Master of Arts/Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Concentration in Sustainability

Major: IS MS SUS
Degree Awarded: MA/MS
Unit: GI
Program Webpage: http://louisville.edu/upa/programs/master-of-interdisciplinary-studies-in-sustainability

Program Information

The large-scale goal of the Master of Interdisciplinary Studies in Sustainability Degree program (both M.A. and M.S. degrees) is to prepare students to address complex regional, state, national and global challenges posed by the intersection of human exponential growth and increasingly limited resources that support society. The exponentially rising demands that human populations make on natural resources and ecological systems that supply us with energy, food, water and many other ecosystem services will be further threatened by climate change and the pollution of air, soil and water. Continued reliance on a “business as usual” approach to the economic production and consumption of goods and services, often characterized by the stresses it places on The Commons and by a disregard for environmental and social justice, now threatens the ability of the natural world to absorb our collective impact, erodes our collective security, and polarizes our societies.  Substantial changes in social contracts, economic systems, as well as individual and institutional behaviors will be needed to provide more sustainable, healthy and secure societies. National, regional and local experimentation is needed to find solutions to societal challenges.

This Master of Interdisciplinary Studies in Sustainability program is an initiative of the University of Louisville’s Sustainability Council which seeks to integrate sustainability into everything that goes on at UofL.  Students in the program are encouraged to contribute to the Sustainability Council’s efforts to explore sustainable solutions for UofL and our community.  More information about the UofL Sustainability Council can be found on their website at louisville.edu/sustainability

Curriculum

Required Course:(Mandatory for all students)

SUST 600-  Introduction to Sustainability.

Core Courses: (Students are required to take one course in each area)

Sustainability and the Built Environment Core Courses:

PLAN 670  Sustainable Development and Planning (Frank Goetzke)

UPA 679    Environmental Policy (John Gilderbloom)

Sustainability and the Natural Environment Core Courses:

BIOL 644 Advanced Global Change Ecology (Margaret Carreiro)

GEOS 663 Climate and Environmental Change  (Keith Mountain)

Sustainability and the Social Environment Core Courses:

HIST 611  Advanced Environmental History  (Randall Dills)

SOC 610  Environmental Sustainability and Social Change (Lauren Heberle)

Students will be entered into the program within one of the three Core Areas: Built Environment, Natural Environment, and Social Environment.

3 credit hours will be in a research methods or statistics course related to the student's concentration. 6 credit hours will be devoted to the thesis or portfolio 12 credit hours in Elective Courses.

We strongly recommend that student committees distribute Elective Courses such that at least 3 or 4 credit hours are in a Core area other than that of the student's home department.

Students will take 12 credit hours in guided electives.  The Sustainability Education Committee obtained 47 syllabi from instructors willing to have their courses considered for this Master's Program.  Other courses are acceptable with director's approval.

BUILT ENVIRONMENT (16 courses)

CEE 660      Transportation, Planning and Urban Development

CEE 661      Environmental Analysis of Transportation Systems  (Hybrid web-based class)

CEE 681      Green Engineering and Sustainable Design

GEOG 5xx   Sustainability and Transportation  (CIF submitted Fall 2014)

LAW 902     Land Use and Planning Law

PLAN 670    Sustainable Development and Planning

PLAN 607    Land-Use Planning

PLAN 622    Urban Design

PLAN 623    Environmental Policy and Natural Hazards

PLAN 625    Historic Preservation/ Sustainability Practice

PLAN 636    Site Planning

PLAN 650    Capstone Studio

UPA 618      Urban Demography

UPA 648      Housing and Community Development

UPA 672      Planning and Sustainability

UPA 679      Environmental Policy

UPA 680      Special Topics, The Ideal City

NATURAL ENVIRONMENT (10 courses)

ANTH 528     Animals and Humans

ANTH 531     The Anthropology of Water

ANTH 652     Topics in Nutritional Anthropology

BIOL 567      Conservation Biology

BIOL 644      Advanced Global Change Ecology  (CIF submitted Fall 2014)

BIOL 660      Ecology of Urban and Suburban Landscapes

BIOL 663      Population and Community Ecology

BIOL 667      Advanced Conservation Biology

GEOS 663    Climate and Environmental Change (CIF submitted Fall 2014)

LAW 903      Land and Ecosystem Conservation

SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT (18 courses)

ANTH 530     Human Impacts on Past Environments

ANTH 540     Health and Civilization

ANTH 626     Food Justice

ART 692       Art, Thinking and Social Change

GEOG 500    Globalization Seminar

HIST 610       Historic Preservation

HIST 611       Advanced Environmental History

HSS 675       Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the Individual Level

HSS 676       Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the Social Level

HSS 697       Eating Well and Cooking Healthy

LAW 931       Environmental Law

LAW 939       Water Resources Law and Policy

PHEH 620     Global Issues in Environmental and Occupational Health

PHEH 651     Advanced Environmental Health Sciences

PHPB 612     Health Communication Campaigns: Theory and Practice

PHPB 722     Health Risk Communication

PLAN 673      Behavioral Dimensions of Urban Sustainability

PLAN 674      Sustainable Urbanism

PLAN 676      Sustainable Social-Ecological Systems

POLS 639      International Relations Seminar

SOC 610        Environmental Sustainability and Social Change

Students will work with their academic advisors to select the core and elective courses needed.  Tools courses in each of the three blocks, such as Geographic Information Systems, are accepted for credit toward the degree.

For example, if a student were interested in Sustainability and the Built Environment, a sample curriculum may consist of the following progression of courses:

In the future, disciplines such as Economics, Business, Political Science, Philosophy, and Ethics will be included in the  Interdisciplinary Master of Sustainability Degree Program.  We intend to work with the relevant departments to develop graduate classes that are Sustainability Related and Focused.

A total of three hours will be required in research methods in the student's focus area. Research methods are offered by many of the departments in the core areas (see Table below).  Which research methods course a student will take shall be determined by the academic advisory committee and the student.

Department

Course Title

Course #

Anthropology

Research Design Anthropology

ANTH 609 & 611

Art

None

 

Biology

Advanced Experimental Design     and Analysis

BIOL 648

Communication

Qualitative Communication Research

COMM 616

Geography/Geosciences

Research Design

GEOG 641

Health and Sports Science

Research Methods

HSS 604

History

Research Methods

HIST 605

Political Science

Methods of Political Research

POLS 671

Public Health

Statistical Foundations for Epidemiology

PHEP 621

Sociology

Seminar in Research Methods

SOC 615

Urban and Public Affairs

Research Methods

UPA 606

There are no free electives.  All electives will be guided by the student committee.

Introduction

The large-scale goal of the Master of Interdisciplinary Studies in Sustainability Degree program (both M.A. and M.S. degrees) is to prepare students to address complex regional, state, national and global challenges posed by the intersection of human exponential growth and increasingly limited resources that support society. The exponentially rising demands that human populations make on natural resources and ecological systems that supply us with energy, food, water and many other ecosystem services will be further threatened by climate change and the pollution of air, soil and water. Continued reliance on a “business as usual” approach to the economic production and consumption of goods and services, often characterized by the stresses it places on The Commons and by a disregard for environmental and social justice, now threatens the ability of the natural world to absorb our collective impact, erodes our collective security, and polarizes our societies.  Substantial changes in social contracts, economic systems, as well as individual and institutional behaviors will be needed to provide more sustainable, healthy and secure societies. National, regional and local experimentation is needed to find solutions to societal challenges.

This Master of Interdisciplinary Studies in Sustainability program is an initiative of the University of Louisville’s Sustainability Council which seeks to integrate sustainability into everything that goes on at UofL.  Students in the program are encouraged to contribute to the Sustainability Council’s efforts to explore sustainable solutions for UofL and our community.  More information about the UofL Sustainability Council can be found on their website at louisville.edu/sustainability

Faculty

Margaret Carreiro

Associate Professor of Biology

Randall Dills

Assistant Professor of History

John Gilderbloom

Professor of Urban and Public Affairs

Frank Goetzke

Associate Professor of Urban and Public Affairs

Lauren Heberle

Associate Professor of Sociology

Keith Mountain
Associate Professor of Geography and Geosciences

Chairperson

Dave Simpson

Professor of Urban and Public Affairs