About the Degree Program

The Master’s in 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 in one of five tracks:

  1. Policy and Administration
  2. Technology and Society
  3. International Development
  4. Nonprofit Organization
  5. Communication
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’s in Sustainable Solutions.

Requirements and Electives Hours
Foundational Courses 6
Core Courses 12
Methods Courses 5
Career Preparation Course 1
Electives (choose one track) 6
Applied Capstone 3
Total Semester Hours Required 33

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Foundational Courses (6 hours)

  • SOS 510 – Perspectives on Sustainability
  • SOS 511 – Methodology of Sustainability Research and Problem Solving

Core Courses (12 hours)

  • SOS 512 – Sustainable Resource Allocation
  • SOS 513 – Science for Sustainability
  • SOS 514 – Human Dimensions of Sustainability
  • SOS 517 – Sustainability and Enterprise
  • SOS 518 – Uncertainty and Decision Making
  • SOS 530 – International Development and Sustainability
  • SOS 535 – Sustainable Ecosystems

Methods Courses (5 hours)

  • SOS 540 – Statistical Modeling for Sustainability
  • SOS 598 – Survey Analysis in Sustainability
  • SOS 598 – Life Cycle Assessments for Civil Systems
  • ASB 500 – Ethnographic Field Methods
  • PUP 570 – GIS for Planners
  • PUP 573 – Survey Research and Multivariate Statistics

Career Preparation Course (1 hour)

  • SOS 598 – Career Preparation

Examples of Track Electives (6 hours)

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

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

Tracks are likely to be added to the MSUS in the future, including tracks in law and in entrepreneurship.

Applied Capstone (3 hours)

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