Nov 13, 2019  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Sustainability and Environment Department

Department Chairperson and Graduate Program Director: Meghann Jarchow, Ph.D.

Department of Sustainability and Environment
Akeley-Lawrence Science Center, Room 201
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
Phone: 605-677-5649



Mark Sweeney, Ph.D., Washington State University, Specialization: Sedimentology

Associate Professors:

Meghann Jarchow, Ph.D., Iowa State University. Specialization: Prairie Ecology, Sustainability Pedagogy
Brennan Jordan, Ph.D., Oregon State University. Specialization: Petrology


Master of Science  
Doctor of Philosophy  

Program Description

Sustainability is an emerging field that seeks to address many of society’s complex and interdisciplinary issues. The University of South Dakota is the second university in the United States to offer sustainability degrees at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. levels.  A focus of the graduate program in sustainability is on conducting research that is interdisciplinary and solutions oriented.  The research expertise of the faculty in the Sustainability and Environment Department and other faculty affiliated with the graduate program in sustainability span the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities.  For information about the department, the faculty, and graduate degrees, please consult


  1. Completed Graduate Application form found at: and a non-refundable application fee of $35.
  2. Official transcripts verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and previous graduate credit (in English or with translation) must accompany an application. Official transcripts of all academic work at the undergraduate and graduate levels are required for all applicants. The USD Graduate School and/or academic units retain the right to require credential evaluations from organizations, such as an Educational Credential Evaluators/World Education Services (ECE/WES), for a student if such an evaluation is deemed necessary.
  3. Baccalaureate degree or an equivalent degree from an institution with full regional accreditation for that degree. A minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.7 on conferred degree and/or graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, based on a 4.0 scale, on all graduate coursework is required for full admission.
  4. Applicants with degrees from countries other than the United States who have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited American college or university are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score. For all other applicants, a minimum score of 79 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT) or 550 on the Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT), a minimum IELTS score of 6.0, or a minimum PTE score of 53 is required for graduate admission. Applicants from or who have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from English-speaking countries are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score if their academic records after review indicate that English was the classroom language for their schoolwork.
  5. Applicants are required to submit a statement of purpose.

Additional Program Admission Requirements:

  1. The GRE General test is required for those seeking the M.S. or Ph.D. GRE scores are not required for the following:
    1. Current USD students pursuing at least a bachelor’s degree in a related area and those who have graduated from USD with at least a bachelor’s degree within the last 5 years OR
    2. Applicants with an earned master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States.
  2. Three (3) professional letters of recommendation are required.

Subject to faculty approval, those who do not meet all of the criteria above may be admitted on a provisional basis.

Application Deadline

  • Priority deadline for assistantships:  1 February