Sep 28, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Sustainability, (M.S., J.D.)

Admissions Information  
Student Learning Outcomes M.S.  
Student Learning Outcomes J.D.   

The M.S./J.D. option is available only to candidates who are concurrently enrolled in the School of Law. 
Ordinarily, students complete the first year of the J.D. before beginning the M.S. in Sustainability.

Program Overview

Sustainability is an interdisciplinary field of study, and the disciplines provide resources for sustainability pedagogy and research. Our rural location presents amazing hands-on research opportunities through the Missouri River Institute and their projects supported through the National Science Foundation. Sustainability is often described as having three pillars: environmental sustainability, social sustainability, and economic sustainability. USD’s faculty has expertise in all three areas including environmental sustainability expertise through departments of biology and chemistry; social sustainability expertise through departments of political science, sociology, anthropology and philosophy; and economic sustainability through the Beacom School of Business. USD is the second university in the U.S. to offer sustainability degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. levels. Prepares you for careers in the areas of sustainable practices, natural resource management, renewable energy, community planning, non-governmental organizations focused on sustainable development and education.  The M.S./J.D. - non-thesis only - is available to candidates who are concurrently enrolled in the School of Law. Students complete the first year of the J.D. before beginning the M.S. in Sustainability. Learn more at

DELIVERY: On campus

Master of Science with Joint Juris Doctor, Sustainability Plan B (non-thesis): Total 32 credit hours

LAW courses, with approval from the student’s sustainability advisor and the Sustainability Graduate Program Coordinator, can be used to partially fulfill the elective requirements for the M.S. Plan B option .  Up to 9 of these credits can also be used to fulfill requirements in the student’s J.D. degree .

Application Requirements

  1. Completed application
  2. $35 application fee
  3. Official transcripts*
  4. Letters of recommendation*
  5. Admission test scores*
  6. Statement of purpose
  7. Resume/CV*

*Requirements for admission vary by program and may require different documentation and have different deadlines. For specific program requirements and submission deadline, visit:

State Authorization - It Matters Where You Live

If your learning placement course (internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, etc.) or your online course will be taken outside South Dakota, please reference USD’s State Authorization webpage.

State Authorization


Sustainability Program
605-677-6122 |

Graduate Admissions
605-658-6200 |  |