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Michigan Technological

Sustainable Futures Institute
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, Michigan 49931
Phone: 906.487.1210
Fax: 906.487.2943
e-mail: sfi@mtu.edu 

Southern University
and A & M College

Nelson Mandela School of
Public Policy and Urban Affair

410 Higgins Hall
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70813
Phone: 225.771.3092
Fax: .225.771.3105

Prospective Students
Overview of the Sustainable Futures IGERT program

The Sustainable Futures IGERT scholars develop knowledge, methods, and tools that promote and enable environmental, industrial, and societal sustainability. Faculty and students participate in an innovative education/research program focused on understanding and communicating new technology/policy, and exploring and developing the Sustainable Futures Model. Key aspects of the Sustainable Futures IGERT include synergistic inter-university education and research initiatives, domestic internships, international experiences, and the exploration of the Sustainable Futures meta-discipline itself.

IGERT Program is designed to build a knowledge base for students to help them make sustainable decisions. Education provided by student's home discipline is enhanced with complementary courses from the other Sustainable Futures areas and other key topics: risk, reliability, decision analysis, modeling, citizen participation, and social diffusion of knowledge.

IGERT trainees must be enrolled in a doctoral program and be citizens, nationals or permanent residents of the United States of America. There are opportunities for International students interested in the program as IGERT associates.

Program Requirements:

Students in the IGERT program are required to engage in multidisciplinary research. This is achieved through research collaboration and the use of faculty mentors and committee members. All engineering students will be required to incorporate a social science perspective into their dissertations, and all social science students will be required address engineering components in theirs.

IGERT Trainees will be required, and IGERT Associates encouraged, to fulfill several program requirements:


Coursework in Discipline

Student will take coursework specified by their department

Graduate Certificate in Sustainability

This Certificate formally recognizes curricular breadth in the following areas: i) policy, societal, and economic systems, ii) environmental systems, and iii) industrial systems. The student has the opportunity to achieve specialized education in engineering, forestry, science, social sciences, humanities, business, and economics.

Required Courses:

Sustainable Futures I: Covers introductory to advanced concepts of Sustainable Development. Explores methods / tools for assessing sustainability (economic, environmental, societal impacts) of current and emerging technologies. Provides advanced training in life cycle assessment (LCA) of technologies, processes and products. Explores the uses of LCA and other sustainability assessment tools in decision making in government and industry. 

Sustainable Futures II: Covers sustainability in developed and developing countries. Topics include policy analysis, regulatory impact & cost benefit analyses, trade & markets, laws & regulations, international disasters, GIS applications, green manufacturing, and evolution of environmental policy in U.S. and other countries.

Graduate Colloquium in Sustainability:  Students and faculty will meet to discuss policy implications related to technological innovations for sustainability

ED 5100: Introduction to College-Level Teaching



The internship, related to sustainability, will occur at a company, government/university laboratory, or nongovernmental organization (NGO).

This experience will provide the student an appreciation for the practical, real world issues resulting from the complex interplay of often competing concerns (e.g., company mission, government regulations, and societal norms).

International Experience

IGERT Students will have the opportunity to participate in an international experience that may come from one of two mechanisms: an international internship in an industrialized country or international fieldwork in the developing world.

In the past, students have conducted research at a university in Finland, Santiago, Chile, and remote areas of Bolivia.  Students have also traveled to conferences in Africa, Belgium and Brazil.


Exchange to Michigan Tech/ SUBR

IGERT trainees are required to spend two weeks collaborating on research at the partner institution. This expands the trainee's interaction with faculty and students as well as allows them to experience the cultural difference the regions have to offer.

Funding Information:

The IGERT program is supported by the NSF grant. IGERT Trainees receive an annual stipend of $30,000 and a cost of education allowance for tuition and fees. IGERT Associates are supported as graduate research or teaching assistants and receive an annual stipend and payment of their tuition and fees as set by the host university's Graduate School.

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