Sustainable Environmental Systems, MS
The Master of Science in Sustainable Environmental Systems (SES) (STEM) is one of the nation’s most innovative, interdisciplinary, systems-based sustainability programs.
The 40-credit Master of Science in Sustainable Environmental Systems, offered in the evenings at Pratt’s School of Architecture on the Brooklyn campus, is designed to meet today’s increasing demand for environmental professionals. Students learn the interdisciplinary skills needed to assess contemporary environmental issues; catalyze innovative environmental problem-solving; uphold environmental and social justice; and engage diverse stakeholders in designing and developing sustainable plans, policies, and communities. Graduates are prepared to take on a range of roles as environmental designers, policy analysts, sustainability consultants, low- impact developers, researchers, and advocates, collaborating with environmental scientists, policymakers, and communities.
The SES program is unique in its combination of science, design, and policy.
By uniting a foundation of theoretical and technical core courses with innovative mini-courses, the program offers a uniquely comprehensive curriculum that fosters exposure to cutting-edge practicing professionals. The program encourages students to closely examine the relationships between the environment, policy, and systems design.
The Sustainable Environmental Systems program is unique in its emphasis on the urban environment.
As integral members of the Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment (GCPE), students are exposed to land use, transportation, preservation, development, and economic planning strategies. Through this exploration, students understand the complexities of the urban context and can analyze global, federal, state, and local policies accordingly. Students learn the skills needed to build and preserve sustainable urban communities. Through the Recovery, Adaptation, Mitigation, and Planning initiative (RAMP), the SES program has formed an interdisciplinary suite of studio courses and workshops in which students and faculty members from the School of Architecture work with local community leaders from the region’s most vulnerable coastal communities. The collaborative approach of RAMP enables focused interdisciplinary study and implementation of resiliency strategies for sustainable coastal communities.
The SES, which recently received STEM designation, welcomes students with a variety of undergraduate degrees, recognizing that sustainability is most effective when integrating a number of disciplines. Students entering the program with relevant professional experience, or with a Bachelor of Architecture or a BS/BE in civil engineering or environmental science, may receive up
to 10 credits of advanced standing.
Students learn from one another and the faculty. Most students have had (or in the course of study will gain) work experience in the environmental area or related fields—as architects, engineers, community organizers, and entrepreneurs. As the degree is particularly rewarding for those seeking professional development, many students have existing professional experience.
Virtually every student is assured an internship with an organization, agency, or professional practice. In the past, interns have been placed with the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, New York Industrial Retention Network, and Pratt’s Center for Sustainable Design Strategies. Internship examples include modeling energy-efficiency efforts in Bedford-Stuyvesant with the Pratt Center for Community Development, working with local businesses to develop sustainability plans, and working on LEED-certified projects. (Refer to the earlier section on the GCPE for details.)
Working alongside professionals, and using New York City as a laboratory, students learn a sustainability concept and its implementation. This experience is reflected in our Green Infrastructure Design Build studio as well as our green infrastructure fellowships.
Bringing cutting-edge New York City sustainability practitioners into the classroom gives students access to an invaluable network as they enter the professional world.
The SES program is integrated with other GCPE programs, with the option for extended study beyond the 40-credit master of science in SES, as follows:
- Courses in the City and Regional Planning program expose students to land use, transportation, and economic development planning strategies. Joint studios deal with sustainability plans for development sites, neighborhoods, and businesses.
- Courses in the Facilities Management program allow for a focus on green development and property management practices.
- Courses in the Historic Preservation program allow for a focus on livability and the recognition that often the “least carbon footprint” approach is to preserve and reuse.
- Courses in two new programs—Urban Placemaking and Management and Real Estate Practice—allow SES students to explore these disciplines and further develop their areas of focus within the study of sustainable systems.
Interim Acting Coordinator
Assistant to the Chair
|MSCI-610||Science of Sustainability||3|
|Professional Elective Credits||5|
|SES-633B||Environmental Assessment: Impact Statements||3|
|SES-634A||Climate Change & Cities||1|
|SES-635A||Solid Waste Management||1|
|SES-635B||Environmental Management: Water Quality||1|
|SES-635C||Urban Energy Management||1|
|All Institute Elective Credits||2|
|Select one of the following:||5|
|Studio: Sustainable Communities|
|Studio: Land Use & Urban Design|
|Studio: Sustainable Development|
|Green Infrastructure Design/Build Principles/Best Practices|
|Historic Preservation Studio II: Preservation, Economic Development|
|SES-660A||Demonstration of Professional Competence||2|