Tufts to Offer Master’s Degree in Sustainability

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Tufts has announced a new graduate program as part of its commitment to building a more sustainable and equitable planet. The Master’s of Science in Sustainability, offered by the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP), will begin in fall 2019.  Ann Rappaport, EG92, UEP faculty member and co-chair of the university’s Sustainability Council, said the program recognizes the urgent and increasing need for sustainability experts to ensure a healthy, livable planet.
“More and more businesses, communities, and organizations recognize the importance of building resilience and sustainability—and a commitment to equity and social justice—into who they are and what they do,” she said. “Sustainability professionals can help them take that longer view.”
“We know that reactive responses to crises, or to resource scarcity, work only in the short-term,” she added. “The core ideas of sustainability guide actions with future generations in mind—and not simply thirty or forty years ahead. We need to get everybody engaged in this kind of long term thinking, and with programs emerging at Tufts and across the country, we can make progress.”
The multidisciplinary Tufts program can be completed in a year by full-time students, and allows students to connect their sustainability studies to their interest in fields such as economics, biology, and public health.
The program differentiates itself through its commitment to social justice and by being housed within UEP, which was established 45 years ago and has graduates in government, nonprofit organizations, citizen advocacy groups, international NGOs, and the private sector. 
Existing UEP programs, such as the interdisciplinary M.S. in Environmental Economics and Urban Planning, have long recognized the importance of quantitative and analytical skills to address complex environmental challenges, said Rappaport. Three new courses for the new master’s degree will include those perspectives: Socio-ecological Systems Thinking for Sustainability, Sustainability Analytics, and Sustainability Metrics and Decision Tools.
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