RIT Golisano Institute for Sustainability

M.S. in Sustainable Systems

On Campus - Rochester, New York, United States

RIT Golisano Institute for Sustainability
Enrolment Date(s):
For preferred consideration, apply by January 15.
Students must complete a minimum of 99 quarter credit hours of combined coursework and research.

Course description

Like the Ph.D. program, the M.S. degree program focuses on sustainable production systems — systems that create goods and services using processes that are: non-polluting; conserving of energy and natural resources; economically viable; and safe and healthful for workers, communities, and consumers. Coursework and research takes a systems level and interdisciplinary approach to solving seemingly intractable sustainability problems, as opposed to single disciplinary and locally optimized approaches destined to yield marginal positive impacts.

Graduates of this program will be prepared to undertake or continue careers in their chosen fields with an understanding of basic sustainability principles and the expertise to analyze and solve complex sustainability issues. For example, students entering the program with a degree in information systems may go on to work in the eco-IT while students with an economics background may work in the area of life-cycle economic analysis of alternative energy systems.

M.S. program students will have the opportunity to work with multidisciplinary faculty and researchers in numerous research centers, including GIS’ Center for Remanufacturing and Resource Recovery (C3R), an internationally-recognized leader for applied research in remanufacturing, the Center for Sustainable Production (CSP) dedicated to enhancing the environmental and economic performance of products and processes, the Center for Sustainable Mobility (CSM) focused on the evaluation of environmental and economic impacts of alternative fuel and vehicle propulsion technologies and the development of technologies for optimal life-cycle design, management, and modernization of large equipment systems, the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) focused on enhancing the development and implementation of pollution prevention techniques, and the NanoPower Research Labs (NPRL) dedicated to the creation and utilization of nano devices and materials for power power generation and storage.

Entry requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in sustainable systems, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university,
  • Have fulfilled the following curriculum requirements: one year of college science and one year of college mathematics (including calculus and statistics),
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 3.0,
  • Participate in an interview with the academic department,
  • Submit transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE),
  • Submit two letters of reference,
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives,
  • Submit a current resume, and
  • Complete a graduate application.
  • International applicants, whose native language is not English, must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum scores of 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based), or 100 (Internet-based) are required. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores will be accepted in place of the TOEFL exam. The minimum acceptable score is 6.5.

Non-matriculated students

An applicant with a bachelor’s degree from an approved undergraduate institution and the background necessary for specific courses is permitted to take graduate courses as a non-matriculated student. If the student is subsequently admitted to the graduate program, courses taken for credit usually can be applied toward the degree. A maximum number of 9 credits (from courses taken at RIT as a non-matriculated student) can be transferred to the degree program. Any applicant who wishes to register for a graduate course as a non-matriculated student must obtain permission from the chair of the graduate program and the course instructor.

Enrolment instruction

For more program information, contact:
Sue Hickey
Sr. Staff Assistant

RIT Golisano Institute for Sustainability

Golisano Institute for Sustainability is a multidisciplinary academic unit at RIT whose mission is to undertake world-class education and research programs in sustainability with major foci on sustainable production, sustainable energy, sustainable mobility and ecologically friendly information technology systems.