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Minerals, Materials and Society (MMS)

An Interdisciplinary Education, Research and Training Program

Created at the University of Delaware (UD) through an initial grant from the Unidel Foundation, the Minerals, Materials and Society (MMS) program is one of the first programs of its kind in the United States to offer a for-credit graduate certificate aimed at industry, government and civil society professionals working across mineral and extractive supply chains. The program approaches the topic from an interdisciplinary and industrial ecology perspective with attention to key skills needed to evaluate the environmental and social impacts of the sector. We are committed to a science-based approach to the topic but with respect for multiple normative prospects from industry, government and civil society. The program is designed with online offerings as well as on-campus and field course offerings.

The program is a campus-wide effort to bring together the University’s leading faculty resources  across campus and is based in the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment. We will also avail of the university’s strong industry partnerships in the newly established Science Technology and Research (STAR) campus which hosts research and manufacturing sites for companies like Chemours and Bloom Energy.

Our campus proximity mid-way on the train route between Washington DC and New York will also provide convenient opportunities for interface with U.S. government institutions, the United Nations and major development organizations. The program addresses environmental and social performance of various industries which have been expanding to embrace Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing issues of natural resources, such as:

*Consumers and NGOs demanding that companies and countries strive to make a positive impact in both new and mature market development

*Conflict Mineral laws in the US and EU spawning a growing need for sustainable development training due to concerns about supply chain transparency

*Growing global concern over increased demand for rare-earth minerals needed for renewable energy equipment and the transitioning of ‘post-carbon’ communities

About the MMS Graduate Certificate

Launching in early 2020 with applications opening the summer of 2019, the MMS graduate certificate program is targeted to mid-career energy and extractives industry professionals, government officials and other civil servants, economists and scientists, and non-profit, museum and jewelry industry professionals. This graduate certificate will be the core educational deliverable of a broader research and training portfolio spanning the program. The  curriculum leverages a range of available resources and networks including UD’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment (CEOC); College of Arts and Sciences (CAS); College of Engineering; the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics; UD Center for Material Cultural Studies; the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration; UD’s Special Collections and Museums; and the affiliated Winterthur Museum, among other resources.

The core curriculum offers online and on-campus delivery options as well as research partnerships with several international universities. Professional training modules (under development) of the core program will include:

*Focused, ‘intensive’ on-campus study for government officials or industry groups. An example topic is ‘Helping governments and companies prepare for successful environmental and social audits and inspections.’

*Corporate training customized for the client to meet specific needs, example programs are ‘Responsible Resource Development – Introduction to Available Auditing and Certification Programs’ or ‘Post-Mining Communities – Land and Water Reclamation and other post-Plant Closure Transition Challenges’.

MMS Graduate Certificate Program Highlights

*15 credits

*Complete in 18 – 24 months

*Majority of classes offered online

*Some electives offered as on-campus, remote, regular 3 credit or 1 – 2 week intensive classes during summer and winter sessions

*Experiential field study/laboratory modules focusing on mining and extractives policy and sustainability issues offered with several international universities, including Australia’s University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute and Russia’s National University of Science and Technology MISIS

For more information or to add your name to our prospective students list to receive information about requirements and application,, contact Professor Saleem Ali, MMS Academic Director at saleem@udel.edu.

Learn more! Program Details & How to Apply