Socio-Ecological Sustainability (SES)

Sustainability encompasses environmental, economic and social spheres of human life. With growing material welfare and consumption of societies, pure science and engineering approaches for pollution control and resource conservation has become inadequate for creating systemic, long-term solutions to pressing sustainability problems at the climate, water, food and energy nexus. There is a growing need for creating a shared understanding of human-ecosystem interactions that should inform environmental policy and decision-making at private and public scales. The “sustainability” concentration area aims at developing fundamental knowledge and skills required for research at the science and society interface. The focus is on systems thinking and modeling, sustainability assessment at product, project and macro-economic scales, economic analysis of the resources and environment with a particular focus on learning and participatory approaches to environmental policy design.

“Sustainability” area is an interdisciplinary program, recruiting students with undergraduate science, engineering and social science degrees who are able to demonstrate sufficient skills in quantitative and model based inquiry, as well as social and political awareness on pressing environmental problems of our times. Area objective is to educate experts on sustainability assessment and environmental policy, acquainted with diverse socio-environmental problems such as climate change, water, food and energy security, and overconsumption of nature’s resources. Students are expected to develop strong skills in systems thinking and modeling, sustainability assessment, ecological-economic inquiry and policy design. Graduates can pursue their career in environmental policy in national and international NGO’s, private companies and public institutions in charge of environmental protection. They are expected to act as the sustainability leaders and educators in their organizations. Sustainability area provides a firm knowledge and skills base for further studies at international Ph.D. programs along similar purposes.


Socio-Ecological Sustainability (SES) Concentration Area

Fall Semester

Spring Semester

Compulsory Classes (6 credits to be fulfilled)

ESC 520 Fundamentals of Environmental Sciences


ESC 530 Research Methods for Environmental Scientists




Esc 579 Graduate Seminar


Specified Elective Classes (at least 12 credits to be fulfilled)

ESC 539 Environmental Governance


ESC 542 Ecological Economics


ESC 541 Environmental Economics


ESC 549 Climate Policy


ESC 577 Dynamic Modeling of Socio-ecological Systems


ESC 578 Systems and Sustainability


Free Elective Classes (at most 6 credits to be fulfilled)

Upon advisor’s and supervisor’s consent, student can take classes from “specified” categories of all concentration areas and/or classes under “free” category within and outside the IES