Courses for CASS Certificate and PhD Concentration


A minimum of 15 semester hours is required for a certificate in Complex Adaptive Systems Science or for a PhD Concentration.

Requirements and ElectivesHours                                                                   
Required Core Courses12
Required Electives3
Total Semester Hours Required15

Required Core Courses (12 hours)

The required core courses will bring students together in an integrated learning environment to form a cadre of diverse backgrounds. The core courses are designed to provide students with methods and theory appropriate to the study of complex adaptive system science. They will explore the link between concepts of sustainability and systems approaches to knowledge, and will develop the integrative methods needed to work on sustainability problems.

Choose one from the following mathematics of complexity courses:

Choose one from the following complexity methods courses:

One course in applying CASS approaches as approved by PhD supervisory committee. For example:

Reading and Conference with CASS Graduate Faculty member can also full this requirement

  • (3) Three Hours

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Learning Outcomes

Complex adaptive system concepts and tools can serve as bridges between disciplines, providing a common language, and thereby promoting the interdisciplinary collaborations needed to come to grips with the intellectual and societal challenges of the 21st century. Students will be fluent in the language of complexity while also ensuring they receive a solid foundation in the domain knowledge of existing academic disciplines. 

By broadly embedding an understanding of complex adaptive system-relevant approaches into the practice of normal science, students will gain the ability to transform science. The CASS program promotes the development and testing of more robust theory and sophisticated methods in a wider array of research settings. This is needed to develop a deeper understanding of the nature and dynamics of complex adaptive systems, grounded in concrete examples and applications.