Free education?


Seth Godin recently reminded us that many companies are doing the intelligent thing: reimbursing employees for educational expenses. As Seth points out in his blog post, 

The math here is compelling: if an employee spends the time and effort to learn something, it not only benefits the employee (who gets to keep that knowledge and perspective forever) but it helps the organization as well.

Over time, companies either find smart staff or they fall behind.

Our fully online MA in Sustainable Design program is designed to let you continue to work at your job while working on your degree. You can take one or two courses a semester, depending on what works best for you.  

If you intend to work while earning your MA, ask your employer if tuition reimbursement is available to you. If you’re looking for a job, consider screening potential employers based on whether or not they support educational expenses — besides being a benefit for you, it speaks volumes about what they think is important.

Which companies reimburse for educational expenses? A scan of companies that provide such information suggests that policies differ wildly, so you’ll have to ask. Here’s the list of companies that provide some level of reimbursement that Seth Godin provides in his blog:


Acuity, Adobe, Aetna, Airbnb,Amazon, Ann Taylor, Anthem, Apple, Applied Materials, Asurion, AT&T

Banana Republic, Bank of America, BestBuy, Boeing, BP, Bristol Myers Squibb

Capital One, Centene, Charles Schwab, Chevron, Chipotle, Chobani, Cisco, Citrix, Coca-Cola, Comcast, Continental

Dell EMC/Software, Deloitte, Disney, Dropbox

Ebay, Edelman, Ernest & Young

FedEx, Ford

Gap, Garmin, GE, GEICO, Genentech, Google

Hallmark Cards, HBO, Hill Holliday, Home Depot, Hubspot, Hyundai Motor America

Intel, Intuit

Johnson & Johnson

Kaiser Permanente, KIND, Kiva, KPMG


McKinsey, Microsoft

NBA, Nokia, Novartis, Nvidia

Ogilvy, Optum (part of United Health), Oracle, Orlando Magic NBA

Patagonia, Pernod Ricard, PNC Financial Services Group, Price Waterhouse Cooper, Proctor & Gamble


Raytheon, Red Hat, Reddit

Sam’s Club, Sargent & Lundy, Scholastic, Scotiabank, Shell, Siemens AG, Slack, Smukers, Starbucks

T-Mobile, Target, TELUS, The Kraft Heinz Company, Ticketmaster

UBS, United Health Group, United States Air Force, UPS


Walmart, Walt Disney World, Wayfair, Wells Fargo, Whirlpool, Whole Foods


MCAD is happy to provide your employer with more information on the MA, including course descriptions and skills learned. Contact [email protected] or [email protected] for more information.

Denise DeLuca / Former Director

Denise DeLuca is the Director of MCAD’s Sustainable Design program. She was co-founder of BCI: Biomimicry Creative for Innovation, a network of creative professional change agents driving ecological thinking for radical transformation. Denise is author of the book Re-Aligning with Nature: Ecological Thinking for Radical Transformation, which was illustrated by MASD alum Stephanie Koehler. She also teaches with the Amani Institute.

Denise’s previous roles include Education Director for the International Living Future Institute, Project Manager for Swedish Biomimetics 3000, and Outreach Director for The Biomimicry Institute. Denise is a licensed civil engineer (PE) and holds a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering with a focus on modeling landscape-scale surface and groundwater interactions.  In addition, Denise is a Biomimicry Fellow and a member of the Advisory Council of The Biomimicry InstituteBoard Member of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), on the editorial board of the Journal of Bionic Engineering, and an Expert with Katerva. Denise is based in Oregon.

contact:  [email protected]