Global Sustainability

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 26.8 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 37.5 k / Year(s) Deadline: May 1, 2024
201–250 place StudyQA ranking:826 Duration: You need IELTS certificate

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The Patel College of Global Sustainability fosters sustainable urban communities and environments through collaborative research, education and community involvement. Its research generates innovations and new knowledge that helps cities around the world, including those in developing countries, to reduce their ecological footprint while improving their form and function to make them healthier, more livable and resilient.

In this innovative 30 credit hour program, the students will apply their passion for the environment with cutting-edge research and on-the-ground experience. The program offers a multidisciplinary study of the environment, social and economical dimensions of sustainability to enable informed decisions and to create tangible change toward sustainable futures. Upon graduation, the students will be ready for careers in global sustainability that require teamwork and program planning skills to solve sustainability issues in developing and developed nations.

Core requirements – 18 credit hours
Concentration – 6 credit hours
Electives – 6 credit hours
Comprehensive Exam

The M.A. in Global Sustainability degree has a multitude of concentration offerings in the field of Global Sustainability . It requires students to complete 24 credit hours of coursework and 6 credit hours of a Global Capstone Project . Twelve (12) credits of the coursework are required to be completed by all students, at least 6 credits of coursework are within the chosen concentration, and 6 credits are reserved for general electives.

CORE REQUIREMENTS - 18 credit hours

  • IDS 6233          3          Concepts and Principles of Sustainability                                  
  • IDS 6235          3          Economics and Finance for Sustainability                                 
  • IDS 6234          3          Systems Thinking: The key to Sustainability                              
  • IDS 6238          3          Communicating the Value of Sustainability 

Choose one of the following:                                                                                 

  • IDS 6946          6          Sustainability Internship                                                 
  • IDS 6398          6          Capstone Research Project

The required 6 credit global internship will be completed in the student’s last semester. All students must complete the Global Internship Preparation Seminar Series prior to registration for Internship.


Students select at least one concentration.

Building Sustainable Enterprise (BSE)

  • GEB 6457            3      Ethics, Law and Sustainable Business Practices
  • MAR  6336         3       Promotion Management
  • or MAR 6936     3       Sustainable Marketing 
  • or MAR 6936     3       Supply Chain Management

Climate Change and Sustainability (CLT)

  • IDS 6247          3          Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
  • PHI 6680         3          Climate Change and Civil Evolution

Coastal Sustainability (COA)

  • IDS 6240          3          Coastal Sustainability: Principles and Concepts 
  • IDS 6241          3          Sustainable Coastal Planning: Strategies and Implementation

Entrepreneurship (ETR) 

  • ENT 6116        3          Business Plan Development                                                       
  • ENT 6186        3          Strategic Market Assessment for New Technologies              

Food Sustainability and Security (FOO)

  • PHC 6515        3          Food Safety
  • URP 6930        3          Food Systems Planning

Sustainable Energy (SUSE)

  • IDS 6207          3          Renewable Transportation Fuels
  • IDS 6208          3          Renewable Power Portfolio

Sustainable Tourism (SUT)

  • IDS 6236          3          Sustainable Tourism Development: Principles & Practices
  • IDS 6237          3          Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Management for Coastal & Marine Habitat Protection

Sustainable Transportation (STN) 

Choose two of the following courses:

  • TTE 6651        3         Public Transportation 
  • TTE  6655        3          Transportation and Land Use 
  • URP 6711        3          Multimodal Transportation Planning

Water (WTR)                                                                                                          

  • IDS 6245          3         Sustainable Water Resource Management: Doing More with Less
  • IDS 6246      3          Water Sensitive Urban design for Sustainable Communities

Electives for all concentrations*: 6 credit hours

Students select two available courses such as the following typically offered:

  • CGN 6933        3          Green Engineering for Sustainability                                         
  • CGN 6933        3          Green Infrastructure for Sustainable Communities                  
  • CGN 6933        3          Sustainable Transportation
  • ECH 5785        3          Sustaining the Earth: An Engineering Approach                        
  • EEL 6935         3          Sustainable Energy
  • ENT 6930        3          Global Entrepreneurship
  • ENV 6667        3          Environmental Biotechnology                                                    
  • EVR 6216        3          Advances in Water Quality Policy and Management                
  • EVR 6320        3          Environmental Management
  • EVR 6937        3          Seminar in Environmental Policy: Environmental Policy and the Built Environment
  • EVR 6937        3          Seminar in Environmental Policy: Sustainability and Development
  • PAD 6335        3          Urban Growth Management
  • PAD 6336        3          Community Development Programs and Strategies                 
  • PHC 6934        3          Public Health Topics in Global Sustainability
  • URP 6930        3          Environmental Planning Issues in Coastal Communities

* Other courses in global sustainability may be substituted for these electives as approved by the program director.

Comprehensive exam
The internship report serves as the program’s comprehensive exam.  As part of this process, students write a 20- page internship proposal and a final internship report.  The report requires both field research conducted during the internship and substantial research in the relevant literature. The report is a minimum of 50 pages.

  • GRE is not required
  • GPA of at least 3.0 or greater;
  • At least two letters of recommendation. One must be academic, from a professor at the applicant's most recent institution
  • Official transcripts for degrees earned at institutions other than the University of South Florida
  • 250-500 word essay that includes the student's academic and professional background, reasons for pursuing this degree, and their professional goals in terms of contributing to global sustainability.
  • Portfolio – the applicant may provide a portfolio demonstrating prior work that focuses on sustainability.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English or who have not earned a degree in the United States must also submit TOEFL scores earned within two (2) years of the desired term of entry. A minimum total score of 79 on the internet-based test or 550 on the paper-based test are required. Applications submitted with TOEFL scores that do not meet the minimum requirements will be denied. The TOEFL requirement may be waived if the applicant meets one of the following conditions:
    • The applicant's native language is English, or
    • Has scored 500 or higher on the GRE Verbal Test, or
    • Has earned a college degree at a U.S. institution of higher learning, or
    • Has earned a college degree from an institution whose language of instruction is
    • English (must be noted on the transcript), or
    • Has scored 6.5 on International English Language Testing System (IELTS)


  • Graduate Assistantships
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