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Sustainable Management


Steve Dunn, Program Director
Office: Sage 1614F
Telephone: (877) 895-3276


See Faculty

All courses in this online program are developed and taught by University of Wisconsin Sustainable Management faculty—the same faculty who teach our on-campus courses. The Master of Science in Sustainable Management is a collaboration between UW Extended Campus and five University of Wisconsin System campuses–UW-Green Bay, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Stout, and UW-Superior.


The online M.S. in Sustainable Management focuses primarily on adult and nontraditional students who hold an undergraduate degree and have the desire to continue their education toward a graduate degree for the purpose of engaging in this developing field and increasing their professional prospects. Particular attention is given to ensuring that students have a basic understanding of scientific perspectives and will function well in leadership positions in businesses and organizations.


Completion of the program will lead to the degree: Master of Science (M.S.)


In addition to the requirements of the Office of Graduate Studies specified in the first section of this Bulletin, go to the program’s website ( for more information about admission requirements.


A. Structure
The program is comprised of core courses and electives.

B. Academic Plans of Study
Sustainable Management is the description for the Sustainable Management plan of study.

C. Minimum Unit (Cr.) Requirements
34 credits applicable to the graduate degree constitutes the minimal requirement for all students in the program.

D. Admission to Candidacy
Students must satisfy fully the Office of Graduate Studies requirements for advancement to candidacy as stated in the first section of this Bulletin.

E. Graduation Requirements
Candidates must satisfy all program and Office of Graduate Studies academic, culminating and degree requirements to be eligible for graduation and degree conferral.


Core Curriculum, Institution

SMGT 700 Cultural and Historical Foundations of Sustainability, Oshkosh

SMGT 710 The Natural Environment, Parkside

SMGT 720 Applied Research and the Triple Bottom Line, Superior

SMGT 730 Policy, Law, and the Ethics of Sustainability, Stout

SMGT 740 Economics of Sustainability, Superior

SMGT 750 The Built Environment, Oshkosh

SMGT 760 Geopolitical Systems: Decision Making for Sustainability on the Local, State, and National Levels, Green Bay

SMGT 770 Leading Sustainable Organizations, Green Bay

SPECIALTY ELECTIVES (students choose 6 credits)

SMGT 780 Corporate Social Responsibility, Superior

SMGT 782 Supply Chain Management, Stout

SMGT 784 Sustainable Water Management, Parkside

SMGT 785 Waste Management and Resource Recovery, Green Bay

CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE (students complete the following 4 credits)

SMGT 790 Capstone Preparation Course (1 cr.) Oshkosh

SMGT 792 Capstone Project (3 crs.) Oshkosh


Sustainability Management 700

3 (crs.)

Cultural and Historical Foundations of Sustainability

The changing relationships of humans to the natural environment; changes in dominant scientific perspectives and the process of scientific debate. The quest for understanding, manipulating, and dominating the natural world. Cultural and organizational structures; the role and impact of technology; the systems approach to problem solving and its implications for the future.

Sustainability Management 710

3 (crs.)

The Natural Environment

Natural Cycles, climate, water, energy, biosystems, the role of humans in the biosphere; human impacts on natural systems. The carbon cycle as a unifying theme. Specific topics to be studied include disturbance pollution and toxicity, carrying capacity, and natural capital.

Sustainability Management 720

3 (crs.)

Applied Research and the Triple Bottom Line

This course demonstrates how to document and project internal and external costs resulting from the inseparability of the natural, social, and economic environments. Students will also assess sustainability issues using basic modeling techniques; cause and effect, root cause analysis, regression analysis, and business scenario-based cases.

Sustainability Management 730

3 (crs.)

Environmental Law, Policy and Economics

The Law and Ethics regarding sustainability of Economic development and emerging environmental challenges at national and international levels; Including National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) Carbon Footprints, Kyoto protocol, and Brundtland Commission. The policy and role of government and its agencies such Army Corps of Engineers; Department of Interior, etc., in building a more just, prosperous, and secure environmental common future.

Sustainability Management 740

3 (crs.)

Economics of Sustainability

Understand the economy as a component of the ecosystem within which it resides, with natural capital added to the typical analysis of human, social, built, and financial capital. Explore traditional micro, macro, and international trade theory and policy and the implications of sustainability. Topics include: history of economic systems and thought; globalization and localization; distinguishing between growth and development; the nature and causes of market failure; consumption, consumerism, and human well-being; emerging markets; technological change; business organization and financial market alternatives; demographic change; and the global food economy.

Sustainability Management 750

3 (crs.)

The Built Environment

The assessment of the intersection of the built environment and human needs: water, air, food, waste, transportation, healthcare and education. Focus on evaluation and analysis of energy technology systems and building efficiency in the context of facilities management.

Sustainability Management 760

3 (crs.)

Geopolitical Systems: Decision Making for Sustainability at the local, state, & national level.

This course examines decision making and public policy for sustainability at the national, state and local level. It emphasizes the social, economic, and political factors that affect decisions within the public, nonprofit, and private sectors, and in particular decisions that are designed to foster achievement of sustainability. Special attention is given to formal American policymaking processes at all levels of government; informal activities by citizens, organizations, and businesses that are designed to influence public policy and sustainability; public and community engagement with sustainability issues and policies; corporate sustainability activities and reporting; the potential for public-private partnerships and collaboration in environmental and sustainability decision making; and practical examples of successful decision making for sustainability at all levels. This is a new and hybrid course that draws from work in political science, public policy, public administration, environmental policy and administration, and the emerging field of sustainability studies and sustainable management.

Sustainability Management 770

3 (crs.)

Leading Sustainable Organizations

This course takes a macro-level perspective on leading sustainable organizations. Topics addressed include: Organizational change and transformation processes, strategic and creative thinking, organizational structures and their impacts, conflict management and negotiation, stakeholder management and situational leadership styles and behaviors. We focus on how organizational leaders develop and enable sustainable organizations, especially in times of environmental change.

Sustainability Management 780

3 (crs.)

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility and an organization. Evaluation of risks and potential impacts in decision making recognizing the links between the success of an organization and the well-being of a community. Integrating corporate social responsibility throughout an organization, creating metrics and communicating CSR policies internally and external. Development of best practices in an organization pertaining to corporate social responsibility.

Sustainability Management 782

3 (crs.)

Sustainable Supply Chain Management

Just as the network has become more important than the computer in delivering information for establishing and maintaining a competitive advantage, the supply chain has become at least as important as where products are made. Efficiency in delivering products and services from their sources to the consumer is expected in the global economy. Each link in the supply chain from product origination to ultimate use is closely scrutinized for value and on-value content and contribution to the total cost to serve. This course will ground the participant in these financial and managerial elements and extend their thinking to the longer term environmental costs and social responsibility implications. Prerequisites: Business 724, Business 726 knowledge of Financial Accounting and Excel.

Sustainability Management 784

3 (crs.)

Sustainable Water Management

Water shortages are already a critical problem in many parts of the world. In this class we will review the interactions between humans and the natural environment, various water quality improvement measures, and explore the role water plays in all aspects of sustainability with an emphasis on the future challenges posed by climate change.

Sustainability Management 785

3 (crs.)

Waste Management and Resource Recovery

Topics include the generation, processing, management, and disposal of municipal, industrial, and agricultural waste with an emphasis on the technical, economic, and environmental aspects of various recovery processes. Additional topics will include producer responsibility, design for environment, and life cycle analysis.

Sustainability Management 790

1 (crs.)

Research Methods

This course examines the methods used in sustainability management research, including the design of research studies and the collection and analysis of data. Students will study and develop an initial research project of their choosing with instructor approval. Typically this project will involve an in-depth look at a sustainability issue that is applicable in their place of employment or in a local not-for profit organization.

Sustainability Management 792

3 (crs.)

Capstone Project

Students will conduct original research on a project of their choosing with instructor approval. Typically this project will involve an in-depth look at a sustainability issue that is applicable in their place of employment or in a local not-for profit organization. The project design will be a continuation of work started during the research methodology class that is a prerequisite to this course.