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.
AREA 1: INTEGRATIVE
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
AREA 5: GENERAL AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
2 Courses in Public, Private or Nonprofit General or Financial Management (6 credits)