Welcome to the Master of Arts in Sustainable Communities

The mission of the Sustainable Communities program is to provide interdisciplinary face-to-face graduate education on the complex issues of sustainability and social justice, encouraging students to pursue important social and environmental issues concurrently. The program seeks to educate students as critical thinkers for community leadership and to enable its graduates to contribute to the well being of communities. At the same time, the program aims to push students intellectually, fostering thoughtful and critical graduates who can think theoretically. The curriculum is student-centered; students bring their intellectual, ethical, and practical concerns to bear on their particular academic inquiry. These skills are sharpened in collective collaborations between students and communities both on and off campus.

Our graduate students earn a master's degree, typically in two years. We also offer an undergraduate minor in Civic Engagement.

Our key concepts:

  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability encompasses the interactions between human and natural systems; sustainability is broadly defined and emphasizes the necessity for people to live in communities. Students explore what makes communities economically, environmentally, and socially resilient and equitable, and how to ensure that communities have a direct say in building their future.
  • Civic Engagement: students envision themselves as interconnected to the fabric and leadership of the university through their work on the university campus as well as their meaningful participation in the larger Flagstaff community through various models of activism, organizing, and scholarship.
  • Inquiry-based Research: recognizes the interdependence between theory, modes of inquiry, and practice.
  • Scholar-Activism: our scholarship and praxis acknowledges and speaks directly to the needs of communities and offers theoretically and empirically pragmatic solutions grounded in sustainability.
  • Social Justice: considers issues of environmental and community sustainability as deeply interrelated.
  • Social Transformation: recognizing that individual transformation in terms of knowledge, understanding, and skills are deeply connected to collective transformation, students critically reflect and demonstrate elements of individual transformation as well as the implications of their work towards collective transformation.
Click to see our student handbook.