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USD to Offer Graduate Program in Sustainability

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota has approved the first doctorate program in sustainability in the region.

The South Dakota Board of Regents granted USD’s request to offer both the master of science degree and the Ph.D. degree in sustainability late last month and USD will start accepting students into the program this summer.  

USD is one of only 16 schools nationally with an undergraduate degree in sustainability and will now offer the first such doctoral program in the central United States. Sustainability is an emerging field that seeks to address complex and interdisciplinary issues, focusing on systems that are environmentally sound and economically profitable now and into the future.

The graduate sustainability program will emphasize research and will be offered through face-to-face instruction.

Meghann Jarchow, the Chair of the Department of Sustainability and Environment at USD, said the the graduate degree program in sustainability will be different than some other graduate degrees as there will be an explicit focus on identifying and working towards solutions.
“Sustainability is about finding solutions to making the world a more desirable place,” she said. “We hope to train students different methods for being effective agents of change through the experiential coursework and through the students’ research.”


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News