Global Sustainability Science

Masters Programme

Sustainable development is one of the major global challenges facing the twenty-first century - this much is beyond dispute. Yet, it still remains unclear in which direction, within which social and ecological framework, and by means of which strategy sustainable development can move forward. These questions form the starting point of our international, inter- and transdisciplinary research-oriented, and sustainability-problem-focused Masters Programme in Global Sustainability Science.

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Programme and application

Let's talk about studying Global Sustainability Science

Global Sustainability Science – the programme


The two-year dual de­gree stu­dy pro­gram­me has been joint­ly de­ve­l­o­ped by Ari­zo­na Sta­te Uni­ver­si­ty in Pho­enix/​USA and Leu­pha­na Uni­ver­si­ty of Lüne­burg. The Mas­ters Pro­gram­me in Glo­bal Sustaina­bi­li­ty Sci­ence pro­vi­des an aca­de­mi­cal­ly well ba­lan­ced edu­ca­ti­on in en­vi­ron­men­tal and sustaina­bi­li­ty re­se­arch on the Mas­ter le­vel. The goal is to pro­vi­de the theo­re­ti­cal, me­tho­do­lo­gi­cal, or­ga­niza­t­io­nal, and com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ve skills that are ne­cessa­ry to de­ve­lop, rea­li­ze, and re­flect on one’s own di­sci­pli­na­ry and in­ter­di­sci­pli­na­ry re­se­arch work and pro­jects in the field of en­vi­ron­men­tal and sustaina­bi­li­ty sci­en­ces.

The pro­gram­me aims at stu­dents com­mit­ted to en­ga­ge in the wide ne­xus of sustaina­bi­li­ty. By fo­cu­sing on nor­ma­ti­ve as well as trans­for­ma­ti­ve as­pects of sustaina­bi­li­ty, the stu­dy pro­gram­me links the cur­rent sta­te of the art of re­se­arch with prac­tical im­ple­men­ta­ti­on of sustaina­bi­li­ty. Roo­ted in a wide ar­ray of di­sci­pli­nes and ai­ming at their joint fo­cus on the "gre­at trans­for­ma­ti­on", stu­dents are edu­ca­ted to fos­ter and fa­ci­li­ta­te sustainable de­ve­lop­ment in all its re­le­vant as­pects. Ty­pi­cal fiel­ds for fu­ture jobs in­clu­de sustaina­bi­li­ty as­sess­ments and fur­ther de­ve­lop­ment of im­ple­men­ting trans­for­ma­ti­on across sca­les, in­clu­ding go­vern­men­tal, so­ci­al, eco­no­mi­cal and eco­lo­gi­cal as­pects.

Due to the in­ter­na­tio­na­li­ty of the dou­ble-de­gree Mas­ters Pro­gram­me, the stu­dents ac­qui­re ex­ten­si­ve in­ter­cul­tu­ral, col­la­bo­ra­ti­ve, and lan­gua­ge skills in ad­di­ti­on to their pro­fes­sio­nal trai­ning, in par­ti­cu­lar through the in­te­gra­ted one-se­mes­ter stu­dy pe­ri­od at Ari­zo­na Sta­te Uni­ver­si­ty. Sin­ce the­se skills are in­cre­a­sin­gly re­co­gni­zed and re­qui­red of the next ge­ne­ra­ti­on of sustaina­bi­li­ty sci­en­tists, in both re­se­arch and ap­p­lied fiel­ds, stu­dents of the Mas­ters Pro­gram­me in Glo­bal Sustaina­bi­li­ty Sci­ence will be well pre­pa­red to en­ter their field.

On suc­cess­ful com­ple­ti­on of the pro­gram­me, stu­dents will be awar­ded a Mas­ter of Sci­ence (M.Sc.) in Glo­bal Sustaina­bi­li­ty Sci­ence from Leu­pha­na Uni­ver­si­ty of Lüne­burg and a Mas­ter of Sci­ence (M.Sc.) from Ari­zo­na Sta­te Uni­ver­si­ty.

Programme Structure

The first semester takes place at the students' respective home university - either the Leuphana University of Lüneburg or the Arizona State University. Here they will take similar basic courses in the main topics and begin their collaboration with virtual classes, first transnational team assignments, and shared preparation for the intercultural research (research project 1).

The second semester takes place at Leuphana University in Lueneburg. There, all students take advanced courses in sustainability science , develop their research project in teams , and deepen their studies with electives.

The third semester takes place at Arizona State University, where students pursue advanced courses in sustainability science, conduct their research projects, and further deepen their chosen emphasis through electives.

The fourth semester takes place at the students' respecitve home university - either Leuphana University of Lüneburg or Arizona State University, where they will complete the research projects, and document them in a scientific paper. This publication is supported by the course Scientific Paper at ASU, and by the Master Forum at Leuphana. Teamwork will continue in virtual work environments, and the exchange through the "virtual classroom" provides a space to complete the study programme together.

Downloads - detailled information

Career Prospects

Alumni Careers


Students will be prepared both for an employment in internationally operating institutions and organizations and for a scientific career. Depending on their individual academic profile, graduates will have a wide range of career options in sustainability-focused research, particularly in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research contexts. They will also have access to leading positions in business and consulting, public administration, national and international third sector organizations as well as political advising.

Due to the internationality of the programme and the educational focus on intercultural aspects of sustainability challenges and collaboration in solving them, alumni of this study programme will find new job opportunities in addition to already established fields.

Entry Requirements

The Masters Programme is aimed at national and international students who either have a bachelor's degree or any equivalent. Non-German degrees will be examined with regard to their equivalence based on assessment proposals of the Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen (

Applicants to the double degree Masters programme Global Sustainability Science (GSS) must submit their application to both Leuphana University and Arizona State University. GSS applications will be reviewed by both universities.

Non-native speakers need to provide their English profiencey through one of the following options :

  • Internet-based TOEFL test with at least 92 points and no section below 22 points, spoken English section not below 23 points
  • International English Language Testing System, Academic (IELTS Academic) 6.5 test with no section below 6.5

The certificates must not be older than 2 years.

Even if you have not completed your bachelors degree, you may apply for this programme. You have to prove successfully completed courses at 81% of the required total performance (total performance of 180 CP or 210 CP depending on your study programme).

Applicants to the Global Sustainability Masters programme do not have to provide German language skills, as the programme is taught in English.

Downloads - Application and Selection Procedure

At a glance

Degrees awarded: Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree from Leuphana University of Lüneburg and Arizona State University
Application period: April 1 - June 1
Study places: 10
Start date: October 1
Extent: 120 ECTS
Duration: 4 semesters
Language: English
Location: Lüneburg and Phoenix/Arizona
Semester contribution: approx. EUR 360 at Leuphana
other expenses: mandatory insurances, travel, Visa, cost of living



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