Apr 19, 2018  
2008-2010 Graduate Catalog 
2008-2010 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Masters of Science in Sustainable Systems

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The Masters of Science in Sustainable Systems (MS3) program is designed to produce environmental leaders with the skills to address our rapidly increasing environmental problems. Charting a sustainable future is essential to maintaining a high quality of life and healthy environment in the 21st Century.  MS3 graduates will acquire the tools to become professionally successful and to influence changes in their communities. Each graduate will learn to critically evaluate our society’s current interactions with the environment and will have the knowledge and experience to lead others as we find ethical and equitable solutions to our environmental challenges. The program is best suited to individuals with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in the areas of geography, geology, biology, environmental studies or science, or related fields.


Jack Livingston

Graduate Coordinator

 Langdon Smith

Cindy Schnur

Patrick Burkhart, Patricia Campbell, Xianfeng Chen, James Hathaway, Jack Livingston, Carolyn Prorok, Tamra Schiappa, Langdon Smith, Julie Snow, Michael Stapleton, Jialing Wang, Michael Zieg

MS3 Graduates will develop the skills to:

  • Understand the relevant concepts and methods of economics, politics, ethics, design, and environmental geography pertaining to the sustainability of environmental resources and quality of life.

  • Critically evaluate the sustainability of energy systems, technology, the built environment, and environmental regulations and policy.

  • Work effectively within the private and public sector to develop and implement sound and equitable strategies for achieving sustainability.


Students who complete the program will be well prepared to move into the growing field of environmental careers within local, state, and federal government, non-profit organizations, consulting firms, and within various industries, or continue in a doctoral program.

These opportunities include:
Environmental Planning
Local, State, and Federal Agencies
Nonprofit Organizations
Sustainability Consulting
Environmental Positions in Industry
Green Energy & Energy Efficiency Initiatives
Regulatory Agencies (EPA, PA DEP)
Sustainability Education


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


The MS3 program will take advantage of the many opportunities at the Macoskey Center. The center is an 83-acre facility on the campus of Slippery Rock University that promotes sustainability through demonstration, education and research. The center includes a wind turbine and solar panels, organic community and market gardens, a small woodlot, a composting research and demonstration project, and restoration ecology projects. Harmony House, a multipurpose renovated farmhouse at the Macoskey Center, provides additional space for program activities. It has been redesigned for energy efficiency, and includes a library and student research space. Robert A. Macoskey Center


Tuition and Graduate Assistantships


Information on current tuition rates and graduate assistantships can be found on the Office of Graduate Admissions web site at www.sru.edu/graduate. Financial Aid information is available through the Financial Aid Office by emailing financial.aid@sru.edu, or by calling 724-738-2044.


Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission into the MS3 program, all applicants must submit the following materials along with a completed application form and non-refundable application fee:

1. Official scores from the Graduate Record of Examination (GRE).

2. A final official transcript sent directly from the institution that conferred the applicant’s undergraduate degree, and official transcripts from any other undergraduate or graduate coursework completed.

3. Two written letters of recommendation. If the applicant is a recent graduate, at least one letter must come from an undergraduate professor.

4. A 750-word essay describing how this degree will help the applicant to reach his or her career goals.

In addition to the credentials listed above, applicants should have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or higher (based on a 4.0 scale). Applicants who do not meet all of the above criteria may be offered conditional admission upon recommendation of the graduate coordinator and approval by the director of Graduate Admissions.


Contact Information
Dr. Langdon Smith
Graduate Program Coordinator
Dept. of Geography, Geology and the Environment
336 Advanced Technology and Science Bldg.
(724) 738-2389



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