Sustainability & Sustainable Development

A broad base, plus depth and detail

You'll begin by mastering the fundamentals reflected in the MPA program's core competencies. These five courses (15 credit hours) will give you well-developed analytical skills and a broad understanding of policy issues and government processes. In addition to these highly transferable core skills, the Sustainability and Sustainable Development concentration includes two required courses which provide the fundamental theories and tools of sustainable development.

The following is an example of courses. Please work with your advisor as you make your schedule.

  • Sustainable Communities (S 515)
  • Sustainable Development (S 596)
  • Sustainability in a Tri-Sectoral World (V 550)

The remainder of the coursework comes in a wide range of elective courses. These will allow you to tailor your Sustainability and Sustainable Development program to your own specific interests. Working with an advisor, you will select two courses from one of these three areas: Development, Policy and Entrepreneurship. Natural environment, or Environmental Protection.

Development, Policy, and Entrepreneurship
  • Approaches to Development (D 576)
  • Economic Development, Globalization, and Entrepreneurship ( D669)
  • International Environmental Policy (E 535)
  • Seminar in Urban Economic Development (L 622)
  • Energy Policy from a Nation-State Perspective ( R 590)
  • Environmental Economics and Policy (R 625)
  • Natural Resource Management and Policy (R 643)
  • Energy Economics and Policy (R 674)
  • Climate Law and Policy (V 550)
  • Water Policy and Economics (V 550)
  • Urban Sustainability (V 527)
  • Principles and Practices of Social Entrepreneurship (V 559)
  • Human Behavior and Energy Consumption (X 511)
Natural Environment
  • Fisheries and Wildlife Management (E 460)
  • Urban Forest Management (E 522)
  • Forest Ecology and Management (E 528)
  • Restoration Ecology (E 534)
  • Wetlands Ecology and Management (E 540)
  • Lake and Watershed Management (E 545)
  • Urban Ecology (E 555)
  • BMP Design for Healthy Urban Watersheds (E 555)
  • River Management (E 555)
  • Conservation Biology (E 557)
  • Climate Change Impacts on Natural Resources (E 591)
Environmental Protection
  • Fundamentals of Air Pollution (E 515)
  • Aquatic Chemistry (E 539)
  • Environmental Engineering (E 552)
  • Solid and Hazardous Waste Management (E 562)
  • Organic Pollutants: Environmental Chemistry & Fate (E 564)
  • Energy Systems (E 574)

Then you’ll select two courses from the following area:

Analytical Tools
  • Application of Geographic Information Systems (E 529)
  • Negotiation and Dispute Resolution for Public Affairs (M 547)
  • Data Analysis and Modeling for Public Affairs (P 507)
  • Benefit-Cost Analysis (P 541)
  • Public Program Evaluation (P 562)

Combining your Sustainability and Sustainable Development concentration with another MPA concentration—such as Economic Development, Policy Analysis, or Public Financial Management—may offer you unique advantages in pursuing a particular career. As they help you design your program, our faculty will work to accommodate your specialized professional interests.

Experiential learning

Our MPA offers far more than traditional lectures and lessons. You'll also get the benefit of experiential learning—typically through an approved internship. What's more, your concentration's course work will culminate in a project-oriented course—a capstone—that lets you apply the knowledge you gained throughout the program.

Current and past placements and internships:
  • Bloomington, IN, City of- Economic & Sustainable Development
  • Downtown Bloomington Recycling Center
  • Indiana, State of - Department of Environmental Management
  • Institute for Sustainable Development
  • Center for Resource Solutions
  • IUB - Office of Sustainability
  • IU Integrated Program in the Environment

Gain real-world experience while still in school

EMSDA logoYou can join the O’Neill Environmental Management & Sustainable Development Association, one of many professional student organizations that offer networking and current information on events in the industry.

Get involved