Master of Science in Sustainability Management and Policy (MSSMP)

Degree Program

As countries, governments, corporations, and the United Nations have set sustainability goals for decades to come, the demand for sustainability professionals will continue to increase. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported strong growth in all sustainability-related job categories, with a 11.9% increase in employment forecasted for 2019-2028. In addition to job growth, the demand for master’s degrees in managerial positions has increased according to a 2020 GreenBiz report.   

CSULB's College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, College of Liberal Arts, College of Business (COB), and the College of Professional and Continuing Education (CPaCE) have joined efforts to offer a Master’s Degree in Sustainability Management and Policy (MSSMP). This program is designed to prepare students to apply the concepts of sustainability within an organization and the regulatory environment by engaging them in advanced training. This program will provide a transdisciplinary graduate degree that will empower students with in-demand technical, managerial, and problem-solving skills to guide the decision-making process in the context of sustainability.   

The curriculum design objective is to offer a balance between theory and application by illustrating the holistic dynamics of social, economic, environmental, business, and technical systems. Students with a science or engineering foundation who are interested in sustainability will increase their knowledge and competence in the field, enabling them to pursue careers in management or policy with a sustainability focus. 

The cohort-based MSSMP program is intended for individuals seeking management, entrepreneurial, and leadership positions related to sustainability. The program design considers those who are pursuing a position that includes responsibilities in sustainability as part of their organizational practices or are switching career paths to pursue opportunities in this field. 

Students will engage with regional and national sustainability groups and collaborate with various professionals from a wide array of industries, government, non-government, and academic organizations, in order to excel as active leaders in sustainability fields. The program’s requirements comprise a 36-unit, lock-step sequence of courses covering three core components: i) developing an advanced understanding of sustainability in the management and policy realms; ii) acquiring data analytics, systems analysis, and design skills to tackle real-world problems in business and policy; and iii) demonstrating competency through a culminating project, in which students interact with local leaders.  

The Integrative Capstone Experience course (6 units) will serve as the culminating educational experience for students in the MSSMP program. It is designed to integrate the transdisciplinary fields of the program’s 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, potentially related to the student’s ongoing professional positions. Under the guidance of faculty mentors, interdisciplinary teams of students will engage in a 12-week project with partner companies and non-profit organizations.

  • Working professionals seeking to apply concepts of sustainability within an organization and the industry’s regulatory environment
  • Students with a science or engineering foundation who are interested in sustainability (including those studying courses in chemistry, calculus, biology, microbiology, chemistry, or physics)
  • Those who want to pursue a career in the wide field of sustainability or advance from their current positions in related fields 
  • Technical, managerial, and problem-solving skills to guide decision-making in the context of sustainability
  • A balance between theory and application of social, economic, environmental, business, and technical systems
  • Focus on security and assurance for protection of data, software, and resources
  • Mentorships with sustainability professionals
  • A culminating captone project within a professional setting that gives students real-world experience
  • Evening courses
  • How to define and apply sustainability principles and practices within professional responsibilities
  • How the interaction of environmental, economic, and social values interact to foster or hinder sustainability and sustainable practices
  • How to analyze and experience local, national, and global sustainability across disciplines
  • How to apply sustainability principles within the context of personal and professional values
  • How to develop proficiency with data collection, analysis, and representation on a range of sustainability-related topics
  • Sustainability and Society
  • Sustainability Science
  • Sustainability Case Studies
  • Data Analytics and Sustainability
  • Sustainability and Organization Theory
  • Environment, Law, Policy, and Ethics
  • Decision-Making and Uncertainty
  • Benefit-Cost Analysis
  • Environmental Economics and Policy
  • Sustainability and Strategic Management