M.A. in Sustainable Communities
In a ground-breaking essay, leading environmental thinker David Orr asked, "What is education for?" The Master of Arts in Sustainable Communities Program at NAU answers that it ought to expect people to contribute to the well-being of life on the planet—and prepare them to do so.
The Sustainable Communities graduate program is one of only a handful in the country dedicated to the study of sustainability. Recognized at the national level as a model for other graduate programs, it provides students a unique interdisciplinary way to focus on the “commons” of our community life.
The program began more than a decade ago as the Master of Liberal Studies Program with the theme of "Visions of Good and Sustainable Communities." It recently joined the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and continues an issue-based curriculum where students create their own course of study to address their intellectual, ethical, and practical concerns. All seek to learn how to better their communities and the world in unique and achievable ways.
Noble goals need not remain abstract. Graduates from the program have practiced a remarkable variety of engaged scholarship in their communities. They have become transportation planners, LEED-certified consultants, leaders of non-profit organizations, professional writers, university teachers, film-makers, public school teachers, and community organizers. Several have gone on to law school and into Ph.D. programs.
"You leave the program," one of our graduates once wrote, "but you remain committed to the issues." That’s exactly the kind of sustainability we want to engender.
—Sandra Lubarsky, Director