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Courses & Requirements

Courses & Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

The online UW Master of Sustainable Transportation degree requires the completion of nine courses for a total of 43 credits. A capstone project, which is incorporated into the final three courses of the program, is also required to earn the degree. 

Course Sequence

Focus Area I: Planning and Livable Communities

CET 561: Transportation Planning & Design

Instructor: Ryan Avery
Credits: 5

This course provides a broad overview of the elements of transportation planning, from policy and design to analysis and evaluation. You will become familiar with planning frameworks, land use planning, modeling and transportation demand management, environmental policies, and the analytical tools used in the profession. You will also get an introduction to different research methods.

CET 562: Livable Communities & Design

Instructor: Rocky Piro and Karen Wolf
Credits: 4

This course broadly examines the relationship between land use and transportation. The course is divided into two major sections. Part I explores land use and transportation planning, surveying the historical context and evaluating the current situation in the United States and elsewhere. We’ll explore several critical issues within land use and transportation planning, including the use of limited resources, negative externalities associated with motor vehicles (e.g. air pollution), and auto dependency. Part II focuses on the land use and transportation connection. We’ll explore land use tools meant to impact the large scale of a region or state all the way down to tools intended to improve neighborhoods and intersections.

CET 563: Transportation Choices & Technology

Instructor: Mark Hallenbeck
Credits: 4

This course examines a selection of choices for ground transportation and explores design solutions, policy strategies and modern technologies for getting people where they want and need to go. Common and emerging passenger transportation modes are explored in the context of sustainability, including foot travel; different forms of cycling; various types of buses, trolleys, streetcars, and rail transit; single-occupancy vehicles; carpools and vanpools; shared autos and rides; and connected and autonomous vehicles. The course also considers the data needs and technologies to plan for and measure the performance of these modes of transportation.

Focus Area II: Environmental Issues and Impacts

CET 564: Sustainable Transportation From a Systems Perspective

Instructor: Ed McCormack
Credits: 5

This course examines tools used to evaluate the sustainability of transportation systems, while also considering the relevance of national concerns about infrastructure decay, resiliency and security. Case studies are used to explore life cycle and cost-benefit tools that assess transportation systems beyond immediate impacts. We’ll cover the system analyses approaches that guide many planning applications, and we'll evaluate the growing role and limitations of performance measures and sustainable certification programs. For an additional perspective, we will look at network tools borrowed from the transportation infrastructure security world and European approaches to sustainable systems. A separate introductory statistics module is also included.

CET 565: Climate Change & Energy

Instructor: Don MacKenzie
Credits: 5

This course offers a basic review of climate change, the role of transportation in generating greenhouse gas emissions, and what can be done to reduce these emissions. A major focus of the course is energy production, particularly electricity production and use, reflecting the increasing importance of electric vehicles in the transportation community. You’ll learn about different kinds of vehicles and their characteristics, including pollution generation and fuel types and usage. Additional topics include energy and power plant terminology and planning, and scoping tools for estimating vehicle and power plant emissions. A separate introductory statistics module is also included.

CET 566: Environmental Analysis & Assessment

Instructor: Travis Fried
Credits: 5

This course reviews the statistical methods necessary to analyze environmental issues. We’ll explore examples of environmental data with demonstrations of how to measure and report significant impacts in ways understandable by decision makers. Topics include transportation data sources, sustainable transportation indicators and basic statistical analysis. We’ll also examine land use and travel demand forecasting, trip generation, trip distribution, mode choice and network assignment, and air quality modeling. A separate introductory statistics module is also included.

Focus Area III: Policy Development, Health & Economics

CET 567: Health & Sustainable Transportation

Instructor: Doug Eisinger
Credits: 5

This course examines the relationship between transportation policy and human health impacts, with a special emphasis on air quality. We’ll explore how transportation systems impact air quality, health and environmental justice, and develop approaches to reduce automotive emissions. Topics include the legal and regulatory frameworks that apply to these health impacts, methods for assessing health impacts and approaches to planning healthy communities. Case studies provide examples of these principles in real-world settings. You’ll learn to think critically about transportation-related health impacts, their causes and potential solutions. Course lessons apply more broadly to environmental problem solving, and in particular, provide a policy framework to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change. A separate capstone project module is also included.

CET 568: Transportation Economics

Instructor: Jenny Liu
Credits: 5

Transportation economics is essential for understanding the effects of policies and projects on transportation outcomes and the way we prioritize, plan, operate and fund transportation facilities. This course presents an overview of principles of economics (including utility theory, supply and demand, pricing, public goods, and market failures) as a foundation for understanding public investment in and regulation of transportation systems. The course will also highlight transportation finance, cost benefit analysis, the effects of transportation systems on the economy, and the efficiency and equity of transportation pricing and investments. A separate capstone project module is also included.

CET 569: Policy Development, Finance & Sustainable Transportation

Instructor: Thomas Dow and Rocky Piro
Credits: 5

This course explores transportation policy and adds to the depth of student understanding of this subject area. It examines policy formation in the United States at various levels of government and compares it with that of other countries. We’ll learn about the crucial role of public participation, as well as ways in which freight movement and logistics can be made more sustainable. The course also reviews some relevant financing issues that are not covered in CEE 568. A separate capstone project module is also included.

Capstone Project

Capstone Project

Instructor: Ed McCormack

See the Capstone Project page for details.