Sustainable Communities—MS

Join one of the fastest growing fields in the 21st-century economy. Sustainability-related jobs, especially at the management and leadership level, require a holistic understanding of complex issues and the various applied tools for research, investigation, inquiry. Problems related to sustainability are the most pressing problems of contemporary society and these problems are, at their foundation, social issues. Develop the skill sets and understandings necessary to work on sustainability issues in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Are you ready?

Accelerated Master's Program is available for current Michigan Tech students.

Program Overview

Learn the historical foundations and contemporary frameworks used in sustainability sciences with a master's in sustainable communities. Apply social research and inquiry skills to examine sustainability issues. Gather and analyze information from a diverse set of sources to understand contemporary sustainability issues. Partner with diverse teams of stakeholders to work towards enhancing sustainability based on identified goals. Our program is designed around four core areas: Social Science Foundations, Applied Inquiry Skills, Socio-ecological and Socio-technological systems, and the Capstone Experience. 

  • Delivery Options

    • Accelerated: MS
    • On-Campus: MS

Sustainable Communities Program Details

Choose a specific degree option or delivery type to learn more about the sustainable communities program at Michigan Tech. For international students, Sustainable Communities is a designated STEM program.

On-Campus Programs

Additional Program Information

Want to learn more about sustainable communities at Michigan Tech? Visit the department for more information:


Graduate Director

Mark Rouleau

Graduate Assistant

Kathryn Hannum


Sample Areas of Interest

Select areas of interest to help customize your sustainable communities MS. Sample areas include:

  • Sustainability
  • Environmental Science
  • Public Policy

View full listing for this program


Application Process and Admissions Requirements

Applications are reviewed on an individual basis using a holistic approach. Fill out our free graduate application online to apply to any of our programs. Official transcripts and scores are not required for the initial application, although you will need to upload them later.

Accredited by HLC

Michigan Tech has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1928. Our Graduate School offers over 125 certificates, master's, and PhD programs to provide our students and the world with what tomorrow needs.

Who You'll Work With

In the Sustainable Communities program, you’ll work with a variety of local stakeholders—municipal, county, state, and federal government; indigenous communities; and private companies on the frontlines of solving sustainability challenges. Together with experienced faculty, you’ll be exposed to a variety of issues and topics, including:

  • climate change policy and commitments
  • energy conservation and renewable energy policy
  • environmental and rural sociology theory and methods
  • human rights
  • natural resource economics
  • public policy
  • urban environments and population health
  • watershed change and water quality

Where You'll Work

Get out from behind your desk and into the field to work on real-world sustainability issues. From energy conservation and renewable energy policy in the Upper Midwest to the global impacts of climate change, you’ll apply what you learn to projects around the world. Our students' work has taken them across the Americas and throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Faculty Spotlight

Chelsea Schelly

Chelsea Schelly
Associate Professor, Sociology

"The biggest challenges to community-scale sustainability were created by humans—and they can be changed by humans, too."

Contributing to more sustainable communities requires that we question all we take for granted in the ways systems and institutions are designed to meet (or deny) human needs and comforts. Faculty in the Department of Social Sciences share a passion for teaching students how to use skills from the social sciences to understand sustainability challenges and contribute to a more sustainable future.

In my own research and teaching, I aim to take aspects of society that people of privilege in the United States take for granted and make them visible objects of our questions, our challenges, and our collective efforts at transformation so that individuals and communities can flourish.

Program Faculty