Academic Programs

Sustainability Policy



Concentration Description:

The interdisciplinary concentration in Sustainability Policy is achieved by bringing together courses and experiences from USF's Patel College of Global Sustainability, School of Geosciences, and School of Public Affairs to create a new area of studies in sustainability that will complement the existing M.A. concentrations.

Sustainability Policy will enable students from related undergraduate degrees, as well as professionals seeking educational and career opportunities to advance their knowledge of policy, public administration, governance, and sustainable development on an integrated platform. The demand for educated, certified and informed professionals in areas of sustainability policy continues to grow. Private/public companies, federal and state government departments, United Nations Agencies, international aid organizations, environmental NGOs, and municipalities are keen to remain abreast of the ever-changing policies and governance issues related to sustainability.

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Concentration Director: 

Dr. Heather Rothrock

Director of Sustainability Policy Concentration
Assistant Professor

Dr. Heather Rothrock



  •  IDS 6938 – Policy for Sustainability (3) – Required, Pending Approval

This course explores the definition of sustainability policy, how policy can be implemented at all levels of  government, the myriad actors involved in policy formation and implementation, metrics used to measure policy robustness, and the politics of sustainability. Policies and case studies pertaining to other Patel College of Global Sustainability concentrations will be presented and discussed.  A class debate and policy-position paper will challenge critical thinking skills. 

       *This course is available on-campus and online.

 Concentration Courses (6 Credit Hours)                                 Choose TWO :

  • IDS 6216 - Implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (3)

This course provides an understanding of the challenges and pathways to sustainable development. From the framework of the science of planetary boundaries, we will addresses challenges and solutions to achieve sustainable development in the 21st century.

*This course is available on-campus and online

  • EVR 6937 - Seminar in Environmental Policy  (3)

Critical assessment of environmental policy and regulatory formulation, implementation, evaluation, and revision in the context of scientific, technological, institutional, political, social and economic factors; case studies of major U.S. policies.

*This course is available on-campus and online

  • PAD 6307 - Policy Analysis, Implementation, and Program Evaluation (3)

The course is an introduction to analyzing public problems and program development. Emphasis is placed on the methodological tools for analyzing public problems, and criteria to assess the value of programs in addressing public problems.

*This course is available only online

  • URP 6406 - Urban Environmental Policy (3) 

The purpose of this course is to examine issues related to environmental planning and policy within the context of the urban/humanly-built environment and its relation to surrounding natural environments.

*This course is available only on-campus


Preferred Electives

  • IDS 6247 - Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (3)

This course will use an interdisciplinary approach to explore climate vulnerability and pathways of climate mitigation and adaption. Case studies will be reviewed to provide insight into climate change adaption planning and societal resilience.

*This course is available on-campus and online.

  • URP 6422 - Environmental Planning in Coastal Communities (3)

The content of this course will familiarize students with issues in environmental and urban planning unique to coastal communities, and explore the connections – current and potential – between the oceans and coastal urban areas.

*This course is available only on-campus

  • URP 6444 - Global Food Systems Planning (3)

The focus of this course will center on planning practices within the context of local, state and federal policies on disaster mitigation and recovery.

*This course is available only on-campus

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For more information about this concentration, please contact the PCGS Academic Programs Director Randall Pape at