Master of Sustainability Curriculum
|SUS 502||Sustainability and Systems (3 cr)|
|SUS 504||Principles of Sustainability (3 cr)|
|SUS 590||Careers in Sustainability (3 cr)|
|SUS 601||Science for Sustainability (2 cr)|
|SUS 602||The Political Economy of Sustainability (2 cr)|
|SUS 603||Sustainability - Ethics, Equity, Justice (2 cr)|
|SUS 511||Research Methods (3 cr)|
|SUS 699||Advanced Seminar in Sustainability (2 cr)|
Core Course Descriptions
SUS 502 - Sustainability and Systems
In this course, students will develop skills necessary to understand, describe, and communicate complex systems. Working from examples, exercise and interactive discussions, students will learn to identify key drivers and leverage points for change. Students will learn to solicit useful information, model, and enact change using a various systems-based tools.
SUS 504 - Principles of Sustainability
This course provides students the skills to understand, communicate, and critique the fundamentals of sustainability at multiple scales and across disciplines and cultures. It explores sustainability's origins and foundations, application, and assessment. We evaluate the inter-relationships among environmental, societal, and economic well-being and the implications on individual and social decision-making.
SUS 511 - Research Methods
This course encourages students to recognize multiple ways to gather knowledge, interpret it, and put it to use. It explores how one pursues research from beginning to end. Students will gain pragmatic skills to pursue research, gather data, analyze it, and send it for "use" or application.
SUS 590 - Careers in Sustainability
Students will develop identify sustainability career opportunities through a series of professional development activities, guest speakers and events. They will identify key sustainability challenges, and will gain experience in appropriate methods for addressing these challenges.
SUS 601 - Science for Sustainability
The overall goal of this course is to examine the role that science contributes to sustainability. Students will critically assess process, evidence, uncertainty, application, and communication for traditional and alternative scientific methods through focused issues of sustainability (i.e., climate change, energy consumption, water pollution, urban ecosystems, children's environmental health, agroecosystems).
SUS 602 - The Political Economy of Sustainability
This course will examine the economic dimensions of environmental change through the frameworks of political ecology, political economy, development studies, and sustainability. Through case studies and current theory, we will investigate the costs, benefits, and sustainability of environmental governance.
SUS 603 - Sustainability - Ethics, Equity, Justice
This course focuses on the role of the "social" as one of the three pillars of sustainability. It explores historic and contemporary notions of ethics, social equity and social justice. It examines how these concepts can be applied to sustainability by studying local and global case studies.
SUS 622 - Engaging Animals
This course considers human-other animal engagements and how these affect sustainability. We first make sense of what "engaging animals" means, focusing on human-animal relations at different scales and levels cross-culturally, and then consider the impact on sustainability. We end with a student-led symposium on a specific human-animal relationship in relation to sustainability.
SUS 610 - Communicating Sustainability
This course will focus on the development and application of skills for communicating the principles, evidence, complexity and stories of sustainability. Students will be introduced to the major revolutions in communication technologies, various communication strategies (risk, health, environmental, science, green marketing), and best practices in technical, web, and visual communication.
SUS 621 - Ecotoxicology and Environmental Health
Human health is intimately connected to environmental conditions and ecosystem integrity. Introducing concepts and measures of ecosystem and human health, this course will cover the principles and practice of contributing fields including ecotoxicology, epidemiology, environmental health and risk assessment. Students will be led from inquiry to action for key issues.
FST 605 - Food and Climate Change
This course covers the basics of the relationship between climate change and food systems. Using case studies and research projects coursework covers a comprehensive understanding of agriculture, food production and consumption in relation to environmental change, with close attention to the different ways that communities experience such change.
SUS 630 - Sustainability - Ethics, Equity, Justice
Course explores the ways in which sustainability and spirituality have intersected in a variety of world religions. Through readings, lecture, film, the internet, and independent research we raise questions such as: In what ways does is sustainability made religious by these groups (Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and New Age traditions)? What are the religiously moral and ethical implications of food production/consumption? Who is participating in these practices? How do religious worldviews lend themselves to environmental action/awareness?
SUS 635 - Water Policy and Governance
This course addresses water policy and governance. We will consider water resources with specific attention to the challenges that come with managing a resource that crosses a range of boundaries and scales. The course will explore debates around topics such as Pittsburgh's urban water management, justice, climate change, and scarcity.
SUS 640 - Sustainable Community Development
This course explores how people can engage in creating more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable communities at multiple scales, from the local to the regional. The reading and assignments emphasize sustainable planning theory and practice as well as sustainable food systems perspectives. Students will engage in practice-based research and community projects.
*Students are not limited to this list of electives and may draw on the Chatham course catalog in consultation with their advisors.