Prescott College Sustainable and Resilient Communities

Resilient and Sustainable Communities (MS)

Signature Courses
Ecology, Culture, and Community
Understanding Climate Change
Sustainability and Resilience: from Theory to Practice
Economics of Sustainable Organizations and Communities
Energy and Environment
Land-Use Planning and Policy
Social Equity and Community Engagement
Organizational Transformation and Sustainable Leadership
Food Systems

The Master of Science degree in Resilient and Sustainable Communities (MRSC) uses a bioregional approach to distance learning, in which students apply what they learn in each course to their local communities. MRSC students research regionally specific examples of land-use planning, economic development, energy production, food systems, and social justice while developing skills in leadership, group organization, and conflict resolution.

From urban areas to small towns, citizens are rethinking traditional approaches to providing food, energy, transportation and effective governance in response to rapid environmental and economic changes. As we adapt to conditions brought about by a changing climate, depletion of fossil fuel supplies, and growing inequalities in wealth and access to vital resources, the MRSC program gives students the skills to develop, advocate, and implement fundamental changes in how communities function.

"As we move beyond the late-industrial forms of society, most of our new ideas will come from the collaborative, playful minds of younger generations. It’s an honor preparing a space for them to learn and share and lay great plans. But because the challenges ahead will no doubt threaten to overwhelm them at times, we must also celebrate their dedication, help them build connections, and surround them with the most inspiring models we can find. It seems the least we can do.” Dr. Laird Christensen, Director of the Master of Science in Resilient and Sustainable Communities 

At the heart of this program is the understanding that sustainability depends on creating resilient communities which can adapt to changing conditions in ways that allow them to evolve without losing their fundamental identities.

Our online MRSC program consists of 36 credits.  We cap each course at 22 students, but our typical class size is 15-18 students: perfect for individualized attention and quality group discussion.



  • Students will be equipped to apply what they learn to their local communities
  • A platform to rethink energy production, food systems, land-use planning
  • A foundation in conflict resolution, critical thinking and problem solving.


  • Sustainability Director
  • Resilience analysts
  • Community Development Directors
  • Local Government Administrators and Planners
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Parks and Recreation Officials
  • Planning Commission Members
  • Educators
  • Grassroots Activists
  • Community Organizers
  • Clergy


  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Completed Application
  • Current resume
  • Official transcripts
  • Personal statement

Mariana Altricher

Instruction|Associate Faculty

Meriel Brooks

Instruction|Faculty / Coordinator, MS Environmental Studies

Laird Christensen

Instruction|Faculty / Director, MS Resilient and Sustainable Communities

Robin Currey

Instruction|Faculty / Director, Sustainable Food Systems

Gretchen Gano

Instruction|Faculty / Director, Core Curriculum

Hava Villaverde

Instruction|Associate Faculty