Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Master of Sustainability Program?
The Master of Sustainability degree program was developed through a unique collaboration between the College of Arts & Sciences, the John Cook School of Business, the Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology and the College of Education and Public Service.
The Master of Sustainability degree program trains leaders to understand the cascading issues surrounding society's increasing use of our decreasing resources. The cross-disciplinary degree integrates knowledge on sustainable business practices, effective social and policy processes as well as innovative design and engineering approaches.
The Center for Sustainability launched the program in August of 2010, welcoming an inaugural class of 25 students.
Is the Master of Sustainability graduate program accredited?
Saint Louis University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities. However, sustainability as a stand-alone program of study in higher education is relatively new and a national accreditation body that oversees academic programs in sustainability does not yet exist. It is possible that an accreditation process for programs in sustainability will be developed in the future.
Do I have to finish the degree within a certain time? How long will it take me to complete the program?
Graduate students have five years from the start of the academic term in which they take their first course as a "Classified" (degree-seeking) student. The time required to finish the degree varies, but the typical time-to-degree for a Master's program is two years. Students in the Master of Sustainability program are expected to complete their degrees in a timely manner.
Can I attend the Master of Sustainability program part-time?
You may attend the program part-time or full-time. Generally, a graduate student must carry nine credit hours or more to be certified as a full-time student for the semester.
Do you offer classes in the evenings?
Yes, most courses in the Master of Sustainability program are offered in the evening. Some courses are also offered on Saturdays.
Can I take courses in the sustainability without applying to the Master of Sustainability program?
Students who wish to take graduate courses at Saint Louis University without applying to a program may do so by applying as an "Unclassified" (non degree-seeking) student. Instructions and forms for applying to SLU as an unclassified graduate student are available through the Graduate Admissions website.
What is the application deadline for the Master of Sustainability program?
The Master of Sustainability program is set up for Fall enrollment only. Completed applications must be received no later than July 1st (March 1st if applying for a Graduate Assistantship position). For more details please see the Application Process page.
How long will it take to receive my admission decision after I submit my application?
Application review begins after all materials have been received and the application is marked as complete in the system. Typically, candidates will be notified within two to four weeks of their submission, although the timing may vary depending on how extensive of a review is required to assess the applicant's qualifications for the program.
What criteria do you use to select applicants? How can I make my application competitive?
Every application is thoroughly reviewed by the admissions committee, which is made up of Center for Sustainability staff and faculty members who teach in the Master of Sustainability program. The committee evaluates in detail each applicant's academic history, graduate test scores, personal statement, resume, and references. There are several ways applicants can make their application more competitive:
- Ensure that all materials are received by the application deadline. The deadline to apply for the Master of Sustainability program is July 1st (March 1st if you wish to apply for a Graduate Assistantship position). While this deadline is later than most graduate programs, the Center for Sustainability strongly recommends that you submit your application as early as possible.
- Place in the 70th percentile or better on the graduate admissions test (GRE/GMAT/LSAT)
- If currently in school, maintain a strong GPA. It should be at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, but preferably higher.
- Submit a clear and focused personal statement. Your statement should demonstrate critical thinking skills and analytical abilities, while giving the admissions committee insight into your experience, interests, career goals and aspirations.
- Provide strong references who can attest to your character, accomplishments, and ability to do academic work at the graduate level.
Are you looking for students with specific undergraduate degrees? Are there pre-requisites for the program?
We currently do not require a specific undergraduate degree or major to apply to the Master of Sustainability program. Our students come from highly diverse educational and professional backgrounds. There are no course pre-requisites, but strong writing, analytic, and critical thinking skills are essential for success in the program.
Can international students apply to the Master of Sustainability program?
Yes, the program is open to international students. Please visit the Graduate Admissions website for information on additional requirements for international students.
Is the GRE required?
Yes, all applicants are required to take the general GRE test. We do not require any GRE subject tests.
Can I substitute the GMAT or LSAT for the GRE requirement?
Yes, we will accept GMAT or LSAT scores in place of GRE scores.
How much does it cost to complete the Master of Sustainability program?
The full cost of completing a graduate degree at Saint Louis University will depend on several factors:
- Whether or not the student receives an offer of financial support from the University
- How many credit hours a student takes each semester
- How long the student takes to complete the program
- Tuition increases while the student is in the program
Please refer to Saint Louis University's Graduate Tuition and Fees page for more information.
Does the Center for Sustainability offer graduate assistantships or fellowships?
The Center for Sustainability offers a limited number of graduate assistantships each year. For more information and to download an application, please refer to the Graduate Assistantships page.
How do I apply for financial aid?
Please visit the SLU Student Financial Services website for more details on how to apply for financial assistance.
What type of careers are available to students with a Master of Sustainability degree?
Career opportunities for individuals with sustainability related skills continue to grow and the green job market is paced to outperform all other sectors between now and 2016.
Since its launch in 2010, the Center for Sustainability has become a key stakeholder in economic growth initiatives focused on sustainable development. Our REAL Partners Program gives students an opportunity to work directly with local organizations to apply knowledge acquired in the classroom toward solving "REAL-world" sustainability-related challenges. Through practitioner-oriented course work, students not only develop practical, hands-on skills, but also build relationships with sustainability leaders throughout the community.
Equipped with the skills and knowledge developed through the Master of Sustainability program, successful graduates will have a distinct advantage when pursuing careers across multiple sectors, including energy, manufacturing, building, public administration, health care, and private enterprises. Alternative career path opportunities with sustainability-related not-for-profits and non-governmental organizations will also be available to our graduates. Please see our Career Options page for more information.