarship and personal development with social, ecological, artistic and cultural action to support students who want to effect positive change in the world.

The Institute’s faculty will advise students pursuing the Individualized Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Health Arts & Sciences, and the Master of Arts in Social Innovation & Sustainability. Additional cross-disciplinary activities—such as workshops, symposia, conferences, publications, and hands-on projects—will also enhance and engage students, and professionals on campus.

“The Graduate Institute will provide a renewed vitality and efficiency to the strong traditions of the members of the Goddard community,” said Steven James, interim dean and chief academic officer. “We are excited to offer this kind of program that supports students whose individualized studies reach across and beyond established liberal arts and sciences disciplines to inter- and transdisciplinary studies.”

“This is the culmination of years of collaborative research and development by faculty, staff, and students,” said Ruth Farmer, director of the Graduate Institute. “The degree tracks complement each other academically and professionally; yet retain their unique approaches. A Health Arts & Sciences student interested in complementary alternative medicine and a Social Innovation student interested in developing a community center might research similar texts while asking different questions. In faculty-led advising groups, in workshops, or over meals, the students enrich each others’ studies and practices.”

Of Goddard’s 550 students, 63 percent pursue graduate degrees. The College also offers the MA in Education, MA in Psychology, MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MFA in Creative Writing, and MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts.

The Graduate Institute will be in residency August 8 – 15. This semester’s theme is ‘Climate and Climate Change.’ Residency activities include one-on-one mentoring sessions and shared academic experiences.

In related news:

Vermont Climatologist Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux will give a public lecture at 7:15 p.m., Sunday, August 10 in Goddard’s Haybarn Theatre.

Activist puppeteer Jenny Romaine and environmental artist Rachel Schragis will perform at 7:15 p.m., Monday, August 11 in the Haybarn Theatre.


About Goddard College
Initially founded in 1863 as the Goddard Seminary in Barre, Vt., Goddard College moved to its current Plainfield campus and was chartered in 1938 by founding President Royce “Tim” Pitkin. In 1963, Goddard became the first U.S. college to offer low-residency adult degree programs. Now offering accredited MA, MFA, BA and BFA degree programs from its main campus in Plainfield, Vermont and sites in Seattle and Port Townsend, Washington, Goddard’s low-residency education model offers the best of on-campus and distance education, with experienced faculty advisors, rigorous on-campus residencies, and the freedom to study from anywhere.


Kevin Ellis, Ellis-Mills Public Affairs
802.371.8112  |

Important Announcement

The Board of Directors for Goddard College have made the difficult decision to close the college at the end of the 2024 Spring term.  


Current Goddard students will have the opportunity to complete their degrees at the same tuition rate through a teach-out with like-minded institution, Prescott College. Updates and scholarship funds will be available in the coming weeks and months. Information will be posted to

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