Graduate Education

Master of Integrated Sustainable Development (MISD)

Industry Connections & Academics to Take on Today’s Environmental Challenges

The Master of Integrated Sustainable Development (MISD) is an interdisciplinary graduate degree program offered by the University of Florida (UF) College of Design, Construction and Planning (DCP) Sustainability and the Built Environment (SBE) Program. MISD is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) degree delivering education within the planning, design, construction, and operations of more sustainable and resilient built environments. Through a mix of pedagogical approaches (e.g., from research to collaborative studio projects), MISD students will learn the skills and strategies to facilitate a quadruple bottom line of ecological, cultural, social, and economic sustainability across local, state, national, and international scales.

The coursework offers related concentrations in planning, transportation, engineering, architecture, energy, and sustainable construction. Students will be required to take a minimum two areas of these concentrations.

Our program offers you a rigorous academic grounding in resilient development and the built environment, and you gain the professional networks and individualized professional development you need to excel in your work. The heart of the MISD is the passion, commitment, and dedication of our students and faculty to create change in the world, from helping to preserve habitats to implementing energy-efficient and resilient planning and development of communities and cities at local, national, and global levels that translate into a fulfilling career.

The MISD degree program at University of Florida addresses the complex issues facing our ever-changing planet. Look towards the future with MISD and discover what you can do to stay on the cutting edge of planning, design, construction and operation of resilient buildings and communities. In MISD, you will work toward targeted academic outcomes designed to empower your career goals.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Gain skills, knowledge, and benchmarking measures to critically evaluate the health of the natural and human-designed world;
  • Develop and understand strategies, technologies, and financial models that support sustainable development;
  • Build competency in a variety of quantitative and analytic skill sets and Artificial Intelligence (AI);
  • Learn to design solutions that reduces environmental impact and increase benefits to society and ecosystems; and
  • Connect with the industry through our industry board and working on local, state, national, and international projects.

MISD Highlights

The MISD curriculum focuses on collaborative and integrative design, construction, planning, and engineering problem solving, as well as leadership and management, in the built environment. MISD students are critical thinkers, managers of complexity and strategists capable of creating comprehensive assessments and solutions to cross-disciplinary problems with social, political, economic, ethical, and technical components.

The MISD program is a professional graduate degree track, defined by the following features:

  • 30-credit, 12-month graduate degree program
    • 15-credits across four required core courses
    • 15-credits across five elective courses
  • On-campus course delivery
  • Non-thesis professional project
    • Capstone experience in a studio setting on a timely and significant topic focused on sustainability in the built environment
  • BSSBE + MISD (4+1) Combined Degree option
    • Nine credit hours of graduate work maybe completed in conjunction with the Bachelor of Science in Sustainability and the Built Environment (BSSBE) undergraduate major

The MISD program takes place within a single academic year, over three consecutive semesters. Starting each August, full-time students complete 12-credit hours in the Fall, 12-credit hours in the Spring, and 6-credit hours in studio capstone during the Summer.

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
    • Not required for any applicant, neither domestic nor international
  • English language proficiency scores required for all international applicants from either of two options
    • Option 1: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    • Option 2: International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

MISD Application & Admissions

The Master of Integrated Sustainable Development (MISD) program is designed for individuals with a wide variety of backgrounds and levels of experience. Successful students in the program have come from many different undergraduate educational backgrounds such as sustainability, engineering, planning, design, construction, energy, business management, and economics.

If you are an aspiring graduate student curious about the MISD degree and how you might join the program, we encourage you to review our application steps and checklist.

The first step toward earning your MISD degree from the University of Florida is completing the online application. You may apply to begin your studies during the fall term only. Your application portfolio, including all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines:

Term of EntryApplication DeadlineCohort Graduation
Fall 2022July 1, 2022August 2023
Fall 2023December 15, 2022 (priority application deadline)
May 1, 2023 (non-priority application deadline)
August 2024
  1. Get familiar with the UF Graduate Student Handbook.
  2. Complete UF Graduate Application form, including the application the UF Office of Admissions requires.
    • Please refer to the UF Graduate School for additional admissions requirements.
    • Application fees cannot be waived by DCP nor SBE.
  3. Open the Getting Started application.
  4. Create an account or log into an existing account.
  5. Once logged in, go to Apply Online.
    • There are multiple pages to complete, but you can save your application and return at a later time to complete it.
  6. On the Application Information page, under Location of Intended Program, select Main Campus – Gainesville.
  7. On the Program of Study page, select College of Design, Construction and Planning (Degree Name – Master of Integrated Sustainable Development).
    • You can do this via either the search bar or under the College of Design, Construction and Planning dropdown option.
  8. Select the desired program starting term.
    • The MISD program only processes applications for Fall starting terms and all selections will process for the Fall term of your selected year.
    • If you select a summer term, your application will be processed for the following Fall.
  9. Complete the remaining application sections and submit.
    • MISD applications require a minimum of 3 letters of recommendation, though the system allows for up to five recommenders.
    • Recommenders’ information cannot be altered or changed after submission.
    • Recommenders are sent a link to submit their letters virtually into the application portal.
    • Letters of recommendation should be submitted directly via the application portal.
    • Do not send letters to the department or via email.

Since all required supporting documents are submitted through the online application system, hardcopy material other than official transcripts will not be accepted. Please urge your recommenders to submit their letters through the online system. Please note that all application materials become the property of the University of Florida and will not be returned. Remember to retain a personal copy of your application. Unsolicited material will not be used for review.

Applications must contain all the following in order to be considered complete:

  • Completed online application
    • There is a non-refundable application fee (amount determined and fee assessed by the Office of Admissions).
  • Current resume
    • Highlight relevant academic achievements, professional experiences, and honors.
  • Personal Statement essays (500 words maximum)
    • Your application will include essays addressing your personal background, life experiences, opportunities, leadership skills, experiences, and challenges that provide context for your motivations to become interested in sustainable development.
  • Intent statement (1500 words maximum)
    • Your statement of intent should address each of the following questions:
    • Why are you interested in sustainable development field? Include any professional, volunteer, or internship experiences that have prepared you for this field of study as well as your research interests and career aspirations.
    • What do you expect to apply the expertise you would gain in the MISD program?
    • How will UF’s MISD program help you meet your professional goals?
  • Unofficial transcripts
    • Transcripts must come from each post-secondary school attended and be uploaded through the online application system.
    • Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded and used for admissions purposes so long as they note (1) degree conferral date, (2) course list and grades earned, and (3) cumulative GPA.
    • The university will require official transcripts upon your acceptance of an offer of admission.
  • Minimum GPA
    • 3.0 on a 4-point scale, for upper division coursework
    • The university requires applicants for graduate study to compute their upper-division (i.e. junior and senior year) grade point average, unless your institution uses a non-traditional grading system. The university requires an accurate self-reported GPA, which it will verify.
  • Letters of recommendation
    • Do … submit three letters of recommendation which…
      • Speak to your academic achievement;
      • Present your strengths, interests, abilities, interpersonal skills, and vision for the future;
      • Evaluate your potential for success in our program; and
      • Explain and provide context for your professional experience.
    • Do … address letters to the attention of the UF Sustainability and the Built Environment Program Admissions Committee.
    • Do … ensure letters come from individuals in a position to evaluate your professional and/or academic work, such as a supervisor or professor, and who know of your desire to enter the MISD program.
    • Do … submit requests for recommendations online.
      • Follow the instructions in the Recommendations section of the online application. The recommenders should sign their letters and submit them directly to your application using the CollegeNET email link.
    • Do not submit letters of recommendation from family members and friends (as they will not be accepted).
  • International Applicants
    • International applicants must submit to the Office of Admissions:
      • Transcripts: The university has additional requirements for international transcripts. International applicants must submit to the Office of Admissions an official copy in the native language of each transcript, a mark sheet, and a diploma/degree certificate from each university or college attended, along with certified, literal (exact) English translations for documents not originally issued in English.
      • TOEFL or IELTS scores: See the Graduate School admissions page for additional information on English proficiency requirements.
  • Financial certification
    • The university requires financial certification only upon your acceptance of our offer of admission.

MISD Courses & Curriculum

Tailor Your Coursework to Your Career Goals

The MISD program provides you with the knowledge base you need to understand complex environmental issues and allows you the flexibility to develop unique expertise and professional experience in the field of your choice. With the help of a dedicated academic advisor, you create a curriculum suited precisely to your goals.

At the beginning of your studies, you will be assigned an academic advisor to help you through the course selection process. Together, you’ll determine which skills you hope to develop and which academic and internship experiences match your goals. Not only will you sample a broad range of courses to aid you in narrowing your focus, but we also provide resources (e.g., alumni talks and more) to help you find the path that’s best for you.

As an MISD student, you will complete 30-credit hours or coursework that reflects a balance between general interdisciplinary knowledge and a specific disciplinary focus. Your course of study includes required core courses, a diversity of student-choice elective courses, as well as a student-devised and mentor-advised final capstone project.

A total of 15-credit hours of required core courses must be completed during the 12-month MISD graduate degree program.

Course NumberCourse TitleCourse CreditsCourse Term(s)
BCN 6584CBuilding Energy Modeling3Fall
BCN 6585Sustainable Construction3Spring
DCP 6221Integrated Sustainable Development Studio6Summer
DCP 6230Economics of Sustainability & the Built Environment3Spring

A total of 15-credit hours of student-choice elective courses must be selected from the following options and completed during the 12-month MISD graduate degree program. These options are subject to change as new course offerings may be created and/or existing course options may be removed based on faculty and industry interests and availability.

Course NumberCourse TitleCourse CreditsCourse Term(s)
ARC 6311CBuilding Information Modeling (BIM)3Spring
ARC 6621Graduate Environmental Technology 23Fall
ARC 6883Vernacular Architecture & Sustainability3Fall
BCN 5905AI & Machine Learning for Construction3Fall
BCN 6583Sustainable Housing3Spring
BCN 6641Value Engineering3Spring
CGN 5605Public Works Planning3Spring
CGN 5606Public Works Management3Fall
DCP 4930WELL Building Strategies6Fall (pending)
EES 6007Advanced Energy & Environment3Fall
TTE 5006Advanced Urban Transportation Planning3Fall
LAA 6382Ecological & Environmental Policy3Fall (starting 2023)
URP 6100Planning Theory & History3Fall & Spring
URP 6421Environmental Land Use Planning & Management3Fall
URP 6541Economic Development Planning3Fall
URP 6716Transportation Policy & Planning3Fall
URP 6711Transportation & Land Use Coordination3Spring

The studio project is a distinguishing feature of the MISD program, blending academic and professional experiences and serving as the culmination of your work in the program. Integrated sustainable development is in fact, about integrating everything – connecting people, processes, data, and the built environment. The approaches taken during the studio project are as follows:

  • Innovative and informed by making communities livable across scales and populations;
  • Consuming and managing large datasets;
  • Performing analytics; and
  • Measuring impacts that allow us to explore and understand patterns that create insights for green infrastructure planning and sustainable investments.

Unlike a traditional master of science research program, MISD does not expect you to have a research topic and advisor before you begin the program. MISD students meet the faculty and learn about research topics and studio project ideas when they start the program. This course highlights the use of scientific principles in creating innovative technology-based projects that achieve the mutual goals of improved quality of life, economic prosperity, and sustainable infrastructure. Highly interactive and collaborative, the studio project uses a design thinking approach to develop a strategy that integrates innovation, analytics, impact assessment, planning and policy into the solution.

Beyond the Classroom

To the greatest degree possible, the MISD graduate program (like our BSSBE undergraduate program) utilizes an active learning model which leverages hands-on experiences, self-directed and mentored research projects, internships, as well as course-based field trips, both local and long distance. We welcome you to discover Where to Next as you find your path to SBE Your Best.

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