MSPClassroomMSP is focused on preparing students with the transdisciplinary skills and concepts required to engage today’s complex global problems. The program incorporates a holistic systems-based approach that integrates diverse academic fields and professional sectors. MSP is a 2-year intensive program of 44 credits. First year core courses in complexity, systems thinking, human-environmental interactions and resource stewardship are followed up with a combination of core skills seminars & workshops in negotiation and group problem solving, information literacy and evaluation, leadership and management.

MSP is hands-on. Both years include 6-8 week fieldwork experiences, with students working on the ground with Peacebuilding partners both internationally and with US-based projects.

Semester 1Semester 2Summer
Program/Project Planning 1 (MSP 760)Program/Project Planning 2
(MSP 761)
Fieldwork 1
(MSP 798/797)
Conflict Transformation 1
(MSP 770)
Conflict Transformation 2
(MSP 771)
Research Methods
(MSP 780)
(MSP 790)
Semester 3Semester 4Summer
(MSP 781)
(MSP 791)
Fieldwork 2
(MSP 797/798)
Elective 1Elective 3
Elective 2Elective 4


Plan of Study

All students work with an MSP advisor to prepare a Plan of Study, which outlines the elective courses and field practicums the student will complete. Students may select electives from within the College of Nursing or enroll in courses through other colleges on campus. Past MSP students have completed elective courses through Nursing, Education, Public Health, Freshwater Sciences, Letters and Science, Social Welfare, and Urban Planning. As shown in the table above, electives are typically taken in Year 2. However, students wishing to pursue a certificate concurrently with the MSP may opt to take additional courses in Year 1.

Focus Areas

Students aiming for a career in a particular sector, for example health or water, may opt for a focus area. This is not an official “track” but rather a strategy for planning out a student’s elective courses and fieldwork to best prepare him or her for a career in the sector of interest. Focus areas, like all MSP Plans of Study, are tailored to the individual student. Below is an example of how a student may craft a “health” focus area.

Example: Health Focus Area

Elective 1: Global Food Security (Nursing)
Elective 2: Program Planning and Implementation (Public Health)
Elective 3: Epidemiology (Nursing)
Elective 4: Public Health Policy Analysis (Public Health)
Fieldwork 1: Institute for Urban Health Partnerships (community health networks)
Fieldwork 2: International Peace Initiatives (food security)

Student Projects

Resilience Dynamics and Tipping Points in Water Stewardship
S. Andrew McGuire and Dr. Timothy Ehlinger

Complexity Analysis NCNN Conference
Bev Zabler, PhD, RN
Jennifer Schellman, MSP Student
Caitlin Haberman, MSP Student