MA in Urban Sustainability

MA in Urban Sustainability

Training the next generation of urban problem-solvers to meet the world’s dual challenges of climate change and inequality.

If you dream about changing the system, our program offers an educational home of like-minded students, faculty, and community partners who work and learn together in a hybrid, hands-on, cutting edge program.

Intensive Residencies

Antioch University’s low-residency MA in Urban Sustainability Program involves intensive, problem-solving residencies (the first and fourteenth weeks of the semester) and a high-touch online experience. Find out more about our residency calendar and requirements HERE.

A central component of the first week of every semester is our BIG QUESTION LAB, an intensive engagement with a strategic community organization around an important sustainability question.

Hands-On Fieldwork

We believe that the greatest learning takes place by doing and then reflecting on our work in order to transform communities. Through fieldwork placements students enhance their professional skills, develop meaningful relationships in the field, and build self-confidence in their ability to make change. Click here for three examples.

Hybrid Learning

In addition to in-person residencies, much of the MA in Urban Sustainability coursework occurs on a high-touch online platform. Class discussions and collaborations range from asynchronous online forums to real-time online classrooms. In the process, students become adept at working, communicating, and presenting online in much the same way that creative, dispersed groups solve urban sustainability problems together around the world. Feel free to explore two of our course sites: EcoSystems Thinking or Sustainable Urban Economies.


Student Voices

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Featured Faculty

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Antioch Alums and now Actors Ken Pienkos (MFA 2014) and Jessie Jacobson (MAP 2003) invite you to attend at the Skylight Theatre Company’s new world premiere production of “Shades of Disclosure: Who Are You?” opening Saturday, January 28, 2017 for a full run in Los Feliz. The production was picked up for the run after a recent spoken word performance by the Writer’s Collective QueerWise. The Writer’s performances illuminate an emotionally charged landscape from the perspective of HIV/AIDS survivors. The AIDS epidemic continues to resonate, posing a host of social justice issues we all must face: Homophobia, Racism, Immigration Rights, Healthcare, and the Rights of Trans People.

MFA Alum Ken Pienkos, our Reference & Instruction Librarian and Adjunct Faculty, discloses the monsters in his cupboards in his three crafted monologues; and MAP Alum Jessie Jacobson has contributed Trans and therapist-related monologues in addition to composing an original song for the production, utilizing lyrics taken primarily from the casts’ monologues. Read more at
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Fourteen Antioch Alumni turned out to volunteer in cooperation with LA Works for Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service at Dorsey High School in Mid-City Los Angeles. Recently, Dorsey High School lost their janitorial staff due to budget cuts and over 1,200 volunteers from across the city helped to spruce up the campus. Volunteers helped by cleaning classrooms, gardening, and painting offices, classrooms, and murals. The weather was beautiful, a lot got done and it was a good way to feel part of a city working hard to help those who need it. ... See MoreSee Less

Fourteen Antioch Alumni turned out to volunteer in cooperation with LA Works for Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service at Dorsey High School in Mid-City Los Angeles. Recently, Dorsey High School lost their janitorial staff due to budget cuts and over 1,200 volunteers from across the city helped to s...

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Join four AULA creative writers as they share their latest literary works, Tuesday, February 21 at 6pm. Free and open to the public! ... See MoreSee Less

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Program Details

CoursesCapstoneAdmissionsCosts & Financial AidOrientationCampus Life
The graduate program in Urban Sustainability consists of 32 units of coursework, offered over an 18-month period that is divided into three semesters. Fall/Winter semester begins in late October; Spring/Summer semester begins in late April. Students may enter the program at either semester. See the AULA Catalog for a complete list of course descriptions.

Year One

Semester OneSemester Two
Urban Sustainability (6 units)Urban Infrastructure (3 units)
Eco Systems Thinking (3 units)Research & Writing for Practitioners (3 units)
Fieldwork Planning (1 unit)Sustainable Urban Economies (3 units)
Fieldwork (2 units)

Year Two

Semester Three
Capstone (6 units)
Fieldwork (3 units)
Two one-unit electives selected from the following options:
- Adaptive Leadership for Sustainable Change
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventories
- Funding Your Mission: Grant Writing
- Group Facilitation
- The Power of Story: Creating Strategy, Meme and Messages for Social Change
- Practical Map Making
- Introduction to Environmental Journalism

note: elective offerings vary by semester. the examples provided above are typical.

The Capstone is a comprehensive project in which students apply their integrated learning of social, economic, and scientific perspectives through the overarching lens of natural systems thinking. Through their Capstone Project, students demonstrate the habits of mind, breadth of knowledge, practitioner skills, and social justice perspective that comprise the mission of the Urban Sustainability program.

The Capstone seminar ensures that students remain connected, receive feedback from their mentors and peers, and benefit from the wisdom of a larger community.

Through the Capstone process, students:

  • Identify and address an urban place-based question, problem, or initiative
  • Work under the mentorship of a faculty member or community expert
  • Design, create, record, and report on the processes of a significant project or research effort

Application deadlines

We are currently accepting applications for the following terms:

SemesterInternational Application*Priority Application**Final Application***New Student OrientationClasses Begin
Spring/Summer 2017January 23, 2017March 14, 2017April 1, 2017April 24, 2017April 25, 2017

*In addition to satisfying AULA’s admission requirements for a specific academic program, International Students have additional, general requirements that must be met for admission.

**In order to be eligible for the New Student Grant, the admissions application and financial aid paperwork must be submitted by the final application deadline.

Admissions Process

Three easy steps to apply:
1. Complete an online application.
2. Submit official transcript indicating Bachelor’s degree conferral from a regionally accredited college or university to AULA Admissions.
3. Learn more about the specific application requirements for this program.

Please submit all materials to: Admissions Office, 400 Corporate Pointe, Culver City, CA 90230.

MA in Urban Sustainability 2016/2017

The MA in Urban Sustainability is a 32 unit degree program that costs $1,170 per unit.

  • Full-time students take 7-11 units per semester.
  • Part-time students take 3-6 units per semester.

For further information, please contact:

Financial Aid & Scholarships at (310) 578-1080 ext. 216.
Student Accounts at (310) 578-1080 ext. 405.

Please note: Additional fees for all Antioch University Los Angeles programs may include (but are not necessarily limited to) charges for materials, late registration, enrollment maintenance, parking, graduation, transcripts, tuition payment plan, late payments, late registration, and returned checks. For a complete list of applicable fees, please visit the AULA Catalog.


Monday, April 24th - 8:30am to 5:00pmRoom A1006

At AULA, we are a community of innovators, free-thinkers, and rabble-rousers, determined to make a lasting and positive impact on the world.


Antioch University Los Angeles is located on three floors of an unassuming office building at 400 Corporate Pointe in Culver City. But don’t let our address or building fool you.

Our intimate campus crackles with life, as students explore eye-opening, sometimes radical new ways to look at the world. Inside our comfortable classrooms, they engage in heady dialogue with each other and with their instructors, who encourage out-of-the box thinking and novel approaches to longstanding problems. The lively conversations spill over into our courtyard, where you can find students collaborating on projects, socializing over a meal at the café, or enjoying some solitude in the California sunshine.

It may not look like a traditional university campus, but then, there’s nothing traditional about AULA. We have no sprawling green quads, no Ultimate Frisbee games, no music pumped out of dorm room windows. What we offer instead is a place that nurtures and develops your academic interests and professional goals, providing unique, customizable degree programs and unparalleled faculty support.

If you want to be part of a passionate community of learners, to take part in eye-opening conversations on issues that matter and experience the occasional mind-blowing revelation, we invite you to visit us. We think you’ll like what you see.



Watch a conversation from the last Sustainable Supper
on building a framework of sustainability.


Student Voices: Mary