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About the Master of Sustainability Solutions degree

The Master of Sustainability Solutions (MSUS), offered only on ASU’s Tempe campus, 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. Students in the MSUS program not only master the sustainability theory and methods, they learn to think like a sustainability scientist. The MSUS program is designed around the School of Sustainability’s core sustainability competencies, which include:

  • Systems thinking.
  • Future thinking.
  • Values thinking.
  • Strategic thinking.
  • Collaborative competency.

Learning outcomes

A distinguishing element of the MSUS (vs. the MA or MS) program is the culminating experience, in which students work collaboratively on an applied project 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.

Curriculum

A minimum of 35 credits is required for an MS in Sustainability.

Requirements and electivesCredits
Core courses6
Competency mastery courses6
Methods courses6
Project management course3
Focus area electives6
Culminating experience3
Total credits required30

Graduate handbooks

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Courses and electives

Core courses (6 credits)

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, OR SOS 508 – Pathways to Sustainability (required for all students
  • SOS 511 – Advanced Sustainability Problem Solving, OR – SOS 509 – Leading Sustainability Transitions (required for all students)

Competency mastery courses (6 credits)

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

  • SOS 512 – Sustainable Resource Allocation OR SOS 598 – Microeconomics of Behavior OR SOS 598 – Ecological (Sustainability) Economics
  • SOS 515 – Industrial Ecology and Design for Sustainability OR SOS 598 – Life Cycle Assessment for Civil Systems
  • SOS 514 – Human Dimensions of Sustainability
  • SOS 516 – Science, Technology, and Public Affairs OR SOS – 518 – Uncertainty and Decision Making
  • SOS 517 – Sustainability and Enterprise
  • SOS 530 – International Development and Sustainability
  • SOS 532 – Sustainable Urban Dynamics
  • SOS 545 – Creating Sustainable Organizations
  • SOS 553 – Ecological Anthropology
  • SOS 570 – Fundamentals of CAS Science
  • SOS 591 – Adaptation, Resilience, and Transformation
  • SOS 591 – Environmental Ethics and Policy OR SOS 598 – Sustainability Ethics for Science and Engineering
  • SOS 591 – Governance for Sustainability
  • SOS 591 – Sustainability Communication
  • SOS 598 – Urban Infrastructure Anatomy and Sustainable Development

Methods courses (6 credits)

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

  • ASB 500 – Ethnographic Field Methods
  • GIS 505 – GIS for Planners
  • NLM 565 – Grant Writing for Nonprofit Organizations
  • PAF 505 – Public Policy Analysis
  • SOS 520 – Introduction to Research Design and Methods
  • SOS 546 – Life Cycle Assessment for Civil Systems
  • SOS 591 – Dynamic Modeling for Sustainability Science
  • SOS 591 – Qualitative Methods for Sustainability Problems
  • SOS 594 – Measuring City Sustainability Performance
  • SOS 594 – Sustainability Short-Form Documentary
  • SOS 594 – The Changing Energy Industry
  • SOS 598 – Mathematical Concepts and Tools in Sustainability

Project management course (3 credits)

  • SOS 582 – Project Management for Sustainability

Focus area electives (6 hours)

Listed below are examples of courses students can take for their focus area electives.

  • ESS 513 – Institutions
  • 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
  • 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
  • GIS 598 – GIS Methods for Non-Majors
  • PUP 515 – International Planning and Development
  • NLM 570 – International NGOs
  • PUP 575 – Environmental Impact Assessment
  • PUP 548 – Planning Sustainable Communities
  • SOS 515 – Industrial Ecology and Design for Sustainability
  • SOS 532 – Sustainable Urban Dynamics
  • SOS 598 – Disasters as Opportunities for Change Towards Sustainability
  • TDM 570 – Sustainable Tourism
  • COM 591 – Special Topics related to Sustainability Communications
  • SOS 598 – Communicating About Sustainability 
  • TWC 501 – Principles of Technical Communication
  • TWC 546 – Technical and Scientific Reports
  • TWC 598 – Special Topics related to Sustainability Communications
  • NLM 560 – Leadership & Ethics
  • NLM 562 – Social Entrepreneurship
  • SOS 571 – Sustainable Energy Technologies and Systems 
  • SOS 573 – Sustainable Energy Policy
  • TDM 550 – Managing the Sustainable Tourism Business
  • TDM 579 – Sustainable Tourism
  • JUS 598 – Topic: Food, Agriculture, and Justice
  • JUS 656 – Human Rights & Sustainability
  • SOS 527 – Environmental Ethics & Policy Goals
  • SOS 598 – Topic: Intersectional Environmentalism and Sustainability

Culminating experience (3 credits)

  • SOS 593 – Applied Project

Have a question about the Master of Sustainability Solutions?

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