MScSM | Structure

First Things First - Orientation and Preparatory Classes

MScSM is a course-based, professional masters' program (not a thesis research program). It is a full-time, 20-month program with five semesters: four academic and one work term.

For new students, the MScSM Program begins late August every year, with mandatory Orientation and Preparatory Classes.

The two week Orientation period begins with a one-day Orientation which provides important information about starting your graduate studies in the MScSM Program and the University of Toronto. Students get to know each other, have a tour of the campus, meet members of the MScSM staff, faculty and senior students, and get involved in a team building activity.

The next six days are preparatory classes, referred to as "Boot Camp". These classes are from 9am to 4pm each day with a 3-hour management class in the morning and an 3-hour science class in the afternoon. This introduces students to what the academic expectations are for the program and familiarizes students with management and science concepts through a sustainability lens.

The final day of Orientation is a Conference Day - entitled The State of Sustainability - with guest presentations and industry speaker panels.

All Orientation activities - Orientation Day, Boot Camp, and Conference Day - are mandatory for new incoming MScSM students. A sample Orientation Schedule from previous years is available here.

Please note that Orientation, Boot Camp and Conference Day for Class 2024 will take place from Monday August 29, 2022 to Thursday September 8, 2022 (weekend days excluded).  Orientation is mandatory.

MScSM 2023-2024 Academic Year Overview

As per our current plan, the Fall 2023 semester for the new cohort (Class of 2025) and the returning students (Class of 2024) have classes in-person.

Please note that all Fall 2023 courses are all in-person. 

The 2023-2024 Academic Year general Overview will be available in late June 2023.

The Core of the Program

The Master of Science in Sustainability Management is a course-based, professional masters program: full-time, 20-month program consisting of 11 required core courses.

There are five semesters: four academic semesters and one work/internship semester.

In addition to required Core courses, students also take at least five electives in either a management or science concentration. Electives can be taken within the MScSM program, within other graduate programs in the Institute for Management & Innovation, and at other UofT campuses and graduate programs.

Summer Work Term/Internship

In the summer between the two academic years, is the work semester; internship placement of 2 to 4 months (minimally 10 weeks) is required. MScSM has a Placement Officer who assists students to find internships through weekly Professional Development workshops and seminars, networking opportunities, one-on-one meetings, and industry leader guest lecturers. However, it is ultimately the students' responsibility to seek and accept an internship placement.

Research Paper Course

Although MScSM is a course-based professional masters' degree program, there is a  research component to the program: a year-long Research Paper course in the senior year. Students will be required to start preparing for the Research Paper course in the first Winter semester by: confirming a topic they would like to pursue, finding a supervisor (a UofT professor who has research experience in the topic area,) and submitting a one-page proposal by the end of the first year of study (usually by May 30). It is not required for students to find a supervisor before the program starts - that is only required in research-based masters' of doctoral programs, not in MScSM.

There are two Research Paper courses - students must complete ONE of two research paper courses in the program. Depending upon their research interest, students will complete either SSM1100Y Research Paper I (science focused) OR SSM1101Y Research Paper II (social science and management focused). Completion of ONE of these two research paper courses is required for program completion.

Electives - Management Concentration

Students choose their concentration in the fall semester of the second year in the program.

If selecting the Management Concentration, students will take 5 electives with 4 in management and 1 in science. The bulk of the electives are taken in the second year.

Electives - Science Concentration

Students choose their concentration in the fall semester of the second year in the program.

If selecting the Science Concentration, students will take 5 electives with 4 in science and 1 in management. The bulk of electives are taken in the second year.

Skills Development

Over the 20 months in the MScSM Program, students can expect to move through the stages of skills development and will acquire an understanding of operational, managerial and leadership levels of skill in sustainability management. Download the details here.