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Curriculum and Course Descriptions

The 12 course master's program consists of the core curriculum, a speciality track of the student's selection, and a capstone experience, which is typically taken during the final semester.


Core Curriculum (24 credits, all required)

  • SMGT 700 Cultural and Historical Foundations of Sustainability
  • SMGT 710 The Natural Environment
  • SMGT 720 Applied Research and the Triple Bottom Line
  • SMGT 730 Policy, Law, and the Ethics of Sustainability
  • SMGT 740 Economics of Sustainability
  • SMGT 750 The Built Environment
  • SMGT 760 Geopolitical Systems—Decision Making for Sustainability on the Local, State, and National Level
  • SMGT 770 Leading Sustainable Organizations

Specialty Tracks (choose two of the following courses)

  • SMGT 780 Corporate Social Responsibility
  • SMGT 782 Supply Chain Management
  • SMGT 784 Sustainable Water Management
  • SMGT 785 Waste Management and Resource Recovery

Capstone (4 credits total, both required)

  • SMGT 790 Capstone Preparation Course
  • SMGT 792 Capstone Project

Course Descriptions

SMGT 700 Cultural and Historical Foundations of Sustainability

In this course, investigate the changing relationships of humans to the natural environment, changes in dominant scientific perspectives, and the process of scientific debate. Explore the quest for understanding, manipulating, and dominating the natural world. And learn about cultural and organizational structures, the role and impact of technology, the systems approach to problem solving, and their implications for the future.

SMGT 710 The Natural Environment

Through case studies and some pre-reading, we will explore natural cycles, climate, water, energy, biosystems, ecosystems, the role of humans in the biosphere, and the human impacts on natural systems, with the carbon cycle as a unifying theme. Additionally, we will cover disturbance pollution and toxicity, carrying capacity, and natural capital.

SMGT 720 Applied Research and the Triple Bottom Line

Learn how to document and project internal and external costs resulting from the inseparability of the natural, social, and economic environments. Additionally, gain the ability to assess sustainability issues using basic modeling techniques, cause and effect, root cause analysis, regression analysis, and business-scenario-based cases.

SMGT 730 Policy, Law, and the Ethics of Sustainability

This course delves into the law and ethics regarding sustainability of economic development and emerging environmental challenges at national and international levels; including National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), Carbon Footprints, Kyoto protocol, and Brundtland Commission. We will also explore the policy and role of government and its agencies (such as Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Interior, etc.) in building a more just, prosperous, and secure environmental common future.

SMGT 740 Economics of Sustainability

Understand the economy as a component of the ecosystem in which it resides, with natural capital added to the typical analysis of human, social, built, and financial capital. Explore traditional micro, macro, and international trade theory and policy and the implications of sustainability. Topics include: history of economic systems and thought; globalization and localization; distinguishing between growth and development; the nature and causes of market failure; consumption, consumerism, and human well-being; emerging markets; technological change; business organization and financial market alternatives; demographic change; and the global food economy.

SMGT 750 The Built Environment

Explore how the built environment came to be, and how it intersects with human needs such as water, air, food, waste, transportation, healthcare, and education. Evaluate community design and what a sustainable community looks like, and study related technologies while evaluating alternatives and discussing unintended consequences. This course will include case studies.

SMGT 760 Geopolitical Systems–Decision Making for Sustainability on the Local, State, and National Level

This course is an examination of decision making and public policy for sustainability at the national, state, and local levels, with emphasis on the social, economic, and political factors affecting decisions within both the public and private sectors. Attention is given to formal American policymaking processes, informal grassroots activities and consensus building, public engagement with sustainability decisions, corporate sustainability actions and reporting, the promise of public-private partnerships and collaborative decision making, and practical examples of how decision making fosters effective transitions to sustainability goals at all levels.

SMGT 770 Leading Sustainable Organizations

Get a macro-level perspective on leading sustainable organizations. Topics addressed include: organizational change and transformation processes, strategic and creative thinking, organizational structures and their impacts, conflict management and negotiation, stakeholder management, and situational leadership styles and behaviors. We will focus on how organizational leaders develop and enable sustainable organizations, especially in times of environmental change.

SMGT 780 Corporate Social Responsibility

Dig into corporate social responsibility as we evaluate risks and potential impacts in decision making, recognizing the links between the success of an organization and the well-being of a community. Explore ways to integrate corporate social responsibility throughout an organization by creating metrics and communicating CSR policies internally and externally, and take a hard look at the development of best practices in an organization pertaining to corporate social responsibility.

SMGT 782 Supply Chain Management

In this course, planning, organizing and controlling the organization’s supply chain is examined in the context of the triple bottom line, and total cost analyses or product and process life cycles are considered in the context of strategy and operations. Topics include: sourcing, operations, distribution, reverse logistics and service supply chains. Process measurements and the impact on organizational performance in the context of footprints (e.g., carbon, water, pollution), and existing and potential software systems are also covered.

SMGT 784 Sustainable Water Management

This course addresses practical applications of sustainability in aquatic environments. Topics covered include water and health, water quality and quantity, governance, assessing the aquatic environment, water treatment technologies, environmental mitigation, and impacts of climate change. Emphasis will be on selected areas of interest from the perspective of public health, engineering, and municipal conservation management.

SMGT 785 Waste Management and Resource Recovery

This course covers the generation, processing, management and disposal of municipal, industrial and agricultural waste with an emphasis on the technical, economic, and environmental aspects of various recovery processes. Additional topics will include producer responsibility, design for environment, and life cycle analysis.

SMGT 790 Capstone Preparation Course

In this course, you will build the foundation for your Capstone Project through research, data analysis, and scholarly inquiry that results in a project proposal.

SMGT 792 Capstone Project

The Capstone Project gives students a hands-on opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the real world. Each student will help a real organization solve an existing sustainability problem by implementing practical knowledge to achieve a triple bottom line solution. Issues may range from supply chain structures to energy efficiencies to environmental and climate concerns. The instructor will serve as a guide throughout the experience.

by Monroe, Jennifer K last modified Feb 11, 2013 12:30 PM
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