Accelerated Master of sustainability solutions

About the accelerated master’s degree

The School of Sustainability offers the following joint accelerated programs designed to enable highly qualified undergraduate majors to earn a Master of Sustainability Solutions degree in one additional year:

Students accepted into this program share designated 500-level coursework with the bachelor’s degree, allowing the student to complete master’s degree in one additional year.


To be eligible for admission to this accelerated master’s program, a student must:

  • Have a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate coursework.
  • Have accumulated at least 75 credit hours toward the undergraduate degree at the time of School of Sustainability application; 90 credit hours are required to begin graduate coursework.
  • Have completed at least six credit hours of upper division coursework in the major.
  • Be on track to graduate with the undergraduate degree two semesters after beginning the program.

Students who do not meet these criteria may still apply to the MSUS program through the standard process as they near completion of their undergraduate program.

Approval and Application process

The accelerated master’s application is a two-phase process. Students must first be approved to begin the accelerated master’s. The approval process begins with phase 1, the School of Sustainability approval application, due March 1st of their junior year (or equivalent). Approval is needed in order to begin taking graduate classes during their senior year (or equivalent). Phase 1 is considered provisional admittance to the accelerated master’s program. In order to be fully admitted, students must also complete phase 2 of the application process.

Phase 2 is completed in the in fall of senior year (or equivalent). Students previously approved to begin the accelerated master’s must apply for graduate admission to the MSUS program using the ASU Graduate Application. The ASU Graduate Application and all related materials are due by March 1st. Admission to the accelerated master’s is required to begin graduate classes the following fall, after completion of the bachelor’s degree. More information can be found on the School of Sustainability admissions page.

Admission requirements

The following instructions are for ASU students currently enrolled in the BA or BS degree programs in the School of Sustainability. These instructions apply only to the accelerated master’s program, which grants a Master of Sustainability Solutions (MSUS) degree. Admission information for external applicants to the MSUS may be found here.

Phase 1: School of Sustainability application (complete junior year)

The accelerated master’s begins in fall semester only. All application materials must be received by March 1 of their junior year (or equivalent). Complete applications include transcripts and recommendations. We suggest that applicants submit the application no later than February 1, allowing their primary recommender a month to complete online recommendation by the March 1 deadline.

School of Sustainability requirements

The School of Sustainability application, phase 1, must be submitted by March 1, in the junior year (or equivalent) of the bachelor’s program. The application requires the following (items 2-6 must be uploaded in a single PDF file):

  1. Recommendations and references. One primary recommendation from a School of Sustainability faculty member recommending the student for the MSUS accelerated master’s program is required. This primary recommender will be asked to address the applicant’s potential for success in a graduate program. Applicants will be responsible for sending the recommendation form and submission link to the faculty serving as their primary recommender. A link to the recommendation form and submission page will be sent to applicants only after the graduate advisor receives the signed Curriculum Plan.

    In addition to the primary recommendation, the name and contact information of two faculty references is required on the application. References should be from educators familiar with the applicant’s experience and capability for graduate work.
  2. Statement of intent. In no more than 400 words, describe how completion of the MSUS degree will support your long-term career aspirations. Explain how your background will contribute to your success in the program, and identify the resources available in the School of Sustainability that will enable you to achieve your goals.
  3. Sustainability issue statement. In no more than 400 words, identify a specific issue or problem in the field of sustainability, and explain why it is important to address this issue or solve this problem.
  4. Curriculum plan. The curriculum plan is an Excel document outlining the applicant’s plan of study. Both an undergraduate advisor and graduate advisor must sign a completed curriculum plan prior to submission.
  5. Unofficial transcripts. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities the applicant attended are required. The link to download an unofficial ASU transcript is on the My ASU page, under the My Classes box.
  6. Resume or CV (required). Applicants must include their resume or curriculum vita along with items 2-5 above.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required from applicants to the accelerated MSUS degree program.

Phase 2: Graduate application (complete senior year)

In phase 2, applicants must fulfill the requirements of the Graduate College and the School of Sustainability. The application requirements for the MSUS graduate application can be found on the School of Sustainability Graduate Admissions page. All application materials must be received by March 1st of senior year (or equivalent).

Important information about the accelerated master’s program

  • This program is designed to be completed in one year after the completion of the bachelor’s degree. Students must complete their undergraduate degree within one year after approval to begin this program.
  • Some scholarships and awards may be affected by admission to the accelerated master’s program, as this changes a student status from undergraduate to graduate. Students are advised to check with the specifications of their awards with the Financial Assistance Office to see if this will affect compensation packages.
  • Students admitted into the accelerated master’s program are not offered teaching assistantships through the School of Sustainability.
  • Accelerated Master’s students that have been approved to begin graduate coursework, must maintain a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate/graduate GPA for each semester in their bachelors degree while enrolled in the accelerated program in order to begin the master’s degree program in the fall. In addition, they must also meet all requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress as outlined in the Graduate Handbook including having a grade of “B” or higher in their graduate courses. Failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress will result in withdrawal from the accelerated master’s program.

Have a question about the accelerated master’s program?

Ask us about sustainability at ASU and the diverse environmental, social, and economic focused degrees offered by the School of Sustainability!

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