Sustainability Graduate Program
|Contact the Center for Sustainability
|Executive Director: Timothy P. Keane, Ph.D.
Program Director: David E. Webb
Main Phone: (314) 977-3608
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 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, and innovative design and engineering approaches.
The goal of the Master of Sustainability program is to provide an integrated learning environment that emphasizes sustainability as a unique discipline. To meet that end, the program works within the following framework and related program level objectives:
- Holistic - The program is interdisciplinary and focused on whole systems.
- Humanistic - The program embodies the principles of service and justice found in the university mission statement.
- Collaborative - The program recognizes that individuals must work together to address complex problems.
- Applied - The program focuses on the application of knowledge to address real-world problems.
The Master of Sustainability degree program is designed to accommodate the busy schedules of working professionals. Classes are offered at nights and on weekends. There are no prerequisite degree requirements for entry into the program. Our students come from diverse academic and professional backgrounds.
Please review the following sections for more details on how to apply to the Master of Sustainability program. For more information on the benefits of being a student in the program, please see the Student Benefits section of our website.
[NEW:] The Personal Potential Index (PPI) will be required to complete your application for admission. Visit SLU's page about the PPI evaluations and requirements or go to The ETS page to learn more about the PPI.
|Beginning Term||Application Deadline||Apply Online|
|Fall||July 1 (International: May 1)|
Required Application Materials
- Three (3) letters of recommendation
- Graduate test scores (GRE, GMAT, or LSAT)
- Personal statement (1-3 pages)
- Professional Resume
- Three (3) Personal Potential Index evaluations
Additional Application Requirements for International Students
- A completed Declaration of Financial Support packet with all accompanying documents
- TOEFL or IELTS score
- Please check the Department of Graduate Admission’s English Proficiency Policy web page for specific TOEFL and IELTS score requirements
- You may also visit the International Prospects, Applicants and Students web page for more information about international application requirements
The graduate admissions committee takes a holistic approach to applicant evaluation. In addition to GPA and standardized test scores, the admission committee considers the applicant’s past experience, letters of recommendation, personal statement, professional goals, and overall fit with the program.
For reference, a successful candidate would likely have a GPA of 3.0 or better and place in the 75th or higher percentile on graduate standardized tests (GRE, GMAT, or LSAT)
The admissions committee reviews TOEFL scores for all international applicants.
Application Review Process
The Center for Sustainability admissions committee is comprised of faculty and staff who review qualified applicants’ materials and make recommendations. Each component of the application is considered in detail. In some cases, the Center may request an interview with the student to further assess their qualifications and suitability for the program.
The unique approach to learning offered through the SLU Master of Sustainability degree program starts with foundational core courses that cover general sustainability topics across the degree's integrated disciplines: Business, Engineering and Technology, Public Policy and Social Work, and Environmental Sciences.
Beginning in their second year, students have the option to build a custom curriculum that supports a broad sustainability practitioner career path (sustainability generalist) or a specific discipline-oriented focus (sustainability career track). The second year concludes with a field experience designed to immerse the candidate into a practitioner role inside an organization or group that connects to their respective discipline or area of interest.
The unique approach to learning offered through the master's degree in sustainability starts with foundational core courses that cover definitions of sustainability and research methods used in its study plus general sustainability topics across the degree's integrated disciplines: business, engineering and technology, public policy, social work, and environmental sciences.
The degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours to complete. All students are required to take 18 credit hours of core courses plus a minimum of 12 credit hours of electives along one of two degree tracks: Science and Technology for the Master of Science (M.S.) degree or Business and Policy for the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree. At least three (3) credit hours of electives must be a research methods-oriented course.
Download the Sustainability Graduate Fact Sheet (PDF)
The Master of Sustainability degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours to complete, including up to nine credit hours dedicated to Reality-based, Efficient Action Learning, or REAL Projects. Within the 30 credit hours, up to 9 credit hours may be comprised of approved coursework at the 400 level. Courses are offered in the evenings and on weekends. Select courses integrate virtual methodologies with traditional classroom contact hours, effectively reducing the program’s total carbon footprint.
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 develop practical, hands-on skills and build relationships with sustainability leaders throughout the community.
As the green economy continues its explosive growth, graduates with a Master of Sustainability degree from SLU’s Center for Sustainability will be well-positioned for enhanced career opportunities in nearly every sector and industry for years to come. Our graduates may also choose to explore alternative career path opportunities with sustainability-related not-for-profits and non-governmental organizations.
About the Master of Sustainability Faculty
The Master of Sustainability degree is part of a holistic program that integrates multiple disciplines into a core sustainability-driven framework. The Center for Sustainability has its own faculty and also collaborates with other departments to employ faculty members whose personal and professional pursuits align with the Center for Sustainability’s mission and program objectives.
Scholarships & Financial Aid
The Center for Sustainability offers approximately three (3) graduate assistantships each year for research, professional endeavors, and teaching. We award assistantships on a yearly basis and typically only to students who enter our program during a fall semester. Students who wish to be considered for a graduate assistantship should contact the Center for Sustainability and must have their completed Graduate Education application on file by February 1. Assistantship awards are granted based on the applicant’s experience and fit with the Center for Sustainability’s culture and requirements, rather than financial need. Financial assistance is available through Student Financial Services. | SLU Graduate Education Assistantships | Student Financial Services
Center for Sustainability Values
Saint Louis University celebrates a tradition that, above all, honors the virtue of love and its call to generosity and selflessness. In our aspirations to realize the University's mission, the Center for Sustainability celebrates a shared set of values that support the common good. We refer to these values as the "5Cs": competence, conscience, compassion, commitment, and community. Successful students in the Master of Sustainability program understand and embrace these core tenets:
- Competence - We develop and demonstrate innovation and competence in the performance of our responsibilities as we seek excellence.
- Conscience - We cultivate and follow our conscience for the development of the whole person in community.
- Compassion - We embrace and show compassion through patience with and understanding of ourselves and other people.
- Commitment - We demonstrate and celebrate commitment by implementing our responsibilities with honesty and perseverance.
- Community - We foster and express community when we respect the dignity of others as much as our own dignity.
This set of shared values (the 5Cs) provides a lens for applying the University's more general mission statement to practical matters of performance and practice by enabling us to identify standards of conduct that can promote the common good. | Standards of Conduct for the Common Good
- The Center for Sustainability and the Master of Sustainability (MOS) degree program was made possible by a $5 million dollar grant from the Alberici Foundation.
- The Center for Sustainability launched in April of 2010 and the inaugural Master of Sustainability class commenced four months later in August of 2010.
- The MOS program is the first graduate degree program in the Midwest focused entirely on sustainability.
- The MOS program is the first degree program of its kind at any Jesuit institution in the United States.
- The program caters to working professionals by offering evening courses and the flexibility to create a custom program that accommodates busy schedules.
- Students in the program come from diverse academic and professional backgrounds such as law, business, science, architecture, engineering, information technology, entertainment, environmental studies, culinary arts, social work, public health, and higher education to name a few.