Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities, Master of Arts (0448)


Program Coordinator

Jane Olmsted,, (270) 745-5787

The Master of Arts in Social Responsibility & Sustainable Communities is an interdisciplinary program of study that provides students with the tools to lead communities toward social justice and sustainability. It is designed especially for students inclined toward the humanities, social sciences, and related fields. Students take a core set of courses that provide interdisciplinary grounding in social justice and sustainability, social policy issues, leadership issues, community-building, and community-based research.  Students may focus their elective courses on environmental sustainability, gender & women’s studies, intergenerational studies, or other issues, depending on their interests, on availability of courses, and in consultation with their advisor.  Students in the MA in Social Responsibility & Sustainable Communities will cultivate the skills and knowledge necessary to be economic, political, and social change agents for more just and sustainable communities.

Through this MA program, students will be able to:

  • examine a range of disciplinary perspectives on social justice;
  • analyze the interrelationships of issues and interlocking systems associated with social organization and community development;
  • examine the practical and theoretical principles of sustainability and how to apply them to diverse situations and communities throughout the world;
  • analyze the power relationships (gender, race, age, class) that historically surround social justice and how these may be changed or augmented to increase social equality and equity; and
  • apply the principles of community organizing and be able to effectively utilize them in a variety of communities.

Program Admission

Admission will be based on prior academic performance, as well as:

  1. a written Statement of Interest
  2. a resume
  3. two letters of recommendation.  

In the statement of interest, please include relevant academic or work-related background, academic goals, and reasons why you think the SRSC is right for you.

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (33 hours)

The MA in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities is comprised of a thesis and a non-thesis option. Both options require 18 hours of Core Courses plus electives, for a total of 33 hours; students are required to be in attendance during the week-long portion of SRSC 590.

Required Courses
SRSC 510Perspectives on Social Justice3
SRSC 520Community-based Research Methods3
SRSC 530Social Policy3
SRSC 540Community-Building for Sustainability3
SUST 512Foundations of Sustainability3
or SUST 514 Environmental Justice and Public Spaces
SRSC 590Sustainability Symposium3
SRSC 599Thesis Research/Writing6
OR non-thesis students will complete additional 6 hours of electives
Select 9 hours from the following: 19
Legal and Ethical Issues in Technology
Advanced Organizational Behavior
Survey of Business Sustainability Issues
Sustainable Business Operations
Sustainability, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
Communication in the Nonprofit Sector
Survey of Criminal Justice
Neighborhoods and Crime
Gender, Crime and Justice
Race, Class and Crime
Environmental Criminology
The Economics of Poverty and Discrimination
Environmental Law, Regulations, and Policy
Practical Environmental Ethics
Perspectives in Aging
Policy Foundations of Aging Services
Development and Change of Aging Programs
Current Issues in Aging
Global Aging
Feminist Knowledge and Social Change
Roots of Feminism
Global and Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Women
Black Feminism and the Politics of Community
Gender, Justice, and Sustainability
Women and Leadership
Feminist Pedagogies
Cultural Diversity in American History
History of the Civil Rights Movement in America
American Women's History
Leadership Ethics
Community Health Organization
Principles of Environmental Health
Issues in Nonprofit Administration
Nonprofit Grant Writing and Fundraising
Environmental Sociology
Utopias, Dystopias, & Intentional Communities
Place and the Problem of Healing
Sustainable Places
Organizational Change for Sustainability
Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Foundation of Social Welfare Policy
Rural Social Welfare Policy
Environmental Justice: Theory, Policy, and Practice
Total Hours33

 No more than 12 hours of courses in any one discipline. Other courses with permission of program director may be eligible as electives.