Graduate studies with BCT

Sustainability is a vital issue in today’s world. Scientists, politicians, and the public recognize the detrimental impact of wastefulness and over-reliance on non-renewable resources. This is particularly true in the building industry, where daily decisions can have a critical impact on the health and well-being of the community and the environment. Many aspects influence sustainability in the built environment: Site selection and environmental modification, design of buildings and structures, choice of materials and structural systems, selection and sizing of building energy systems, construction processes and waste streams.

Building accounts for approximately 40% of U.S. primary energy consumption

BCT’s graduate study options provide students with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the interrelations and sustainability implications of the entirety of a building’s systems. Through course-based study at the Master’s level or research-based study at either the Master’s or Doctoral level, students acquire necessary professional knowledge, influence the scientific discourse, and prepare themselves for successful careers in the broad fields of green building and sustainability in the built environment.

BCT offers three graduate study options:

A professional Master’s (M.S.), which allows students to complete a graduate coursework-based direction of study that does not include research or a thesis. This degree usually takes 1-2 years to complete.

A research Master’s (M.S.), which centers on a research thesis project and combines it with graduate coursework. This degree usually takes 2-3 years to complete.

A doctoral degree (Ph.D.) with its main focus on an independent, advanced dissertation research topic. Course requirements are set mainly by the advisory committee. This degree usually takes 3-5 years to complete.

All of these are offered through the “Sustainable Building Systems” concentration of the Department of Environmental Conservation’s graduate program. Follow the links above to learn more about the different program options and requirements.

Not sure yet if a Master’s or PhD is for you? You can start in our Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Building Construction (one course at a time) and decide later whether you want to count all credits towards our Master’s program.

Admission and Deadlines

Apply by:

February 1st (priority), March 1st (latest) for a Fall Semester start
October 1st for a Spring Semester start

Visit the How to Apply page for information on the application process. We also have information about financial aid on this site.


This program has been classified as a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program (under CIP code 3.0101 “Natural Resources/Conservation, General”). This designation, determined by the Department of Homeland Security, allows international students to extend their training (Optional Practical Training – OPT) in the United States by working in their field of study. More information regarding the Extended STEM OPT process can be obtained through the university’s International Programs Office (IPO).


We are happy to answer any questions. Use our contact form to send us a note or contact directly:

Sustainable Building Systems Graduate Concentration Coordinator

Dr. Peggi Clouston, P.Eng.

R: 316 Design Building
P: +1 (413)  545-1884