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Liz Joss
School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Last modified: Monday, June 25, 2012

SPEA at IUPUI to offer new sustainability programs

June 25, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indianapolis will offer new academic programs in environmental sustainability, beginning in the fall of 2012.

At the graduate level, the school at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will offer a Master of Public Affairs degree with a concentration in urban sustainability. At the undergraduate level, it will offer a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs in sustainable management and policy.

Each program features an interdisciplinary curriculum and will prepare students for careers in the growing fields of sustainability policy and practice in the private, public and nonprofit sectors.

"SPEA recognizes that government, private and nonprofit organizations are keenly interested in developing sustainability initiatives that demonstrate their commitment to environmental conservation and economic and social responsibility," said Saba Siddiki, assistant professor in SPEA and chair of the committee that is coordinating the implementation of the programs. "Such organizations are looking for qualified people to serve as leaders and implementers of these initiatives. The new SPEA sustainability programs have been uniquely designed to train students for such positions."

In addition to providing students the skills and training of SPEA's MPA and BSPA degrees, the programs will offer specialized knowledge needed to work for organizations that are developing and implementing environmental policies. These include regulatory agencies, environmental service businesses, nonprofits that work on environmental issues as well as traditional for-profit companies that are recognizing the value of sustainable practices.

"Interest in sustainability and the environment is growing, both among students and employers," said SPEA Executive Associate Dean Terry Baumer. "We at SPEA are delighted to offer these new graduate and undergraduate majors, which will prepare students for rewarding careers in a variety of settings."

For the undergraduate major, students will take courses in such areas as principles of sustainability, sustainable management, environmental justice and green technologies. For the graduate concentration, students will take courses such as urban sustainability, environmental conflict resolution, cost-benefit analysis and natural resource management.

MPA graduates will be qualified for leadership and managerial positions: for example, as directors of sustainability for businesses or organizations and advisors to public officials. BSPA graduates will be prepared to work on sustainability-related programs in various sectors. In addition to enhancing career prospects, the programs of study will help graduates become better citizens by giving them the tools to make informed and analytical judgments about the information they receive and the policy choices made by public officials.

Indiana University founded the School of Public and Environmental Affairs nearly 40 years ago to prepare students to address the issues of modern society in ways that more traditional schools overlooked. At SPEA, people learn how to work in government, nonprofit and business roles to make positive changes in their communities, their states, their countries and the world.