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M.A. in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities


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The Master of Arts in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities is a unique experiential learning program, an interdisciplinary degree focused on social justice, community, and sustainability.  As a student in this program, you will systematically study the root causes of problems, engage in action research, and identify possible solutions. You will have the opportunity to meet community members engaged in work relevant to theories and practices learned in the core courses and the electives. Your master’s program will culminate in a conference-style symposium where you will share your own research and respond to that of your peers.

The minimum requirements for acceptance are as follows:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Application and Fee
  • Official copy of Transcript(s)
  • Resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • The GRE or GMAT IS NOT required for admission into this program.

Application Process

1. Apply for admission

  • Visit the WKU Online Admission Page for more information.
    • A Step By Step Guide for completing the application process: Application Tutorial
    • There is a $65 application fee.
  • Complete the WKU Domestic and International Graduate Application
    • Under Planned Course of Study Section, Choose:
      • Category of Study >>> Masters
      • Planned Course of Study >>> Socl Resp/Sustain Communities (0448)

2. Submit Required Materials:

In order to be admitted to this program, students must send the following required documents to Graduate Admissions.

  • OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT
    • Request at least one official transcript showing the completed degree from accredited institutions other than WKU.
    • The transcript must be forwarded from the college or university registrar electronically or directly to the Graduate School. 
    • Send your official transcripts from each college attended to Graduate Admissions. 
      • You may request electronic transcripts through the National Student Clearinghouse. This speeds up the admissions process considerably. If your school is not listed with the Clearinghouse, please contact them directly to see if they have another process in place for electronic submissions or request that an official copy be sent by mail.
  • RESUME
  • STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
    • Should discuss your personal, professional, and/or academic preparation for graduate study and how the master’s program in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities will fit into your professional development.
  • 2 LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
    • Please have those who write the letters of recommendation on your behalf address your potential for graduate study and, in particular, this program of study.

Deadlines for Admission Applications & Transcripts

  • Fall Semester: Rolling Admission
  • Spring Semester: Rolling Admission

Please Note: Course schedules are listed in parenthesis.

Required Core Courses (18 hours)

  • SRSC 510: Perspectives on Social Justice (Fall)
  • SRSC 520: Community-Based Research (Fall)
  • SRSC 530: Social Policy & Social Justice (Spring)
  • SRSC 540: Community-Building for Sustainability (Spring)
  • SRSC 590: Sustainability Symposium (Second Spring Culminating residency requirement)
  • SUST 512: Foundations of Sustainability (Summer) orSUST 514: Environmental Justice & Public Spaces (Fall)

Elective Courses (9 or 15 hours)

In addition to courses outlined above, students must complete 6 hours of electives for the non-thesis option or 15 hours of electives for the thesis option.

  • A list of online elective courses can be reviewed Here.

Thesis Courses (6 or 0 hours)

If pursuing the thesis option students must complete 6 thesis hours.

  • SRSC 599: Theses Research/Writing

Please note the following as you plan your program of study:

  • Students are required to be in attendance during the campus-based ICSR 590 Sustainability Symposium.
  • Students can recieve credit for no more than 12 hours of courses in any one discipline.
  • Students may transfer up to 12 hours from another graduate program or institution to fulfill program requirements (if courses meet transfer requirements and advisor approval).
  • Students can also choose to enroll in a graduate certificate program and use up to 12 hours of courses to fulfill their elective requirements with advisor approval.
  • Compatible graduate certificates are:

General Eligibility

Financial Aid includes grants and loans for educational purposes. The government requires the student to file a form online to the government agency for this purpose which is called FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov  to apply. Once that form is completed and filed, the student will receive an email from WKU about the status. All financial aid comes through the WKU Student Financial Aid office and they communicate mostly through email. The email will explain all the grants and/or loans that are available to the student and how to receive the money.

Nearly all students are eligible for some form of financial assistance. In fact, over 90% of the students who applied for financial aid in recent years received an award offer. Every effort is made to assist you and your family in obtaining the resources necessary to meet the difference between the total cost of attending Western Kentucky University and your ability to contribute toward your education.

If you would like to apply for financial assistance (loans, grants, scholarships, veteran's benefits) the first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov. Please refer to the Financial Aid Guide for additional information and complete instructions.

Please keep in mind, student must maintain satisfactory academic progress to continue to qualify for financial aid. For additional information on receiving, and keeping your financial aid, please refer to the WKU Financial Aid website to review the complete policy on Satisfactory Academic Progress at wku.edu/financialaid/sap.php.


Eligibility for On Demand

On Demand courses may also be covered by financial aid if the student has met basic eligibility requirements and has a current FAFSA on file. Students must fill out an On Demand Agreement found on the WKU Financial Assistance website. Students receiving financial aid must complete their course(s) in the current semester. For more information please contact the Student Financial Assistance office at (270) 745-2755.


Veterans and Active Military

All college courses offered by On Demand have been approved for veterans and other persons eligible under the provisions of the GI Bill. Each student must assume the responsibility for submitting the proper forms to assure payment of appropriate entitlements. Please contact the Veterans Coordinator in Student Financial Assistance.

Academic Department

SRSC Coordinator & Advisor: Dr. Jane Olmsted
Email: jane.olmsted@wku.edu
Phone: (270) 745-5787
Website:wku.edu/study/srsc


WKU Online

Email: learn.online@wku.edu
Phone: (270) 745-5173
Toll-Free: (888) 4WKUWEB / (888) 495-8932
Website: wku.edu/online 


The Graduate School

Email: graduate.school@wku.edu
Phone: (270) 745-2446
Website: wku.edu/graduate  

For more information about this program, fill out the form below.



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 Last Modified 10/16/18