Jul 18, 2019  
2006-2008 Graduate Catalog 
2006-2008 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Science in Sustainable Systems

Program Contact:  Dale Stewart  724-738-2593

Master of Science in Sustainable Systems - Factsheet (PDF)

Master of Science in Sustainable Systems - Department Page

The Master of Science in Sustainable Systems (MS3) program at Slippery Rock University was established in 1990 and charged with preparing students to face pressing environmental challenges of the future by considering sustainability as the underlying framework for action. Students study and practice sustainability through the integration of agroecology, natural resource management, and the built environment with particular emphasis on the design and management of productive systems that reflect the diversity and resilience of natural systems. The program embraces the human element in the landscape, searching for sustainable ways to satisfy food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material human needs.

To achieve these goals, students take an interdisciplinary professional core that integrates the aforementioned three areas and also choose an elective course to further focus their interests. These academic courses include exercises in creative design and problem solving as well as laboratory and field experiences. Faculty with expertise in each of the areas are currently dedicated to the program with supporting faculty teaching additional courses. A host of non-curricular opportunities for learning and practicing sustainability are also available through the Robert A. Macoskey Center for Sustainable System Education and Research, the surrounding community, internships, and other campus-related projects.

The MS3 Program is a 30 credit program, and both thesis and non-thesis options are available. Students are required to meet the standard admission requirements set by SRU Graduate Studies Office. In addition to these materials, prospective students must also submit the following directly to the MS3 Program Coordinator:

  1. Letter of intent, outlining applicant’s’ objectives for entering the program,
  2. Resume,
  3. Writing sample (i.e., academic paper, published article), and
  4. Two letters of recommendation.

The Robert A. Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research

This on-campus facility serves as a host to a variety of educational, research and social activities associated with the MS3 Program and other environmental programs. Conceived by the late Dr. Robert A. Macoskey, this center promotes the transition to sustainable systems through education, research and demonstration. The Center includes organic community and market gardens, a small wood lot, a composting research and demonstration project, and a restoration ecology project. Harmony House, a multipurpose renovated farmhouse located at the Macoskey Center, serves as secondary space and as a gathering area for program activities. The building also contains a library, student workspace, and serves as the residence for two graduate assistants. It has been redesigned for energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and utilization of environmentally friendly materials. The Center is an on-going effort of faculty and administration, MS3 students and alumni, ALTER, and local community members.

Requirements for the Master of Science in Sustainable Systems