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Maxwell and Whitman Launch Joint Graduate Program in Sustainable Organizations and Policy

January 29, 2024

Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs are launching a new joint degree program: the Master of Science in Sustainable Organizations and Policy. 

This joint program leverages the national reputations and programmatic strengths of both schools in preparing students to be versatile, multidisciplinary, forward-looking experts and leaders ready to take on the important challenges across the globe related to sustainability.

This program can be completed in one year as a full-time student and is composed of a minimum of 30 credits. Central to this program is that students take courses from both the Whitman and Maxwell schools, ensuring that students learn about sustainability from a variety of perspectives, such as economics, entrepreneurship, environmental studies, international affairs, public administration, political science, statistics, sociology and supply chain management.

Students also have great flexibility in their elective course choices, allowing them to customize their own unique approach to sustainability by sector, industry or policy area. The first student cohort will be on campus in the fall of 2024. Applications to the program opened earlier this month.

Whitman School Interim Dean Alexander McKelvie notes, “The world is increasing its appreciation for a multidisciplinary approach to sustainability that embraces the importance of private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Our students and their future employers also recognize the benefits of well-rounded students who possess the skills and abilities to navigate the complex topic of sustainability (economic, social and environmental) and that requires students to understand both business and policy.”

This program is designed for those who are passionate about sustainability and seek an interdisciplinary approach that features experts in business, policy, governance, and entrepreneurship and will prepare students with the knowledge and skills to manage programs and lead organizations in addressing the challenging issues of sustainability in a complex global environment.

“Sustainability is one of the great challenges of our time and requires understanding across disciplines, with economic, social, environmental and business considerations at its core.”

Maxwell Dean David M. Van Slyke

Students will come from a variety of undergraduate and professional backgrounds, including from the social sciences, humanities, sciences, engineering and business. This is a STEM-designated program, allowing international students to have 36 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) upon completion of the program.

David M. Van Slyke, dean of the Maxwell School says, “Sustainability is one of the great challenges of our time and requires understanding across disciplines, with economic, social, environmental and business considerations at its core. Graduates will be well-prepared to work in a global community where sustainable business practice and policy are intertwined across many career pathways and industries.”

Core courses will be taught by world-renowned faculty from both schools, which includes Whitman's Maria Minniti, director of the Institute for an Entrepreneurial Society (IES) and Louis A. Bantle Chair in Entrepreneurship and Public Policy at Syracuse University; and Maxwell’s Jay S. Golden, Pontarelli Professor of Environmental Sustainability and Finance and founding director of the Dynamic Sustainability Lab.

An important aspect of sustainability education is experiential learning, a need recognized and met in the M.S. in sustainable organizations and policy program’s curriculum. For the required capstone course, students will work directly with clients in related industries.  

Career placement rates and starting salaries for graduates in comparable programs are high. There is a significant increase in jobs in both the private and public sectors related to sustainability.

Admission requirements will be the same as other master’s degree programs at the Maxwell School and Whitman School. Competitive scholarships are available based on merit.

See the M.S. in sustainable organizations and policy website for more detailed information about this new joint program.

About the Whitman School 

The Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University inspires students for a world of accelerating change. Offering B.S., MBA, M.S. and Ph.D. programs, all accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Whitman School’s faculty includes internationally known scholars and researchers, as well as successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. Whitman continues to be ranked among the nation’s top business schools by U.S. News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek. To learn more about the Whitman School of Management, visit Whitman.syracuse.edu. 

About the Maxwell School  

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University is the nation’s top-ranked school for public affairs, having earned the #1 spot in the U.S. News ranking in every survey year except one. The school offers highly regarded professional programs in public administration and international affairs as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees across the social sciences, and signature interdisciplinary undergraduate programs in policy, civic engagement, environmental sustainability and international relations. It is home to 15 interdisciplinary research centers focused on topical areas within public affairs. With campuses in Syracuse, New York, and Washington, D.C., and academic partnerships around the globe, the Maxwell network provides access to a world of opportunity. For more information, please visit maxwell.syr.edu. 

About Syracuse University 

Syracuse University is an independent research university that advances knowledge across disciplines to drive breakthrough discoveries and breakout leadership. Our 13 schools and colleges and over 200 majors close the gap between education and action, so graduates are equipped to be resourceful, responsive and real-world ready. In and beyond the classroom, we connect people, perspectives and practices to solve interconnected issues with innovative approaches. Together, we’re a powerful community of game changers that moves ideas, individuals and impact forward. 


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