Master of Science in Sustainability

The Master of Science in Sustainability degree is offered entirely ONLINE.  It is intended to inform students about the theoretical and practical issues relevant to sustainability, and prepare them to reflect on, communicate with different stakeholders, and implement real-world solutions to problems, in order to work towards a sustainable society.

This inter-disciplinary and innovative program will provide students with the knowledge that will enable them to understand the complex relationships between environmental factors, natural systems, economic structures, legal frameworks, socio-political forces and policy options, in order to have a comprehensive idea of the challenges and solutions relating to a sustainable future.  As the fields relating to sustainability become increasingly important in government, academia and industry, students will earn a valuable degree that will help them to gain personal fulfillment and obtain appropriate employment. 

An Emerging Profession

An analysis of job openings shows a growing demand for professionals who focus on sustainability, as well as positions where knowledge of sustainability is noted as a preferred qualification. The Sustainability degree prepares students from a variety of backgrounds for career advancement or career change.

Graduates of the program will be prepared for leadership sustainability positions in higher education, industry, utilities, non-profits, and local, state or federal government entities. This degree will prepare chief sustainability officers, sustainability directors, sustainability analysts, sustainable design professionals, social responsibility officers, energy efficiency analysts, operations managers, development specialists, resource managers, environmental science/sustainability teachers, climate preparation analyst, etc.

Many professions, including city planners, architects, physical plant managers, policy analysts, construction managers, lawyers, communications professionals, scientists, and industrial technologists, now need expertise in sustainability. This degree will give you the edge you need to advance in your career and make a difference in the environment.

BHSU takes the lead in going Green

BHSU was the first South Dakota University to join the American College and University President's Climate Commitment, a consortium of 400 universities across the nation dedicated to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions, and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate.

Two BHSU buildings have earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, the Life Sciences Lab and the Student Union. The Student Union, which was the first state building to earn this standard, is used as a model for demonstration of energy efficiencies and an educational tool for BHSU students and others in the community. In addition to the campus wind turbine, the University has many “green” initiatives including a campus garden, a recycling program, solar panels, and utilizes many other energy efficiencies. BHSU students are actively embracing sustainability in their classrooms as well with a national grant funded solar cell research project, business plans for an innovative mobile recycling business, and art projects and lesson plans that incorporate sustainability aspects. 


“The program applies to almost everything. It’s not so much of an industry as it is a way of thinking. I learning about environmental systems and how humans interact with the world in general.”

- Greg Wilson
A student who is in the Master of Sustainability program who is doing project to improving water quality in Tanzania
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