About the Degree Program

The Master of Sustainable Solutions (MSUS) is designed to prepare students to apply sustainability principles and approaches to careers in a variety of fields, addressing complex human and environmental challenges. Students with an MSUS will have the knowledge base and skill sets to bring sustainability solutions to corporate, government, and NGO sectors. Beginning with a foundation in sustainability theory and methods, the program allows students to specialize focus areas such as:

  • Policy and Administration
  • Technology and Society
  • International Development
  • Nonprofit Organization
  • Communication
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Law
Master's Degree in Sustainable Solutions - MSUS

Learning Outcomes

A distinguishing element of the MSUS (vs. the MA or MS) program is the capstone experience, in which students will do an internship, applied project or workshop (in lieu of a thesis) that emphasizes the application of sustainability principles and approaches to their chosen career field. Students will be teaming up with a company, a government agency, or an NGO to develop a real-world sustainability solution. This practical experience will position MSUS graduates perfectly in today’s competitive, knowledge-intensive job market.

89% Master’s graduates working in jobs directly related to sustainability

Data is from School of Sustainability alumni survey respondents. Last updated Nov. 2014.

Curriculum

A minimum of 33 semester hours is required for the Master of Sustainable Solutions. More information.

Requirements and Electives Hours
Core Courses 6
Foundational Courses 9
Methods Courses 5
Career Preparation Course 1
Project Management Course 3
Focus Area Electives 6
Culminating Experience 3
Total Semester Hours Required 33

Graduate Handbook

Core Courses (6 hours)

The core courses are designed to provide students from diverse backgrounds with methods and theories for the study of sustainability. They explore the link between concepts of sustainability and systems approaches to knowledge, and develop the integrative methods needed to work across the disciplines on sustainability problems.

  • SOS 510 – Perspectives on Sustainability (required for all students)
  • SOS 511 – Transformational Sustainability Research (required for all students)

Students will need to take courses from the following categories to fulfill remaining degree requirements.

Foundational Courses (9 hours)

For the latest full list of options, contact schoolofsustainability@asu.edu

  • SOS 512 – Sustainable Resource Allocation OR SOS 598 – Microeconomics of Behavior OR SOS 598 – Ecological (Sustainability) Economics
  • SOS 513 – Science for Sustainability OR SOS 515 – Industrial Ecology and Design for Sustainability OR SOS 598 – Life Cycle Assessment for Civil Systems
  • SOS 514 – Human Dimensions of Sustainability
  • SOS 553 – Ecological Anthropology
  • SOS 591 – Sustainability Science: Interactions Between Human and Environmental Systems
  • SOS 591 – Adaptation, Reslience, and Transformation
  • SOS 516 – Science, Technology, and Public Affairs OR SOS – 518 – Uncertainty and Decision Making
  • SOS 591 – Environmental Ethics and Policy OR SOS 598 – Sustainability Ethics for Science and Engineering
  • SOS 517 – Sustainability and Enterprise
  • SOS 536 – Food System Sustainability
  • SOS 570 – Fundamentals of CAS Science
  • SOS 591 – Legal Issues in Sustainability
  • SOS 591 – Governance for Sustainability
  • SOS 591 – Sustainability and Social and Family Welfare
  • SOS 530 – International Development and Sustainability
  • SOS 598 – Urban Ecological Systems
  • SOS 532 – Sustainable Urban Dynamics
  • SOS 598 – Sustainable Futures Studio
  • SOS 533 – Sustainable Waters
  • SOS 598 – Urban Infrastructure Anatomy and Sustainable Development
  • SOS 534 – Sustainable Energy and Material Use
  • SOS 598 – Human and Social Dimensions of Global Climate Change
  • SOS 535 – Sustainable Ecosystems
  • SOS 591 – Sustainability Communication

Methods Courses (5 hours)

for the latest full list of options, contact schoolofsustainability@asu.edu

  • ASB 500 – Ethnographic Field Methods
  • SOS 591 – Qualitative Methods for Sustainability Problems
  • NLM 565 – Grant Writing for Nonprofit Organizations
  • SOS 598 – Introduction to Research Design and Methods
  • GIS 505 – GIS for Planners
  • SOS 546 – Life Cycle Assessment for Civil Systems
  • PUP 573 – Survey Research and Multivariate Statistics
  • SOS 598 – Mathematical Concepts and Tools in Sustainability
  • SOS 540 – Statistical Modeling for Sustainability
  • SOS 598 – Survey Analysis in Sustainability
  • SOS 591 – Applied Robustness Analysis in Social Ecological Systems
  • SOS 598 – Writing Grants for Sustainability Research
  • SOS 591 – Dynamic Modeling for Sustainability Science
  • SOS 579 – Proposal Writing

Career Preparation Course (1 hour)

  • SOS 531 – Achieving Career Success in Sustainability

Project Management Course (3 hours)

  • SOS 598 or 582 – Project Management for Sustainability

Focus Area Electives (6 hours)

Students will work with advising staff or faculty to determine their focus area electives. Sample focus area electives are listed below.

Policy and Administration

  • PAF 503 – Public Affairs
  • PAF 504 – Public Affairs Economics
  • PAF 505 – Public Policy Analysis
  • PAF 506 – Public Budgeting and Finance
  • PAF 508 – Organization Behavior
  • PAF 546 – Environmental Policy and Management
  • ESS 513 – Institutions

Nonprofit Organization

  • NLM 510 – Foundations in Nonprofit Management
  • NLM 520 – Financial Management in Nonprofit Organizations
  • NLM 540 – Human Resources in Nonprofit Organizations
  • NLM 550 – Philanthropy: Theory and Practice
  • NLM 560 – Leadership and Ethics in Nonprofit Organizations
  • NLM 562 – Social Entrepreneurship

Technology and Society

  • SOS 504 – Energy and the Built Environment
  • SOS 515 – Industrial Ecology and Design for Sustainability
  • SOS 552 – Advanced Earth Systems Engineering and Management
  • ETM 502 – Regulatory Framework for Toxic and Hazardous Substances
  • ETM 527 – Environmental/Resources Regulations Concepts
  • FSE 501 – Technology Entrepreneurship
  • PUP 575 – Environmental Impact Assessment

Law

  • LAW 523 – Property
  • LAW 831 – Environmental Law
  • LAW 643 – Water Law
  • LAW 691 – Topic: Energy Law & Policy

International Development

  • SOS 532 – Sustainable Urban Dynamics
  • SOS 536 – Food System Sustainability
  • ASB 529 – Culture and Political Economy
  • ETM 528 – International Environmental Management
  • NLM 570 – International NGOs
  • PUP 515 – International Planning and Development
  • TDM 570 – Sustainable Tourism

Communication

  • COM 591 – Special Topics related to Sustainability Communications
  • COM 691 – Special Topics related to Sustainability Communications
  • COM 598 – Topic: Write a Story, Sell a Story, tell a Story
  • SOS 591 – Topic: Sustainability Communication
  • TWC 501 – Principles of Technical Communication
  • TWC 546 – Technical and Scientific Reports
  • TWC 598 – Special Topics related to Sustainability Communications

Entreprenership

  • MGT 594 – Lean Launch
  • MGT 594 – Venture Capital Experience
  • NLM 562 – Social Entrepreneurship
  • MGT 594 – Topic Digital Media Entrepreneurship
  • NLM 560 – Leadership & Ethics
  • FSE 501 – Technology Entrepreneurship
  • TDM 579 – Sustainable Tourism
  • TDM 550 – Managing the Sustainable Tourism Business

Focus areas may be added to the MSUS. You are also welcome to create your own!

Culminating Experience (3 hours)

  • SOS 584 – Internship
  • SOS 593 – Applied Project
  • SOS 594 – Solutions Workshop