Program of Study
The Masters program consists of 30 credits total. A required five course core curriculum lays a foundation in sustainability values, strategies and metrics through coursework in urban and natural systems, environmental economics and industrial ecology. They are aimed at giving students with diverse educational backgrounds and perspectives a common language and shared direction. Emphasis will be placed on approaches such as ‘whole systems thinking’ and life cycle analysis to enable an increased understanding of complex urban eco-systems. A key feature of the core curriculum is a yearlong, six-credit capstone interdisciplinary project designed for teams of students with different backgrounds.
Links below will take you to a PDF of the course syllabus.
Core Courses for All Students
Electives include advanced courses within architecture, engineering and science. Students in the program select one of two concentrations: (1) Architecture Concentration, suitable for students in architecture, and (2) Engineering-Science Concentration, appropriate for engineering or science majors.
Students take four elective courses – three in their concentration and one in the other – to complete program requirements.
Elective Courses in Architecture
Elective Courses in Engineering and Science*
Elective Course in Social Science*
* Enrollment in these courses requires an undergraduate degree in science, engineering or architecture or completion of pre-requirements stated on letter of admission to the program. Such pre-requirements should be satisfactorily completed prior to beginning MS in Sustainability coursework.
** Additional prerequisite(s) are also required for these elective courses.
Sample Capstone Projects
As noted above, these key features of the core curriculum are long-term interdisciplinary projects designed for teams of students with differing backgrounds and concentrations. We are grateful to the US Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) for generous support of the development of some initial capstone projects:
(Click on a project for a fuller description.)
A Systems Approach to Urban Community-Scale Composting
The Solar Roofpod: Implications for New York City’s Long-Term Sustainability Plan
High-Performance Glazing for Energy-Efficient and Bird-Safe Buildings
Food Grinders and Sustainable Food Waste Disposal
Low-Tech Global Reuse and Recycling in a Local School
Factors Affecting the Decision to Demolish or Deconstruct an Existing Building
Carbon Trading Markets
Analysis of Household Energy Consumption Choices
Separating Risks to Cash Flows for Heating/Cooling
The City College Waste Stream, Part I: Food Rescue and Recycling
The City College Waste Stream, Part II: Removing Barriers to Paper Recycling
Green Wall Technologies
Using Pyrolysis to Convert Unused Urban Biotic Material into Bioenergy and Biochar
Plant and Soil-Based Carbon Sequestration in Urban Areas
Reconfiguration of Manhattan Bus Stopping Frequency
Designing an Urban Food-Vending Stand
Designing Urban Green Roofs for Modularity and Recyclability
Design of a Modularized “Smart” Façade System
Water Use Reduction in Buildings
Optimizing Building Energy Use
Sustainable Construction Material
Using Natural Zeolite Based Sorbents to Remove Contaminants during Groundwater Recharge with Reclaimed Municipal Wastewater