Sustainability Science Master's of Science

"Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
Our Common Future: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (United Nations, 1987)

Why Sustainability Science?

Sustainability is becoming more important on a daily basis as natural resources become rare, global climate change affects human health and the economy, and alternative energy, pollution control, and other technologies are developed. Thus, the potential for careers in sustainability management, consulting, development, and education is growing. Like computer technology, sustainability is not limited in its application, and thus has great potential for growth and integration into many other fields. This integration will not only allow Sustainability Science students to be more competitive for future positions, but will also allow them to be at the forefront of new fields of research and business, helping to create a sustainable economy for the future.

The Sustainability Science M.S. is designed to provide students with the opportunity to gain advanced training in sustainability as a career and to be accessible to those with science majors and others that may want advanced training in sustainability. The program’s goal is to prepare students to be competitive in a world that is striving toward greater sustainability each day.

Growing concerns about sustainability from professional, academic, corporate, farm, and small business employers at local, national, and global levels have created more demand for this graduate program. With an interdisciplinary series of courses, the Sustainability Science M.S. can provide students with integrated knowledge and skill for global citizenship, as well as produce various practical experiences and strategies to fulfill the demand in the job market

How the Program Works

The Sustainability Science M.S. program is an interdisciplinary exploration of sustainability issues related to science, appealing to students with interests in the environment, advanced technology, and sustainable development. Integrating knowledge and experiences from each Jones College of Science, Engineering, and Technology department as well as the Hutson School of Agriculture and the College of Education; the Sustainability Science M.S. is designed to provide students with a Master’s level of understanding of topics including ecological health, advanced energy technology, and other scientific applications of sustainability. The program is designed to encourage the implementation of sustainable practices in response to local, regional, national, and global issues. The course of study allows specialization in one of four tracks: Agricultural Sustainability, Environmental Sustainability, Industrial and Technical Sustainability, and Sustainability Education. All students must complete a core curriculum, two restricted electives, advanced courses in their area of interest, and a capstone two-semester practicum in which students design and implement a project in collaboration with a faculty mentor that applies their knowledge of sustainability.  You can find the curriculum here.

After completion of this program of study, students will have a graduate-level understanding of sustainability science, including topics such as ecological health, advanced energy technology, and other scientific applications of sustainability. Students will be able to apply such knowledge to create solutions to current environmental problems, and have the potential to lead the world to a more sustainable future.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Sustainability Science M.S. program is to educate and prepare our graduates via a rigorous classroom setting coupled with hands on application. The program strives to ensure that our curriculum, with its diverse courses and internship opportunities will provide students with the background and ability to create positive change within the university and local communities as well as regionally, nationally and internationally. Our program develops leadership and teamwork skills that will provide our graduates with an advantage in diverse professional settings that demand collaboration among teams of scientists, engineers, architects, business owners, economists, policymakers, educators and other people who want to make our world a better place. Our graduates will leave Murray State with resumes ready for the work force; prepared with skills necessary to implement true sustainable change.

Student Researching at Pogue

Core Values:

  • Dedicated to social, ecological and economic justice
  • Belief in interconnected problems and solutions: we are all reliant on one Earth
  • An interdisciplinary background
  • The integration of theory, research, assessment and practice
  • Participatory, inclusive, transformational, and lifelong learning
  • The promotion of applied, experiential and community-based learning
  • The fostering of hope and resiliency through networks and relationships within local and global contexts

Requirements for Admission

Applicants must meet all Murray State University requirements (see Graduate Admissions). Additional requirements for unconditional and conditional admission are as follows:

Unconditional

  • At least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA.
  • Composite GRE score of at least 297 (148 verbal + 149 quantitative)
  • International students: TOEFL score of at least 527; iBT TOEFL of 71; or IELTS score of 6.0.