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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.19
Liaison Justin Mog
Submission Date Feb. 13, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Louisville
AC-4: Graduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Justin Mog
Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives
Office of the Provost
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Does the institution offer at least one sustainability-focused major, degree program, or the equivalent for graduate students?:
Yes

The name of the sustainability-focused, graduate-level degree program (1st program):
Master of Arts/Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Concentration in Sustainability

A brief description of the graduate degree program (1st program):

The large-scale goal of the Master of Arts/Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Concentration in Sustainability Degree program is to prepare students to address complex regional, state, national and global challenges posed by the intersection of human exponential growth and increasingly limited resources that support society. The exponentially rising demands that human populations make on natural resources and ecological systems that supply us with energy, food, water and many other ecosystem services will be further threatened by climate change and the pollution of air, soil and water. Continued reliance on a “business as usual” approach to the economic production and consumption of goods and services, often characterized by the stresses it places on The Commons and by a disregard for environmental and social justice, now threatens the ability of the natural world to absorb our collective impact, erodes our collective security, and polarizes our societies. Substantial changes in social contracts, economic systems, as well as individual and institutional behaviors will be needed to provide more sustainable, healthy and secure societies. National, regional and local experimentation is needed to find solutions to societal challenges.

This Master of Arts/Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Concentration in Sustainability program is an initiative of the University of Louisville’s Sustainability Council which seeks to integrate sustainability into everything that goes on at UofL. Students in the program are encouraged to contribute to the Sustainability Council’s efforts to explore sustainable solutions for UofL and our community.

Students are required to complete 33 credit hours of courses. These include 3 credit hours of an Introduction to Sustainability course (SUST 600) taken by all students, 3 credit hours per course in each of three Core Areas (total of 9 credit hours), 3 credit hours in either research methods or statistics needed to conduct research in their focus area, 6 credit hours in either Thesis work or Portfolio, and the remaining 12 credit hours as electives in their area of concentration. A thesis is required to complete the MS option. The electives will be approved by the student's thesis committee and it is strongly suggested that at least one elective be in a core area that is not in the student's home department. The thesis or portfolio options will be determined by the student's career focus and goals and by the advisory committee's recommendation. Thesis and portfolios must involve work in at least two of the Core Areas listed below in order to be considered interdisciplinary.

There will be a minimum of 12 hours apportioned as follows: All students are required to take a 3 credit Introduction to Sustainability course (SUST 600). All students must also take one course from the listings in each of the three Core Areas, for a minimum of 9 credit hours. These Core Areas are The Built Environment, The Natural Environment and The Social Environment. These core courses will have been accepted as providing a broad scope and foundation for all students and do not specify pre-requisites. After reviewing the syllabi of environmentally-related courses in many departments at the university for their potential to fulfill this objective, the committee reached a consensus on the courses below for these Core Areas. Additional courses meeting the above criteria may have to be developed to provide more offerings each semester, since some of the courses below are not offered every semester. Some elective courses are currently not offered at the 600-level, but could be by requiring additional graduate level work. These courses should also be co-listedas SUST courses.

Upon entry, all students will take an Introduction to Sustainability course (SUST 600) to ensure, regardless of their subsequent focus, shared exposure to and basic interdisciplinary knowledge of three Core Areas of Sustainability. This cross-cutting introductory course will be offered each semester and its content will require development.


The website URL for the graduate degree program (1st program) :
The name of the sustainability-focused, graduate-level degree program (2nd program):
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A brief description of the graduate degree program (2nd program):
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The website URL for the graduate degree program (2nd program):
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The name of the sustainability-focused, graduate-level degree program (3rd program):
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A brief description of the graduate degree program (3rd program):
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The website URL for the graduate degree program (3rd program):
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The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused, graduate-level degree program(s):
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Does the institution offer one or more graduate-level sustainability-focused minors, concentrations or certificates?:
No

The name of the graduate-level sustainability-focused minor, concentration or certificate (1st program):
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A brief description of the graduate minor, concentration or certificate (1st program):
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The website URL for the graduate minor, concentration or certificate (1st program):
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The name of the graduate-level sustainability-focused minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
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A brief description of the graduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
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The website URL for the graduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
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The name of the graduate-level sustainability-focused minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
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A brief description of the graduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
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The website URL for the graduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
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The name and website URLs of all other graduate-level, sustainability-focused minors, concentrations and certificates:
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Additionally, graduate students at UofL have the following options to pursue sustainability-related degrees:

1. Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an Emphasis in Environmental Education
This degree is offered through the College of Education & Human Development to those individuals who hold a current teaching license. An Environmental Education Endorsement Program is also coming soon. The following courses below can be applied to either of these options, and to the Rank 1 requirements for area of emphasis credits:
EDAP 673-75: Introduction of Environmental Education (3 credits)
EDAP 604-96: Environmental Education Teaching Methods (3 credits)
More details at http://louisville.edu/education/research/centers/environmental-ed

2. Graduate Certificate in Environmental Engineering
Details at http://louisville.edu/graduatecatalog/degree-programs/degree-programs-by-school/gs-speed-school-of-engineering/graduate-certificate-in-environmental-engineering

3. Through the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, students interested in exploring advanced studies in a field like sustainability which transcends established academic/institutional boundaries may design a graduate program of Interdisciplinary Studies in consultation with faculty and the Assistant Dean for Interdisciplinary Studies. A program for this degree must involve at least two academic departments/units and it must cross traditional disciplinary organizational structures and programmatic lines of study. http://louisville.edu/graduate/

4. Graduate Certificate in Diversity Literacy: http://louisville.edu/philosophy/graduate-programs/copy_of_diversity-literacy-certificate

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.