MSDP Curriculum

All students in the Master’s Sustainable Development Program must meet the same coursework and requirements as other Master's Civil Engineering students.

In addition to general degree requirements and elective credits, students in the Master’s Sustainable Development Program have two required classes and a nine-month international experience as part of their coursework at the University of Minnesota. The curriculum is outlined below, followed by a list of elective options.


Students spend their first semester at the University of Minnesota. They then have three options for their 9-month international experience:


Pilot their own solution developed in GCC 5005 and CE 5572 to address a social or environmental problem abroad.


Pursue a project with an existing organization abroad.


Conduct an international research experience abroad.

Students should plan to identify their own international opportunity based on their interests. They should begin researching and discussing options with program faculty during their first fall semester or earlier.

Following their nine-month experience abroad, students return to the University of Minnesota to complete their final semester.

Typical Schedule

The following schedule represents a typical arrangement for students while in residence at the University of Minnesota.

Student standing over a trench

Fall semester, 1st year
GCC5005 — Global Venture Design: What Impact Can You Have?
2 Technical core courses
Elective (outside of CEGE)

Spring semester, 1st year
CEGE 5572 — Social Venture Launchpad (January)
CEGE 5570/5582 — Design for Sustainable Development: Discovery India or Nicaragua (May)

9-month International Experience — Leave in spring of 1st year, return December of 2nd year in the program.

Spring semester, 2nd year
2 Technical core-content courses
Elective(s) (outside of CEGE)