CURRICULUM
The Sustainability Management curriculum prepares students for careers in the dynamic and rapidly changing field of sustainability. The curriculum emphasizes the practical skills and core knowledge that practitioners need to face both the known challenges of the present, as well as the unforeseen challenges of the future. The M.S. in Sustainability Management requires the successful completion of 36 credits divided among five comprehensive content areas.
In addition to the courses designed specifically for the program, sustainability management students can take classes across Columbia’s graduate schools, including the School of International and Public Affairs, the Mailman School of Public Health, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia Business School, Columbia Law School, the Graduate School of Arts and Science, and the Fu Foundation Graduate School of Engineering.

Access, Innovation and the Urban Transportation Transition
An urgent need exists to radically transform the transportation sector in the era of both climate change and urbanization. This class draws on a series of lectures, a case study approach and experiential learning in New York City, which provides a living laboratory for the issues and themes discussed in class around the transportation transition.

  COURSE SPOTLIGHT  

 

AREA 1: INTEGRATIVE

SUSTAINABILITY MANAGEMENT 

These three courses give students an understanding of the elements of sustainability by teaching them about the complex interactions between natural and social systems which sustainability practitioners must always consider. Students will also learn about the different ways in which “sustainability” is understood.

SUMA PS4100 Sustainability Management

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SUMA PS5030 Hungry City Workshop

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SUMA PS5170 Sustainable Operations

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SUMA PS5025 Corporate Sustainability Reporting and Strategy

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SUMA PS5180 Writing Global Science International Media

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SUMA K4310 Practicum in Innovative Sustainability Leadership

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SUMA PS4330 Disaster Risk Management and Sustainable Urban Resilience

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SUMA PS5370 Implementation of Corporate Sustainability Strategies

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SUMA PS5380 Financing Natural Infrastructure

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SUMA K4734 Earth Institute Practicum

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SUMA PS5700 Ethics for Sustainability Management and Finance

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SUMA PS5240 Sustainable Agriculture

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SUMA K4490 Women in Cities: Integrating Needs, Rights, Access and Opportunity into Sustainable Urban Design, Planning and Management

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SUMA PS5450 Access, Innovation in the Transportation Transition

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Integrative Capstone Workshop [SUMA PS5200]

The Integrative Capstone Workshop serves as the culminating educational experience for students in the M.S. in Sustainability Management Program, designed to integrate the distinct fields of the program’s sustainability management curriculum. Students must draw on both the practical skills and the analytical knowledge they have gained in order to address crucial sustainability management issues as consultants for a real-world client.

The final reports and briefings from previous editions of the Integrative Capstone Workshop can be found here.

 

AREA 2: ECONOMICS AND

QUANTITATIVE COURSES 

  • 2 Courses in General and Sustainability Economics (6 credits)  

  • 1 Course in Quantitative Analysis (3 credits)        

The economics requirement reflects the fact that sustainability managers must understand the financial costs and benefits of sustainability practice. After completing this requirement, students will have a good understanding of what sustainability means from an economic perspective, both in the traditional and broader socioeconomic sense. The quantitative analysis requirement gives students the necessary tools to utilize data samples when analyzing a larger issue, allowing them to more efficiently determine the best way to proceed on a particular project.

Some courses can be used to fulfill either the Economics requirement or the Quantitative Analysis requirement. Students should consult the course registration materials or their faculty advisor for more details.

Economics

SUMA PS5020 Cost Benefit Analysis

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SUMA PS5150 Energy and Sustainable Development

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SUMA PS4190 Economics of Sustainability Management

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SUMA PS5195 Accounting, Finance, and Modeling of Sustainable Investments

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SUMA PS5320 Sustainable Investing and Economic Growth

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SUMA PS5445 Impact Finance for Sustainability Practitioners

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SUMA PS5650 Solar Project Development

  

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Quantitative Analysis

SUMA PS5021 Theory and Practice of Life Cycle Assessment

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SUMA PS5033 Decision Models and Management

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SUMA PS5035 GHG Emissions: Measuring and Minimizing the Carbon Footprint

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SUMA PS5169 Sustainability Metrics

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SUMA PS5193 Statistics for Sustainability Management

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SUMA PS5205 Geographic Informations Systems (GIS) for Sustainability Management

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SUMA PS5255 Data Analysis & Visualization in Sustainability

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AREA 3: PHYSICAL DIMENSIONS OF SUSTAINABILITY MANAGEMENT COURSES    

  • 3 Courses in Physical Dimensions of Sustainability (9 credits)       

 

The physical dimensions requirement teaches students about the connections between environmental inputs (i.e. natural resources) and outputs (i.e. energy), and their effects on the natural environment. The emphasis in this requirement will be on understanding the environmental impacts from organizational activities. The planning, design or architecture courses give students a foundation in planning, design and spatial issues. This is particularly important, as many sustainability initiatives concern land use, buildings and other physical entities.

SUMA PS4734 Earth Institute Practicum

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SUMA PS5021 Theory and Practice of Life Cycle Assessment

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SUMA PS5030 Hungry City Workshop

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SUMA PS5035 GHG Emissions: Measuring and Minimizing the Carbon Footprint

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SUMA PS5119 Building Energy Workshop

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SUMA PS5210

Solid Waste Management

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SUMA PS5230 Earth's Climate Systems

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SUMA PS5235 The Science of Urban Ecology

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SUMA PS5770 The Business and Ecology of Sustainable Forestry

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SUMA PS5805 Equity, Energy and the Built Environment

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SUMA PS5050 Critical Urban Infrastructure for Sustainable Development

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SUMA PS5146

Water Systems Analysis

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SUMA PS4130 Sustainable Cities

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SUMA PS5140 Sustainability Science

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SUMA PS5146 Water Systems Analysis

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SUMA PS5147 Water Resources and Climate

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SUMA PS5162 Responsiveness and Resilience in the Built Environment

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AREA 4: PUBLIC POLICY COURSES

  • 1 Course in the Environmental or Sustainability Policy or Law (3 credits)             

 

Policy shapes how urban environments are managed, and sustainability practitioners must be able to analyze public policy and its effects on what they are able to do. This requirement provides students with an understanding of current policy and strengthens their ability to react to future policy developments as they emerge.

SUMA PS5301 International Environmental Law

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SUMA PS5720 Policy and Legal Context for Sustainability Management

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SUMA PS5701 Water Governance

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SUMA PS4490

Women in Cities: Integrating Needs, Rights, Access and Opportunity into Sustainable Urban Design, Planning and Management

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SUMA PS5690 Environmental Infrastructure for Sustainable Cities

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SUMA PS5450 Access, Innovation in the Transportation Transition

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AREA 5: GENERAL AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

  • 2 Courses in Public, Private or Nonprofit General or Financial Management (6 credits)       

 

The general management requirement teaches the skills that are essential to shaping the behavior of an organization and thus to carrying out effective sustainability initiatives. Students will graduate equipped with the tools to shape organizational culture and employee behavior even as new environmental challenges arise. The financial management requirement gives students a foundation in finance and financial models, and an understanding of how environmental commodities markets regulate polluting industries and provide incentives for encouraging desired behaviors. Students will also investigate the credibility of “non-financial metrics” that often accompany sustainability efforts.

SUMA PS5025 Corporate Sustainability Reporting and Strategy

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SUMA PS5142 Sustainable Finance

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SUMA PS5155 Energy: Markets and Innovation

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SUMA PS5170 Sustainable Operations

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SUMA PS5175 Global Environmental Markets

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SUMA PS5195 Accounting, Finance, and Modeling of Sustainable Investments

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SUMA PS5197 Financing the Clean Energy Economy

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SUMA PS5240 Sustainable Agriculture

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SUMA PS5040 ESG-Aligned Corporate Governance

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SUMA PS5380 Financing Natural Infrastructure

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SUMA PS5445 Impact Finance for Sustainability Practitioners

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SUMA PS5470 Circular Economy for Sustainability Professionals

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SUMA PS5525 Consumerism and Sustainability

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SUMA PS5650 Solar Project Development

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SUMA PS5690 Environmental Infrastructure for Sustainable Cities

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SUMA PS5700 Ethics for Sustainability Management and Finance

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SUMA PS5220 Sustainable Entrepreneurship

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SUMA PS5060 Sustainable Fashion & Startup Strategy

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ACCELERATED PROGRAM 

Sustainable Development (B.A.) and

Sustainability Management (M.S.)

Undergraduates in the Sustainable Development program of Columbia University are uniquely prepared for this graduate program, having undertaken interdisciplinary studies focused on the natural and social sciences, and the theory and practice of sustainable development. Students develop expertise in critical areas, such as food, water, health and climate change, and are they trained in important skill areas such as economic analysis and GIS modeling.

Building upon the strong foundation of their undergraduate coursework, students who are accepted into the Sustainability Management program will learn to draw from interdisciplinary perspectives in general and financial management, quantitative analysis, public policy, and the physical dimensions of sustainability. Students will receive practical professional training to help them to understand the systematic and organizational role of sustainability in any organization.

Curriculum

Admitted undergraduate students may take up to two Sustainability Management courses that count toward the master’s degree during their senior year. These courses will be accepted for advanced standing in the Sustainability Management but may not be counted toward students’ undergraduate degree requirements. These courses are:

  1. SUMA PS4100 Sustainability Management

  2. One Approved Physical Dimensions of Sustainability Course.

Click here for a sample schedule.

 

CONTACT US

 

Notice on Campus Visits

In light of the evolving Covid-19 situation and the University’s guidelines for on-campus activity, Columbia University SPS Admissions has suspended all in-person campus visits for the Fall 2020 semester. We invite prospective students to drop by our virtual walk-in hours with general admissions questions.

 

Weekly virtual walk-in hours 

Tuesdays (10:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT)

Thursdays (12:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT)

 

Admissions Counselors can connect you directly to students, alumni, faculty, and facilitate virtual class visits. You can also register for an information session. Our virtual events allow you to interact with our admissions staff and learn more about the Columbia SPS community.  If you have any questions, please contact our office at inquire@sps.columbia.edu or 212-854-9666. 

 

If you would like to receive more information about the M.S. in Sustainability Management program, please contact Samantha Ostrowski, Associate Director, at sostrowski@ei.columbia.edu.

Campus Visits, Graduate School Fairs & Company Presentations

We are eager to host you on the Columbia University campus or to meet you at one of our information sessions.

Our program offers a part-time option for working professionals. If your company would like to host an information session, please contact us. For more information about the graduate school fairs that we attend throughout the United States, please contact Chandler Precht, Program Manager at cprecht@ei.columbia.edu

 

Program Contacts

Samantha Ostrowski

Associate Director

sostrowski@ei.columbia.edu

Mariví Perdomo Caba

Senior Program Manager

mp3221@columbia.edu

 

Office of Admissions
School of Professional Studies
203 Lewisohn Hall
212-854-9666
sustainability@sps.columbia.edu

IMPORTANT DATES

 

 

APPLICATION DEADLINES

Fall 2021: May 15, 2021

Spring 2022: November 1, 2021

HBCU FELLOWSHIP DEADLINES

Program Application Deadline: December 30th

For more information about the HBCU Fellowship, 

please visit this website or contact 

hbcu-fellowship@sps.columbia.edu.

If you would like to receive more information about the M.S. in Sustainability Management program, please submit your contact information below.

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