Site-wide links

Sustainability Ph.D.

Semester Requirements

http://www.rit.edu/gis/academics/ph.d-sustainability/

Program overview

The doctorate program in sustainability is the first program in the world to focus on sustainable production systems. It seeks to advance research and education in alternative-energy development, sustainable production, sustainable mobility, and eco-IT.

The program’s curriculum emphasizes sustainable production systems, which create goods and services using processes that are non-polluting; conservation of energy and natural resources; economic viability; and safety for workers, communities, and consumers. Course work and research take a systems level and interdisciplinary approach to solving seemingly intractable sustainability problems.

Students have the opportunity to work with multidisciplinary faculty and researchers in numerous research centers, including the Center for Remanufacturing and Resource Recovery, the Center for Sustainable Manufacturing, the Center for Sustainable Mobility, the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, and the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute--all of which are housed in the Golisano Institute for Sustainability.

Curriculum

Students must complete 60 semester credit hours of course work and research.

Sustainability, Ph.D. degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ISUS-600 Graduate Seminar 2
ISUS-802 Fundamentals of Sustainability Science 3
ISUS-804 Industrial Ecology 3
  Elective 3
ECON-810 Economics of Sustainability 3
ISUS-806 Risk Analysis 3
ISUS-808 Multicriteria Sustainable Systems Analysis 3
Second Year
ISUS-805 Technology Policy and Sustainability or Approved Substitute 3
  Elective 3
ISUS-899 Dissertation Research 7
ISUS-800 Graduate Seminar 2
Third Year and Beyond
ISUS-899 Dissertation Research 21
ISUS-800 Graduate Seminar 4
Total Semester Credit Hours 60

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the Ph.D. program in sustainability, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution (course work must include at least one year of college science and one year of college mathematics including calculus and statistics),
  • Submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE),
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) from all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Submit at least two letters of academic and/or professional recommendation. Referees should send recommendation letters by email to gradinfo@rit.edu or via postal service directly to Graduate Enrollment Services.
  • Participate in a personal interview with the faculty committee (by teleconference if necessary), 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. Minimum scores of 600 (paper-based) or 100 (Internet-based) are required. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores will be accepted in place of the TOEFL. Minimum scores will vary, however, the absolute minimum score required for unconditional acceptance is 6.5. For additional information about the IELTS, please visit www.ielts.org.

[arrow] Click to view program requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

Program overview

The doctorate program in sustainability is the first program in the world to focus on sustainable production systems. The program seeks to advance research and education in alternative-energy development, sustainable production, sustainable mobility, and eco-IT.

The program’s curriculum emphasizes sustainable production systems, which create goods and services using processes that are non-polluting; conserving of energy and natural resources; economically viable; and safe for workers, communities, and consumers. Course work and research take a systems level and interdisciplinary approach to solving seemingly intractable sustainability problems.

Students in the program will have the opportunity to work with multidisciplinary faculty and researchers in numerous research centers, including the institute’s National Center for Remanufacturing and Resource Recovery, the Center for Sustainable Production, the Center for Sustainable Mobility, the Systems Modernization and Sustainment Center, the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, and the NanoPower Research Labs.

Curriculum

Students must complete a minimum of 60 quarter credit hours of course work and a minimum of 27 quarter credit hours of research to total 99 quarter credit hours.

Sustainability, Ph.D. degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
5001-802 Fundamentals of Sustainability Science 4
5001-810 Economics of Sustainability 4
5001-804 Industrial Ecology 4
5001-805 Technology, Policy, and Sustainability (or approved substitute) 4
5001-806 Risk Analysis 4
5001-808 Multi-criteria Sustainable Systems Analysis 4
5001-800 Graduate Seminar 3
  Elective 4
Second Year
5001-805 Technology, Policy, and Sustainability 4
5001-800 Graduate Seminar 3
5001-820 Dissertation Research 8
  Electives 12
Third Year and Beyond
5001-820 Dissertation Research 20
5001-800 Graduate Seminar 6
  Electives 20
Total Quarter Credit Hours 99

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the Ph.D. program in sustainability, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution (course work must include at least one year of college science and one year of college mathematics including calculus and statistics),
  • Submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE),
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) from all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Submit at least two letters of academic and/or professional recommendation,
  • Participate in a personal interview with the faculty committee (by teleconference when necessary), 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. Minimum scores of 600 (paper-based) or 100 (Internet-based) are required. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores will be accepted in place of the TOEFL. Minimum scores will vary, however, the absolute minimum score required for unconditional acceptance is 6.5. For additional information about the IELTS, please visit www.ielts.org.