Apr 23, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Sustainability (Ph.D.)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges & Schools

Program Overview

Sustainability is an interdisciplinary field of study, and the disciplines provide resources for sustainability pedagogy and research. 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.  Learn more at usd.edu/sustainability.

DELIVERY: On campus

Doctor of Philosophy, Sustainability

Major Area Coursework - 80 Credit Hours


Students will select elective courses from existing graduate-level courses with approval from the student’s dissertation committee. At least 50% of the total credits must be at the 700-level or above.

Up to 18 credit hours of graduate coursework from a conferred master’s degree may be applied to the Ph.D. program, subject to approval from the student’s dissertation committee.

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: catalog.usd.edu.

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 | sustainability@usd.eduusd.edu/sustainability

Graduate Admissions
605-658-6140 | gradadmissions@usd.edu  | usd.edu/grad

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges & Schools