Recognizing the urgent need for problem solvers with interdisciplinary perspectives, the Office of Sustainability applied for and received a $95,000 grant from the Oregon University System Chancellor in 2008 to pilot a new graduate-level program to prepare future sustainability leaders.
The Graduate School approved the program proposal written and submitted by Steve Mital. Subseqently, the School of Architecture and Allied Arts provided an academic home and hired a program director. The first class of six students arrived in the Fall of 2011. The program size tripled in 2012 and continues to attract diverse talent from across the country as it gains momentum.
Students take classes in topics ranging from sustainability indicators and climate change planning to green cities and leadership development. Additionally, the cohort completes professional research papers and a hands-on ecological design practicum to complete the 39-credit program.