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ASU adds dual master's degrees in journalism, sustainability

August 27, 2015

Arizona State University is launching a new dual-degree program leading to master’s degrees in journalism and sustainability.

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the School of Sustainability have partnered to offer a Master of Mass Communications and a Master of Sustainable Solutions for incoming students interested in careers reporting on environmental issues and alternative energy, as well as for those working in sustainability sciences who communicate with journalists.

The dual-degree program allows students to pursue the two separate degrees in less time by streamlining the admissions process and course requirements. The program saves 12 credit hours of study by eliminating overlapping course requirements between the two schools, allowing students to complete both degrees within four to five semesters.

“One of the critical aspects of moving toward a sustainable future is helping people understand why and how sustainability is relevant to their lives, and how best to communicate those ideas,” said Christopher Boone, dean of ASU’s School of Sustainability. “This dual-degree opportunity with the Cronkite School will provide our School of Sustainability students with a versatile skill set to effectively reach and engage a broad audience on the very best solutions for building a sustainable future.”

Under the program, students take courses in methodology of sustainability research and problem solving, perspectives on sustainability, project management and methods through the School of Sustainability. The Master of Sustainable Solutions degree provides a knowledge base and skill sets to bring sustainability solutions to corporate, government and nongovernmental organization sectors.

At the Cronkite School students participate in advanced-level classes in reporting, data journalism and multimedia journalism. Students also have the opportunity to cover sustainability issues for Cronkite News, the school’s award-winning student news operation and news division of Arizona PBS.

“ASU was the first in the nation to establish a school with a focus on finding real-world solutions to important environmental and social challenges,” said Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the School of Sustainability to help educate and train the next generation of leaders in sustainability and journalism.”

The journalism-sustainability initiative is the fourth in a series of dual degrees to be offered by the Cronkite School in conjunction with other ASU schools and colleges. The others are undergraduate degrees in journalism and meteorology with the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, journalism and graphic information technology with the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering as well as journalism and Chicano and Latino studies through the School of Transborder Studies.

This is the fifth dual-degree offering for the School of Sustainability. ASU Master of Sustainable Solutions students can also pursue concurrent master’s degrees in public administration or public programs through ASU’s School of Public Affairs, a Master of Legal Studies through the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, or a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning through the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning.

The School of Sustainability, an academic unit of ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, is the nation’s first school of sustainability. Established in 2006, the School of Sustainability’s mission is to educate a new generation of scholars and practitioners and create innovative modes of scholarship by bringing together leaders, stakeholders and people from multiple disciplines to develop practical solutions to the most pressing sustainability challenges.