Jessie Zarazaga and students in the Hunt Institute

Build expertise in sustainable design and development

SMU Lyle's Master's in Sustainability + Development offers personalized degree plans and project-based sustainability research

About the program

Advanced expertise in developing innovative, sustainable solutions and measuring their impact is more sought after by employers than ever. 
Through design, data and community, our Master's in Sustainability + Development Program helps students develop the skills to support change for good in the global environment.

The boutique master’s program integrates engineering skills, community participation and creative design-thinking to implement real-life solutions across the globe – from neighborhoods in Dallas to small villages in Africa.

The SMU Lyle Difference

  • Diverse

    Students come from a variety of backgrounds, from design and city planning to urbanism, engineering, government, social science and more.

  • Hands-on

    Involves project-based learning and implementing sustainable solutions in urban and rural environments.

  • Flexible

    In-person and remote courses, including evening classes, that allow students to move in and out of full-time study.

  • Local

    Students collaborate with local communities to find innovative solutions to real-life challenges.

  • Unique

    Students can mold an individually constructed degree plan, or chose from four different specializations within sustainable development.

  • Small class sizes

    Creates memorable connections that foster networking and collaboration with colleagues, professors, and guest lecturers.

Four Tracks

sustainable developtment

Environmental Justice

Hunt Inst research

Climate-Smart Inclusive Economic Development

SDP program

Global Development and Design

Sustainable development Tanzania

Sustainable Management

Application Deadlines

The next start date is January 2024. The domestic application deadline is November 15; the international deadline is Nov. 1.

Admissions Requirements


Applicants holding a bachelor’s degree from an institution of standard collegiate rank, recognized by the accrediting agencies in whose jurisdiction the college is located, may apply for admission to the M.A. in sustainability and development. Graduates of colleges not fully recognized will be treated as special cases and required to produce evidence attesting to the quality of their programs. Any student whose bachelor’s degree is not equivalent to the comparable baccalaureate degree from SMU may be required to take sufficient additional work to make up the deficiency. All applicants must have an overall grade point average of 3.000 (on a 4.000 scale).

Tuition and Fees

The general student fee is $304 per term credit hour*, $3,624 maximum. Students paying the maximum general student fee of $3,624 are eligible to receive the Sports Pack. Students paying less than the maximum general student fee may receive the Sports Pack for an additional $90.