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Kogod Launches Master’s Degree in Sustainability Management

Dan Jacobs

Today's sustainability buzz is tomorrow's business and public policy reality.  The world needs more business, nonprofit and government professionals able to wrestle with the sustainability challenges of the 21st century.  

Recognizing that market demand, the Kogod School of Business at American University is launching a Master of Science in Sustainability Management (MSSM) degree.

The degree is designed to integrate business education with environmental science and public policy to prepare students who want to be part of the first generation of professionally-trained sustainability experts and managers.  Drawing upon a wide array of resources available on campus, in the nation's capital, and abroad, students will learn the skills necessary to effectively address global sustainability issues in the private, public, and civil society sectors.

"This is a truly innovative program, designed to equip its graduates with the skills necessary to successfully lead sustainability programs in business organizations, nonprofits, foundations and government," said Kathleen Getz, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Kogod. 

"More than ever before, businesses want to be ‘green’ and to collaborate with regulators and NGOs," said the newly-appointed program director, Dan Jacobs of Kogod's Management Department, noting that some 70 percent of corporations around the world will increase their commitment to sustainability this year according to a recent study. 

Jacobs recently joined Kogod after a distinguished career in the federal government.  As an award-winning Trial Attorney at the Justice Department, he was lead counsel in high-profile environmental and civil rights cases. As a Senior Negotiator and Office Director in the State Department's Economic, Energy, and Business Bureau, he led major initiatives to promote and protect American business interests abroad.

Degree Requirements

The MSSM is the only interdisciplinary business-based degree of its kind, and is offered by one of the greenest universities in the country.  Faculty from across American University disciplines will bring a diverse perspective to the classroom. Courses will be taught by distinguished faculty from Kogod as well as from the College of Arts and Sciences, School of International Service, and School of Public Affairs.

Full-time graduate students will be able to complete the 36-credit hour degree in four semesters. Applicants may apply starting in Fall 2011; the inaugural MSSM class will enroll in August 2012, and will have the opportunity to attend the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012.

Track Record

AU is ranked No. 1 in the country to date in campus sustainability by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and has pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2020. Several of its buildings, including the Kogod building, already have green roofs, and solar panels and a wind turbine are being installed on others. The new School of International Service building is LEED-certified (Gold).