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Master of Science in Sustainability: Energy and Materials Management

Program Overview

The online M.S. in Sustainability focuses on both the energy and materials sectors while leveraging the expertise and cutting-edge research conducted within the School of Chemical, Biological, and Materials Engineering at OU. With program objectives and ten courses developed to align with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, the MSS program aims to enable graduates from a variety of disciplines to develop strong capabilities in identifying and implementing engineering solutions, fast progress their careers, and contribute to the sustainable development for our society.

Relevant Coursework aimed at creating a better future

The MS in Sustainability program has developed its coursework and curriculum based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Contemporary society is deeply invested in achieving a sustainable future, and the curriculum focuses on clean water and sanitation, economic growth, industry innovation and infrastructure, responsible consumption and production, and climate action.

Meet the rising needs for sustainable practices

Graduates will be better qualified to serve and meet the needs of private and public-sector employers and non-profit organizations— to learn the practices behind creating manufactured products through economically sound processes that minimize environmental impacts while conserving energy and natural resources.

Opportunity for collaboration

Students will join a group of students from different backgrounds and will complete an independent study group assignment, with the option to attend this shared learning opportunity on campus.

OU’s MS in Sustainability is open to students of all backgrounds

A background and undergraduate degree in engineering is not required to qualify for admission to this program. This makes those looking to pivot into a new career path in sustainability easier for folks from non-engineering/STEM backgrounds.

ROI for graduates in the field with a Master’s

Additional earning potential increases and access to job opportunities implies significant value for a degree focused in Sustainability. On average, those with a Master’s degree in the area earned $21,500 more in terms of their annual salary. (Emsi Burning Glass, 2022).

Tailored for the working professional

This program allows students to complete an advanced graduate degree in only 18 months at a competitive price of $29,550. Program length and tuition allows students to complete the program 100% online while maintaining a full-time job.

Program Requirements

Program Cost

Tuition for the entire online M.S. in Sustainability program is $29,550* for the entire program ($985/credit hour). Fees associated with the program are included in this cost. Books and materials are additional.

Once accepted into the M.S. program, students are required to submit a $350 non-refundable deposit within two weeks. Deposits are applied toward tuition expenses and secure a student’s place in the upcoming class.

*Tuition and fees are subject to change at the discretion of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

Admissions Requirements

To apply to the online Master of Science in Sustainability – Energy and Materials Management program, students must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university (or the international equivalent). Admissions will occur on a rolling basis and is at the discretion of the admissions committee. Transfer credits will be accepted at the discretion of the admissions committee.

Students who wish to apply must:
  1. What are your expectations for this program?
  2. What are your career ambitions?
  3. What experience will you bring to the program and to your classmates?

Program Courses

Designed for working professionals, the Master of Accountancy (MAcc) from OU can be completed in as little as 21 months. The program helps students prepare for the CPA exam in a convenient online format.

Required Courses

The basic concepts of sustainability will be discussed, as relevant to the general definition of sustainability (introduced by the UN Brundtland Commission in 1987), and to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2015. The discussion will include elements relevant to materials manufacturing, chemical processes, energy production, waste minimization, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Emphasis will also be given to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace. The students will also learn to quantify the environmental impact of materials, products and processes via the implementation of a life cycle assessment.
Students enrolled in this course will understand the importance of water and that of water quality for the sustainability of industrial processes. The course will provide an overview of water reclamation and reuse, as well as a survey on water quality related to industrial processes (e.g., mining). Wastewater characteristics will be reviewed, in connection with the conventional approaches for wastewater treatment processes. Emerging materials and technologies under development for water remediation will be discussed, with focus, for example, in technologies developed to extract valuable compounds (e.g., rare earth minerals) from contaminated water.
This course will cover concepts of sustainable design of chemical processes, including issues related to energy usage and GHG emissions, long-term availability of raw materials, and changes to process design that can lead to sustainable outcomes, including ‘green’ chemistry options. Upon completion of the course, the students will learn how to analyse flowsheets, quantify the environmental impact of a process, and identify potentially hazardous situations.
This course provides an opportunity for students to develop skills necessary to understand the basic principles of polymer life cycles, polymer properties and environmental footprints, manufacturing, design guidelines for sustainability, and recycling/upcycling. This course will provide an overview of the contradictory positive and negative characteristics of polymers with respect to sustainability. The course will also discuss conventional processing and additive manufacturing methods for producing polymeric parts and goods. The history of sustainability issues and its controversy concerning polymers (especially plastics) will be exemplified. Additionally, the course will cover the need for green that is forcing recycling and upcycling of polymers to become industrially feasible.
The Challenge consists primarily of a group research project on a topic relevant to the MS in Sustainability. Projects will be offered by Faculty members in the School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering. The instructor will coordinate the activities and assign some individual tasks. Specialistic presentations will be offered to support the projects development. Lectures will be offered on a variety of topics related to the wide concept of sustainability as applied to chemical engineering, energy, materials, and advanced manufacturing. Then, the students will form groups of 3-4 students, preferentially from different backgrounds, and they will complete an independent study on topics of our choice. The outcome will be similar to a review paper. Possible projects could be, e.g., recycling of asphalt, technoeconomic analysis of CO2 sequestration, cradle-to-cradle design of materials, etc. This dissertation will demonstrate how to combine material learned from all the courses offered within the MS in Sustainability to ensure progress.
In this course, students will learn to quantify pros and cons of cutting-edge technologies available for capturing, storing, and utilizing CO2 (CCUS). They will become familiar with technological developments in catalysis (for carbon utilization), materials design (carbon capture), and sequestration (geological repositories, hydrates, mineralization, direct capture from air). The graduates will quantify capital and operational costs associated with these technologies.
This course offers students the opportunity to master fundamentals and sustainable aspects of gas and liquid separations and emergent technologies for the prevention and remediation of liquid contamination. The course will cover existing technologies, as well as current cutting- edge research in these fields, with an emphasis on the potential applicability in the field.
Students will master the differences between management and leadership, will be able to assemble teams based on main personality traits, will effectively design risk mitigation strategies, and will be proficient in managing financial resources. Invited speakers from academia and industry will allow the graduates to understand that effective management/leadership depends on the circumstances.
Students will be able to plan and assess the efficacy of business strategies to ensure the sustainability of commercial operations. In particular, the graduates will be able to (a) Achieve and maintain the social license to operate; (b) Operate within the boundaries of environmental regulations; and (c) Promote the goals of a diverse, inclusive, and equitable work force.
In this course, students will master methods for predicting capital and operational costs of chemical plants, approaches for quantifying uncertainties and how such uncertainty could affect the profitability of industrial operations, and the most common approaches for decision making in industry, with their pros and cons. Industrial speakers will provide a framework for the material discussed in class.

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