Engineering Science (Sustainability) MS

Students in Costa Rica looking at wind mills.

Sustainable engineering is the process of designing or operating systems to use energy and natural resources in a cost-effective manner that does not compromise the natural environment, social equity or the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

About Engineering Sustainability

Engineering Sciences MS with a course focus in Engineering Sustainability is a 1 or 1 and 1/2 year (30 credit hour) multidisciplinary program training students in the core areas of Sustainability Fundamentals, Renewable Energy, Economics, Environmental Quality and Engineering Practice, Ethics and Manufacturing.

Students choose elective courses in topics providing depth in energy systems, environmental quality and engineering management.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects strong job growth rate in many sustainability careers, both within the context of traditional engineering disciplines, and specialized areas such as sustainability planning and design, operations management, life cycle/footprint analysis and campus sustainability coordination.  Renewable energy represents another prosperous field, especially wind power, where specialists can expect a staggering 96% growth in jobs through 2026.  A master’s degree in this growing field provides students with advanced coursework, research opportunities, and management training to succeed in a variety of career opportunities.

Admissions Requirements

Prospective students with a bachelor’s degree in engineering or natural sciences are invited to apply. The GRE is recommended, but not required.

The default 30-credit program is course-based (typically 10 classes) plus a required final culminating experience such as a short research paper. Thesis and project options are also available based on prior arrangement with a faculty member.

All applicants who are not native speakers of English must demonstrate proficiency by taking an English language proficiency exam. For more information about these exams please see:


The curriculum includes 3 core classes and 5-7 electives and the culminating experience. 

Required Courses

There are three required courses for the Engineering Science MS: Focus on Engineering Sustainability:

  • CIE 500 Economics of Engineering Sustainability (Spring Semester)
  • CIE 500 Ethics of Engineering Sustainability (Fall Semester)
  • MAE 530 Sustainabile and Alternative Energy (Fall Semester)


Engineering elective credits can be distributed throughout the fall, winter, spring and summer semesters to support a one-year graduation pathway. If a project or thesis option is followed, then 3 project credits or 6 thesis credits can be substituted for course credits.

Non-SEAS courses

Students may take two pre-approved, non SEAS courses as part of their degree. If a student feels additional non-engineering course content is necessary to fulfill their Engineering Sustainability academic goals, they should contact the director of graduate studies BEFORE registering. Taking additional non-SEAS courses requires advanced approval. 

Culminating Experience

Students may choose between 5-7 electives depending on the chosen culminating experience; 5 electives if will have a 6-credit thesis, 6 electives if they are opting for the 3-credit project, and 7 electives if they are opting for the comprehensive exam or portfolio.

For More Information Contact:

John D. Atkinson
Director of Graduate Studies
Engineering Science MS: Focus in Engineering Sustainability
233 Jarvis Hall