The Master of Arts in Sustainability Leadership is an interdisciplinary degree program that examines how organizational decision-making and activities impact society, the environment, and the organizations' own prosperity – or the triple-bottom line of the new economy: people, planet, and profit. The program is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed in the areas of development, the natural world, and organizational leadership, to assess and effectively lead socially responsible initiatives. Students will learn how to critically analyze issues in order to develop and ethically communicate high impact solutions that are sustainable.
CLU graduates will be positioned to contribute leadership value to 21st century companies, who increasingly seek strategies for acting as responsible corporate citizens, ensuring their operations are financially sustainable and minimizing their environmental footprint. Sustainable career opportunities may include leadership roles in natural resource reduction, supply chain management, worker safety and health initiatives, stakeholder engagement and external reporting.
Claremont Lincoln's master's degree programs all have the distinct advantage of being 100% online, providing the flexibility to determine how and when coursework is performed. CLU master's degree programs can be completed in as little as 13 months. In addition, the Admissions process has been streamlined for convenience. Neither a GRE or GMAT score is required to apply or be admitted.
The course sequence for this program is based on sequential concepts that build upon the previous coursework. In addition, courses taken alternate between relational and analytical to balance the learning progress and to encourage application of new knowledge.
Leadership in action is designed to support the exploration of leadership through self-reflection and assessment, including creating a personal mission statement and developing a leadership philosophy. Students will review a variety of leadership assessments, theories, and strategies on power dynamics, decision making, ethically addressing toxic leadership, conflict resolution, communication, and cultural awareness. Students will explore practical and experiential leadership styles and consider consequences of choices in the role of leading others. In addition, students will review and apply research strategies to develop knowledge and skills preparing for the capstone project. The course topics center around developing key leadership and action research skills to understand influencers in the social change process.
In this course students will gain a basic understanding of the interdisciplinary study of environmental science. Environmental science encompasses many aspects of sustainability including the "triple bottom line" of economic, environmental, and social policies. The scientific method, ecosystems, how human activities impact natural systems, biogeochemical cycles, how organisms interact within a community, and operating principles of sustainable development will be discussed. The content will then build upon this foundation by examining how human populations impact natural systems and how this relates to sustainable development including hazard identification and risk assessment.
In this course students will develop an understanding of critical Earth resource systems including biological, mineral, water, and atmospheric, and the interdependence of the various resource systems (water, energy, minerals, and land). The impacts of resource use, critical factors for those resources, evolution of resource use by humans, the competition between agricultural needs and natural ecosystems, and waste streams on the environment are discussed. Students will evaluate the inputs required from each system to support other systems through interdependence, evaluate environmental resource values and impacts across systems, and the instabilities that can result from interdependencies of multiple, constrained resource systems. The course concludes by discussing future trends and limits for various Earth resource systems to enable students to develop basic proposals to address these challenges.
Sustainable business applies the foundational microeconomic principles of efficiency and equity to a variety of issues including in business, human management, and environmental. Students will learn to use equilibrium and intertemporal analysis, as well as non-market valuation in the pursuit of an understanding of market successes/failures, optimal resource extraction paths, renewable resources adoption, and environmental/sustainability policy. How to conceptualize and effectively communicate market failures as they relate to business, the environment, and social welfare will also be discussed. Additional topics are how to develop foundational economic modeling skills used to evaluate causes and potential solutions to challenges such as supply and demand, externalities, economic surplus, marginal analysis, and the Coase Theorem.
This course explores the policies, laws, and politics of environmental protection and use of natural resources. Students will review the history of the U.S. natural resource policies and the shift from local and state governments to federal leadership on matters of environmental health and quality protection. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) along with key federal statutes are addressed such as the Administrative Procedure Act, Clean Air Act, The Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Safe Drinking Water Act including the effects of the policies for sustainability. The roles of the three branches of the federal government are explored from a historical context in regard to natural resources acquisition, disposal, conservation, and preservation.
In this course, students will explore the balance between meeting needs (and desires) of current generations without depleting resources for future generations. Students will explore the limits of depletion for stock-limited resources and of availability for flow-limited resources. This content will be coupled with efforts to assign plausible net values to the use of various resources based on the levels of needs addressed and how to address and communicate these values as a leader. Additionally, students will develop value metrics to optimize the use of a selected resource system.
The basic concepts of Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) can be used as a tool/ set of tools to predict potential impacts and aid in decision making for such areas of water, soil, noise, air, climate, atmospheric quality, biological resources, cultural resources, and others. In this course, students will learn the historical background leading up to the passage and implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), setting of national priorities for the environment, the creation of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Topics include key components of environmental assessment process, methods and techniques for conducting analyses relating to environmental risk, social and economic impact, technology needs, impacts from the proposed federal actions, suggested alternatives, and the no-action alternative.
In this university-wide foundational course, learners begin their engagement with the four domains that make up the Claremont Core domains: Mindfulness, Dialogue, Collaboration, and Change. These four domains consist of transferable skills and resources that support leadership and facilitation capacities that accentuate students' professional work. Students become familiar with aspects of mindfulness and dialogue that will undergird their work. Concepts of collaboration and change leadership are also introduced, and students begin the process of locating their work in a community where positive social change can be facilitated. Finally, students also determine the scope and aim of their Capstone Projects and begin to use resources from the four Claremont Core® domains to build their research repertoire and leadership acumen.
In a world that is reimagining what is possible, Strategic Communication: Building Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will present students a historic perspective of the legacy and manifestation of structural racism, and other societal and cultural marginalization including the unintended consequences of systemic exclusion. Students will build upon the principles learned in the Claremont Core® to create environments where difficult conversations can take place with both internal and external audiences. This course will equip students to tackle challenges with diverse teams using language which acknowledges and respects difference to create equitable outcomes. In this course, students analyze self, personal strengths, and biases, and accumulate tools and communication skills in dialogue, collaboration, and bridging across divides. With these tools, students hone their abilities to build advocacy for dismantling oppressive structures and rebuilding personal, professional, and civic spaces that maximize diversity and facilitate equity and inclusion for all.
This course builds on the foundational aspects of the Claremont Core®, focusing on how students can become mindful, engaged, and inquisitive research practitioners for positive social change. Students will develop an ability to critically evaluate what research methods are best suited for certain types of research projects. This course will specifically focus on the role of research methods that can address, illuminate, or explain enduring and newly salient social problems.
Throughout the course students will consider the entire research design process, learning how to conceptualize, problematize, diagnose, understand, and translate findings across social, political, environmental, healthcare, and organizational contexts. By the end of this course, students will have had experience posing research questions, exploring their own research goals, understanding the primary components of the research design process, and consuming a variety of styles of inquiry and action. Students will also consider course concepts in the context of their own future projects, and begin activating the research skills they will use in Applying the Claremont Core® Capstone Course. (Prerequisite: MCC 5320: Invitation to Inquiry: Foundations of the Claremont Core®)
As the culminating course in all programs, students apply skills, knowledge, and professional application learned throughout the degree. The planning for this course begins at the start of the program, continues through the evolution of learning as students design their projects, and peaks with students being prepared to implement the project during the capstone course. The specific content in each student's degree program provides a foundation for the research and design. The Capstone Project demonstrates student mastery of program and institutional learning outcomes. Must be taken during student's final term.
In an increasingly interconnected world, leaders who want to make positive, sustainable change need to develop the critical perspectives and collaborative skills necessary to reach across traditional barriers of ideology, and culture. At CLU, we put development of these capabilities at the center of our degree programs.
Claremont Lincoln University is a non-profit, "online-by-design", graduate university providing socially conscious education and multiplying social impact through the work of its students in the world.
As a nonprofit university, Claremont Lincoln University is focused on the student's learning experience as well as their career success. Funds received from donations, endowments and tuition go directly to curriculum and to enriching our students' education.
Since CLU is both online and nonprofit, the university is able to serve students who are not well served by traditional institutions and universities— allowing the university to deliver the innovative education its founder and benefactor David C. Lincoln envisioned.
Claremont Lincoln University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, (510) 748-9001.
The Commission has confirmed that Claremont Lincoln University has satisfactorily addressed the Core Commitments to Student Learning and Success; Quality and Improvement; and Institutional Integrity, Sustainability, and Accountability and is found to be in substantial compliance with the WSCUC Standards of Accreditation.
To obtain a copy of Claremont Lincoln University's WASC accreditation, please contact:
Accreditation Liaison Officer
Student Achievement & Accreditation
Claremont Lincoln University has entered into a complaint agreement for private non-profit institutions with the California Bureau of Post-Secondary Education (BPPE).
Department of Consumer Affairs
Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA. 95833
The M.A. in Sustainability Leadership aligns with the mission of Claremont Lincoln University to produce leaders capable of respecting differences and collaborating with those of different viewpoints to resolve problems.
The M.A. in Sustainability Leadership aligns with the mission of Claremont Lincoln University to produce leaders capable of respecting differences and collaborating with those of diverse viewpoints to resolve problems:
As a graduate of Sustainability Leadership, you will be prepared to approach your career from a new perspective. The skills and competencies this degree offers you can apply to roles in a variety of capacities such as:
A completed Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution is required to apply to Claremont Lincoln University. Neither a GRE or GMAT score is required for enrollment.
The Admissions process has been streamlined for applicants to complete the online application in 15 minutes or less. Unofficial Transcripts and a current Resume or CV are required to be uploaded with the online application. The Enrollment Committee will then review the application and determine an acceptance status within 24 business hours. A determination letter will then be sent, and in return, an acknowledgment of its receipt will be needed. The Admissions, Financial and Student Services Team will finalize any other necessary items to complete Enrollment.
Claremont Lincoln University reserves the right to request additional items as deemed necessary by the enrollment committee to determine student readiness for the graduate level workload. Claremont Lincoln University reserves the right to accept, provisionally accept, or deny students upon the evaluation of all admission documents.
Here is what some of our current and past students are saying about Claremont Lincoln University. We are committed to being a student-centered community and are proud of how we have continued to establish dialogue and long-lasting relationships with our graduates by showcasing their action-oriented and impactful work across the globe.
"All in all, I am better equipped to be an agent of positive change. I have found ways to use my education in my current work environment and in the volunteer work I do in education and with non-profits."
"In speaking to the CLU core, every student can expect an immersion in developing skills that will enhance personal leadership and self awareness. I hope that CLU meets every students' expectations with a bit of surprise and magic mixed in."
"I am a lifelong learner and am convinced that our reward is commensurate with our effort. Some students will just want to be able to place an M.A. after their name while others are seeking ways to change the world. With the mix of world class professors and an exemplary cohort, I believe students will not finish the program in the same mindset that they started. Everything fit together so perfectly and the scaffolding made the entire program manageable."
"I am most proud of heeding the prompt to "reinvent" myself during the 18-month program and to put my energy in an environment where I can make a difference."
"The Master's of Social Impact program taught me to take a grassroots approach to development."
"CLU has been such a blessing to my life. CLU helps strengthen my leadership skills through mindfulness, meaningful dialogue and collaborations that allow us to suspend assumption, approach non judgmentally and create strong foundations of shared vision in order to not forget the human part of our world, as we seek our purpose and deeply feel and understand our "why" in our journey towards change."
Many hard working professionals contribute to a Claremont Lincoln University education. Here are just a few of the great faculty and staff that you will meet at CLU:
David Brown's Ph.D. is in Environmental Toxicology from Duke University. His MS and BS are from Ohio University and are in the field of Biology. He is currently a Professor of Biology at Marietta College. He was the SME for the Environmental Science course. He understands CLU's desire for an interdisciplinary program and can pitch the science at the appropriate level to students needing to have the knowledge of Environmental Science but not needing to be "scientists" per se. He is very familiar with CLU's mission and vision. He has been invaluable in helping us build the program.
Dr. Bruce Gillies comes to Claremont Lincoln with extensive experience in leadership coaching, organizational consulting, and leadership experience. After a 22 year active duty career in the US Navy, Bruce retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer. He supervised HR offices, engine rooms on ships, and teams of Career Counselors. He earned his Doctorate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Alliant International University in San Diego, California. A published author, Bruce has also consulted with government agencies, professional sports teams, private industry, and individual leaders. Bruce has an extensive teaching background having taught at Pepperdine, University of North Carolina, Webster University, and California State University, and others.
Thomas Lasalvia's Ph.D. is in Urban and Environmental Economics from Binghamton University, and his MA is in Economics from Northeastern. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Economics at William and Mary. His background is in Urban and Environmental Economics and his commitment to environmental justice, urban renewal, and community service comport well with the ethos of sustainability.
Rian Satterwhite's M.A. is in Educational Leadership from the University of Wollongong, Australia. His current research is in the area of leadership and sustainability. In fact, he co-edited one of the textbooks we will be using in the program - Innovations in Environmental Leadership: Critical Perspectives. He is active in the field and is well regarded in this area. His background in service learning makes him a good fit for action research as well.
Earn your master's degree online in as little as 13 months, strarting at $23,100 while developing the skills, behaviors & mindset required to improve the world for the benefit of all.