Jul 20, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Sustainability and Environment Department


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

Department of Sustainability and Environment
Akeley-Lawrence Science Center, Room 201
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
Phone: 605-658-6801
sustainability@usd.edu

www.usd.edu/arts-and-sciences/sustainability

FACULTY

Professors:

Meghann Jarchow, Ph.D., Iowa State University. Specialization: Prairie Ecology, Ecosystem Services, Sustainability Pedagogy
Brennan Jordan, Ph.D., Oregon State University. Specialization: Geodiversity, Geoheritage, Sustainable Tourism, Volcanology
Mark Sweeney, Ph.D., Washington State University, Specialization: Geomorphology, Environmental Science, Climate Change

Assistant Professors:

Ranjeet John, Ph.D., University of Toledo. Specializations: Landscape and Ecosystem Ecology, Biogeography, Ecological Modeling, Remote Sensing
Joseph Kantenbacher, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley. Specializations: Sustainable Behavior, Energy

DEGREES

Master of Science  
Accelerated Master of Science  
Doctor of Philosophy  

CERTIFICATE

Geospatial Analysis   

Program Description

Sustainability 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 and humanities. The sustainability program also supports students wishing to earn concurrent graduate degrees at USD, and several concurrent degree combinations have been coordinated. For information about the department, the faculty and graduate degrees, please consult www.usd.edu/arts-and-sciences/sustainability/graduate.

The Geospatial Analysis certificate offers an additional credential to students who are looking to work in a wide range of fields including environmental sciences, community planning and archeology. Geospatial analysis is the collection, analysis and visualization of spatial data. Doing geospatial analysis requires the ability to use software including geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing programs and may require the ability to use equipment and hardware that integrate with the software including sensors and drones. 

WICHE Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) eligible program. 

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

  1. Completed Graduate Application form found at: https://www.usd.edu/grad/how-to-apply and a non-refundable application fee of $35.
  2. Official transcript(s) verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and all academic work at the undergraduate and graduate levels (in English or with translation). Transcripts must be complete (e.g., if currently enrolled, work-in-progress coursework must be included, foreign transcripts must include a grading scale, and for countries that issue, copy of degree certificate/diploma i.e., India, Nepal, etc.). The USD Graduate School and/or academic units retain the right to require credential evaluations from organizations, such as 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 institutional 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 a high school diploma, undergraduate or graduate degree from an institutionally accredited American college or university or from an accredited institution in the approved list  of English-speaking countries are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score. For all other applicants with degrees from other countries, a minimum score of 79 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT), 550 on the Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT), 8.5 on the TOEFL Essentials, 6.0 on the IELTS Academic, 53 on the PTE, or 110 on Duolingo is required for graduate admission.   
  5. Applicants are required to submit a statement of purpose.

Additional Program Admission Requirements:

  1. Applicants are required to submit a resume.
  2. Three (3) professional letters of recommendation are required for the M.S. and Ph.D. programs, and one (1) letter of recommendation is required for the certificate.  

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

In order to be admitted Ph.D. applicants must have communicated with a prospective advisor and assured faculty research compatibility and capacity. 

Application Deadline

  • M.S. and Ph.D.

    • Summer 2024 start

      • Two weeks before the start of the semester

    • Fall 2024 start

      • Priority Deadline: February 1

      • Final Deadline: Two weeks before the start of the semester

    • Spring 2025 start

      • Two weeks before the start of the semester

  • Certificate

    • Summer 2024, Fall 2024, and Spring 2025 starts

      • Two weeks before the start of the semester

  • M.S. and Ph.D.

    • Summer 2025 start

      • Three weeks before the start of the semester

    • Fall 2025 start

      • Priority Deadline: February 1

      • Final Deadline: Three weeks before the start of the semester

    • Spring 2026 start

      • Three weeks before the start of the semester

  • Certificate

    • Summer 2025, Fall 2025, and Spring 2026 starts

      • Three weeks before the start of the semester

Student Learning Outcomes for Sustainability (M.S.)

  1. Students will schematize the interrelationships among social, economic, environmental and technical aspects of systems. 
  2. Students will model systems across multiple spatial and temporal scales. 
  3. Students will demonstrate knowledge of worldviews, values and perspectives other than their own. 
  4. Students will create and evaluate futures scenarios. 
  5. Students will critically assess quantitative information using statistical, econometric or bioinformatic methods. 
  6. Students will design interventions to enhance the sustainability of systems. 
  7. Students will participate in interdisciplinary groups to accomplish shared goals. 
  8. Students will create new sustainability knowledge drawn from more than one discipline (Thesis only).

Student Learning Outcomes for Sustainability (Ph.D.)

  1. Students will schematize the interrelationships among social, economic, environmental and technical aspects of systems. 
  2. Students will model systems across multiple spatial and temporal scales. 
  3. Students will demonstrate knowledge of worldviews, values and perspectives other than their own. 
  4. Students will create and evaluate futures scenarios. 
  5. Students will critically assess quantitative information using statistical, econometric or bioinformatic methods. 
  6. Students will design interventions to enhance the sustainability of systems. 
  7. Students will participate in interdisciplinary groups to accomplish shared goals. 
  8. Students will create new sustainability knowledge drawn from more than one discipline. 
  9. Students will propose and/or implement interventions to enhance the sustainability of systems. 
  10. Students will lead interdisciplinary groups to accomplish shared goals.

Programs