GENERAL FAQS

Why should I choose this program?

This program stands out in bringing the unparalleled expertise of the Earth Institute’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory into the classroom. The Observatory is the world’s leader in Earth observation and a pioneer in the use of technology —  underwater vehicles, aircraft, drones, and satellites — in collecting real-time data worldwide. Students with technical backgrounds, who want to advance their careers in the field of sustainability, will learn the use of cutting edge scientific methods and tools that they can use to help organizations address their environmental impacts and risks.

How long does it take to complete the program?

Students may complete the program in as few as three semesters, or as long as three years. The program offers both a full-time and a part-time option, as well as the flexibility to switch from one to the other each semester. Full-time students typically take four courses per semester; part-time students must take at least one course each semester.

Is a thesis required?

No, the program does not require a thesis. Instead of a thesis, students must take the Capstone Workshop in Sustainability Science, a course that calls on students to integrate and apply their knowledge in addressing a real-world sustainability issue.

How do I choose between the M.S. in Sustainability Science and the M.S. in Sustainability Management?

The M.S. in Sustainability Science is best suited for prospective students with undergraduate degrees in engineering, math, science, and related fields, who want to pursue technical sustainability careers. These careers focus on the analysis of environmental risks and impacts, the prevention of pollution, and remediation. Sustainability Science graduates could attain management positions in which they oversee science and other technical staff. Some typical job titles of Sustainability Science graduates may include: Director, Division of Environmental Science and Assessment; Environmental Program Manager of Environmental Technologies; Supervisor, Environmental Monitoring; Environmental Engineer; and Environmental Compliance Specialist.

The M.S. in Sustainability Management prepares students for management careers that are based on strategic, financial, and policy analyses. The curriculum emphasizes general and financial management, economics, quantitative analysis, policy, which students learn in understanding and managing the physical dimensions of sustainability (e.g. energy, water, greenhouse gas emissions, environmental infrastructure. Some typical job titles of Sustainability Management graduates may include: Global Director of Product Sustainability; Director of Facilities and Sustainability; Senior Manager, Sustainability & Legal Compliance; Manager, Environment, Policy & Social Initiatives; Energy & Sustainability Project Manager.


The graduates of both programs could end up working side by side, but on different aspects of integrating environmental concerns in the operations of organizations.