- Graduate Programs
The M.S. in Sustainability is a 30-credit-hour degree program that students can pursue on a full- or part-time basis. In their final semester, students can complete an applied research 3-credit-hour capstone project (after completing 15 hours of required core courses and 12 hours of electives) or write a traditional academic 6-credit-hour thesis (after completing 15 hours of required core courses and 9 hours of electives).
Capstone option: 18 required hours + 12 elective hours = 30 credit hours
Thesis option: 21 required hours + 9 elective hours = 30 credit hours
Capstone vs. Thesis
Both the capstone and the thesis allow students to display their mastery of a specific topic related to the broader subject of sustainability, and each serves as a summative expression of the student's educational experience. The capstone combines research and an applied project to help students build professional skills in their field of interest, while the thesis involves more intensive research and prepares students for further study in a Ph.D. program or a research-oriented career.
With advisor support, thesis students work independently on projects of their own design that are well-grounded in the academic literature. Students taking the thesis option must have an approval form signed by their academic mentor and the Director of the Center for Sustainability before registering for MOS 598 – Thesis.
Required Courses (18–21 credit hours)
Most courses are offered during the evening, and students typically complete the M.S. in Sustainability program within two years. Please note that required courses are offered only once per calendar year, in either the spring or fall semester. See course descriptions here.
|MOS 502 – Sustainability Foundations (3)||Every fall|
|UPD 501 – Research Methods (3)||Every fall|
|MOS 505 – Sustainable Business Practices (3)||Every fall|
|MOS 506 – Environmental Aspects of Sustainability (3)||Every spring|
|MOS 511 – Sustainability in Society and Cultures (3)||Every spring|
|MOS 582 – Capstone (3) or
MOS 598 – Thesis (6)
Students may take any course offered through the Center for Sustainability as an elective. Center courses are designated by the following course codes: Master of Sustainability (MOS), Urban Planning and Development (UPD), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Since sustainability is a broad, multidisciplinary field of study, students also may take electives offered by other departments. The following is a preapproved list:
BIOL 549 – Conservation Biology (3)
DIET 503 – Sustainable Food Systems (3)
ITM 605 – Project Management (3)
LAW 766 – Environmental Law (3)
SOC 554 – Environmental Impact of the City (3)
SOC 564 – Demography: Measuring and Modeling Population Processes (3)
Students also may search the university's online course catalog for additional electives that support their research interest and career goals but MUST obtain approval by submitting an elective approval form. Failure to do so may adversely impact graduation.