University launches sustainable communities master’s program
February 8, 2016Tweet
Binghamton University is now offering a master’s degree in sustainable communities with both MA and MS options.
The program, which will begin enrolling students in fall 2016, is the first graduate degree in sustainability to be offered by the State University of New York, and one of the only programs of its kind in the country.
The program is unique in another way: It’s a joint partnership between the Environmental Studies Program, Geography Department and Public Administration Department, crossing school boundaries between Harpur College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Community and Public Affairs. Currently, there are nine affiliated faculty members in the program from the two schools.
“University faculty have noticed that a growing number of students want to learn more about shaping our communities to live in ways that can sustain growth and improve the conditions of the environment,” said Carl Lipo, professor of anthropology and director of the Environmental Studies Program. “This program is designed to train students in the use of concepts and tools that directly contribute to making meaningful differences in their own communities.
“Governments, agencies and employers are increasingly seeking professionals who have this expertise and experience,” Lipo added.
The program, housed in the Graduate School, integrates interdisciplinary study, applied research and the three pillars of sustainability — environmental protection, economic vitality and social equity — into its curriculum. Students can pursue a natural science/ecological perspective or a social/policy-based track and all students receive both theoretical and practical training focused on improving quality of life by integrating economic, social, and ecological issues and strategies.
“The breadth and scope of the program is conducive to fulfilling the professional goals of graduates; its strength lies in its flexibility,” said Eugene Tettey-Fio, associate professor of geography. “The MA and MS in sustainable communities will give graduates a strategic edge in today’s changing global economy. Students will have the skills to become tomorrow’s leaders.”
“It is a cutting-edge development for the University and addresses a demand for holistic sustainability professionals with broad, dynamic skill sets,” said George Homsy, assistant professor of public administration. “The sustainable communities program considers people, profit and the planet to address complex challenges and support sustainable development for the future.”
Lipo, Homsy and Norah Henry, associate professor of geography, will serve as the graduate directors of the program. Learn more about the master’s degree in sustainable communities.