FAQs about the MA in Urban Sustainability program


Who is the typical Urban Sustainability student?

The typical Urban Sustainability student is a working adult who cares about climate change, economic inequality, and social justice and wants to devote their career to do something about these problems. Aside from that commonality, our students are very diverse; they include all ages and come from varied occupations including firefighter, museum staff, corporate sustainability officer, communications consultant, teacher, and more.

How does the “low-residency” system work? Are classes held online?

Every semester of the first year includes two intensive residencies. The first week of the semester begins with a 6-day residency at our Los Angeles campus. The second residency is a 4-day session held at a residential retreat center in the Los Angeles area during the fourteenth week of the semester. Both residencies include face-to-face class meetings, sessions with mentors, specialized workshops, field trips, guest speakers, and cultural activities. The rest of the semester includes a mix of online assignments, discussion forums, and real-time, online, interactive sessions, depending on the nature of the course. Check out our Residency and Online Learning pages to get a better idea of what this looks and feels like.

Do students and faculty communicate mostly via the online platform?

During the non-residency periods, students and faculty communicate with each other in many ways – email, phone, Skype, Sakai (our online learning management system), and Adobe Connect (our online classroom system). For students who live in the Los Angeles area, face-to-face meetings may also be arranged on campus or at a favorite café.

How does the program foster a collaborative learning environment?

Collaboration and teamwork is a signature aspect of our program; students may be paired up or placed on a team for a particular assignment. They gradually become adept at using collaborative media in a manner that mirrors the dispersed team structure that is common to creative workspaces today. Of course, students who live in the same city might choose to meet face-to-face at a mutually convenient location.

How is this program different than a Corporate Social Responsibility MBA?

Our program is grounded in the assumption that the way that the economy is currently organized promotes inequality and environmental harm. Thus, it is our view that long-term reorganization is necessary in order to truly reduce inequality and repair urban environments. Most MBA programs that focus on CSR focus on ways to adapt existing economic systems to improve their environmental impact. At Antioch University, we seek to investigate causes, build bridges between silos, and employ our eco-systems thinking skills to design and experiment with deeper, long-term solutions.