Master of Arts in Sustainable Communities curriculum

The MA in Sustainable Communities can be a two-year program that includes a summer session, offers day and night courses, and consists of 36 credit hours in the following areas:

  • 15 hours of core courses:
    • SUS 601: Visions of Good and Sustainable Communities
    • SUS 602: Elements and Contexts of Sustainable Communities 
    • SUS 603: Social Transformation
    • SUS 604: The Craft of Inquiry
    • SUS 695: Achieving Sustainable Communities 
  • 15 hours of elective courses:
    • these electives can be drawn from across the university and are chosen in consultation with the Program Director and/or your academic SUS Special Topics
    • classes like SUS 599: Place in the Personal Essay:
      • these classes are designed to address topics not offered elsewhere in the university at the graduate level 
    • up to two 400-Level courses:
      • please consult with the Program Director prior to enrolling in the 400-level course, complete the Out of Career form and submit to the department (Note: Financial Aid will not recognize a 400-level class on a graduate  student record, unless this form has been approved)
    • up to six hours of independent study work (SUS 697), graduate research (SUS 685), and/or fieldwork experience (SUS 608)
  • 6 hours of thesis credits
    • a minimum of 6 hours of SUS 699 thesis work is required for graduation 
  • Prospectus Development Class (optional, but recommended)

Sample degree progression

In order to finish your degree in two years, you need to take the required courses in this sequence. However, if you are a part-time student, please take note that some classes are offered only in certain semesters.

More information

For more information on this degree, check out our academic catalog.

Graduate College policies

For policies for graduate students, see the Graduate Coordinator’s Manual.

Independent study

Complete these steps before registering for independent study:

  • download and complete the SUS independent study form 
  • designate a faculty member to serve as a mentor/supervisor of your independent work
  • get final approval from the SUS Program Director

Summer Institute

Learn about our Summer Institute program here.

Potential pathways

The SUS Pathways offer a snapshot of NAU and Flagstaff people and research working towards more socially, environmentally and economically sustainable communities. These "pathways" only partially represents the range of inquiry and engagement of SUS. They are representative of many - but certainly not all - lines of inquiry available to the SUS student. Use these pathways to begin your inquiry, pursuing further academic and community opportunities that inform and inspire.