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, cohort-style program consisting of 44 credits – 32 credits of coursework and 12 credits of fieldwork.

Year One emphasizes three general areas:

  • Human-environmental interactions and community resilience
  • Conflict assessment and transformation, including facilitation training
  • Methodologies for analyzing dynamic problems, planning interventions, and evaluation impacts

Year Two focuses on career development and capstone paper preparation. Students also take elective courses in an area of their choosing during the second year.

During the Spring/Summer of both years, students engage in fieldwork projects with local and international partners.

(9 credits)
(11 credits)
(3 credits)
The Politics and Policy of Sustainability (MSP 760)Complex Human-Environmental Interactions (MSP 761)Fieldwork 1 - U.S.
(MSP 798) OR
Preparing for Sustainable Peacebuilding and Social Change (MSP 770)Applied Peacebuilding Practice (MSP 771)Fieldwork 1- International (MSP 797)
Transdisciplinary Research Methods & Information Literacy (MSP 780)
(MSP 780)
Innovation, Evaluation, and Adaptive Management (MSP 781)
Fundamentals of Project Management (MSP 785)
Fall 2
(9 credits)
Spring 2
(11 credits)
Summer 2
(3 credits)
Leadership and Program Management (MSP 791)Negotiating and Group Problem Solving (MSP 790)Fieldwork 2 - U.S.
(MSP 798)
Elective 1Elective 3Fieldwork 2- International (MSP 797)
Elective 2Elective 4Capstone Paper & Presentation


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 any school or college on campus. Former 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.

Sample 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: Silver Spring Wellness Center, Milwaukee (community wellness programming)
Fieldwork 2: International Peace Initiatives, Meru, Kenya (food security)