MS-B DEGREE OPTIONS - MS-B degrees do NOT require completion of a thesis; rather, they require completion of a professional project.


The Department of Community Sustainability offers two Master of Science Plan-B degrees that provide students with opportunities to understand applied research, and to acquire and apply professional skills to a wide range of community and resource management contexts. 

The Master of Science Plan-B option (also referred to as MS-B) focuses on the acquisition of well-defined professional skills, appropriate as a terminal degree and for professional employment. The MS-B degree requires completion of a professional project and associated paper. The MS-B degree does NOT require completion of a research-based thesis.

The two MS-B degree options offered by the Department of Community Sustainability are:

  • Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree or comparable degree requirements from a recognized educational institution to apply to an MS-B program with the Department of Community Sustainability.
  • Relevant experience and strong academic credentials in the natural, physical, or social sciences are encouraged.
  • Applicants must explain in their academic statement why they are interested in a multidisciplinary degree rather than a discipline-based degree.
  • Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty to explore possible common interests and identify potential advisors.

The student’s program of study must be developed in cooperation with and approved by the student’s guidance committee and must include the requirements specified below.

  • Complete a minimum of 30 credits to obtain the MS-B degree.
  • Take CSUS 800 - Foundations of Department of Community Sustainability (3 credits) - must be taken during the student’s first fall semester.
  • Take CSUS 802 - Survey of Research Methods (3 credits) - must be taken during the student’s first fall semester.
  • Take a minimum of 15 credits of course work in a self-defined focal area, which may coincide with one of the department’s themes, an interdepartmental specialization, or be developed in consultation with the student’s guidance committee - at least 6 credits of this focus area must be in CSUS courses - additionally, STPAM students are required to take CSUS 814 for 3 of these 15 credits (this course is listed under "required" courses on the CSUS MS-B Program Plan Form or STPAM MS-B Program Plan Form).
  • Take a minimum of 3 credits of a techniques or skill-building course relevant to the student's academic and career goals.
  • Take an additional course relevant to the student's professional goals (alternative to CSUS 895 - Case Studies in Community Sustainability, which is no longer offered.)
  • Take CSUS 898 - Master’s Professional Project - at least 3 credits.
  • Publicly propose, defend, and submit a paper based on the master’s professional project.
  • Follow the policies outlined in the Graduate Handbook.
Peace Corps Master's International

Current PCMI students should review additional PCMI requirements in the Graduate Handbook. Note that Peace Corps is dissolving the PCMI program after the Fall 2016 cohort begins its work.

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