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About the Master of sustainability solutions degree

The MSUS program teaches students how to analyze and solve sustainability challenges in organizations and communities. Students learn how to apply sustainability principles and approaches. The focus is on developing solutions in concert with stakeholders.

A distinguishing element of the program is its applied approach. Students begin the program with a foundation in sustainability frameworks and methods, then they take electives in an area of interest, and, ultimately, they use this knowledge to develop solutions to actual sustainability challenges in real time.

Final courses include learning how to manage sustainability projects. In the capstone experience, students team up with a company, a government agency or a nongovernmental organization to develop a real-world sustainability solution. Carried out collaboratively in lieu of a thesis, the capstone provides practical experience that positions program graduates for today’s competitive, knowledge- and skills-intensive job market.

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.


A minimum of 30 credits is required for the Master of Sustainability Solutions degree.

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

Graduate handbooks

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
  • SOS 511 – Advanced Sustainability Problem Solving, OR SOS 509 – Leading Sustainability Transitions
  • SOS 582 – Project Management for Sustainability

Competency mastery courses (6 credits)

MSUS students take courses to prepare for work in private, public and non-profit sectors. Listed below are examples of courses students can take for their competency mastery, methods and general electives. focus area electives. For the latest full list of options, contact [email protected].

  • SOS 517 – Sustainability & Enterprise
  • SOS 527 – Environmental Ethics & Policy Goals
  • SOS 532 – Sustainable Urban Dynamics
  • SOS 594 – Operationalizing Corporate Sustainability through ESG
  • SOS 594 – Next-Generation Sustainability Governance Design
  • SOS 594 – Enterprise-Based Sustainability Education
  • SOS 598 – Healthy Urban Environments
  • EMS 523 – Strategic Sustainability and Leadership

Methods courses (6 credits)

For the latest full list of options, contact [email protected].

  • SOS 546 – Life Cycle Assessment for Civil Systems
  • SOS 574 – Data Analytics for Sustainable Energy
  • SOS 598 – ESG Assessment and Reporting
  • SOS 598 – Urban Sustainability Best Practices Application
  • GIS 505 – GIS for Planners
  • NLM 565 – Grant Writing for Nonprofit Organizations
  • PAF 505 – Public Policy Analysis

Focus area electives (6 hours)

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

  • EMS 522 – Mastering the Global Sustainability Context
  • PAF 503 – Public Affairs
  • SOS 512 – Environmental and Resource Economics
  • SOS 515 – Industrial Ecology and Design for Sustainability
  • SOS 530 – International Development and Sustainability
  • SOS 594 – Sustainable Food Economy and Entrepreneurship
  • SOS 598 – Intersectional Environmentalism and Sustainability

Culminating experience (3 credits)

  • SOS 593 – Applied Project

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