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Thank you for your interest in applying for a graduate degree from
the School of Complex Adaptive Systems.

PhD Concentration

aerial view of a river systemDoctoral students can choose to pursue the Complex Adaptive Systems Science concentration, which is designed to train the next generation of scientists in advanced concepts and methods needed for approaching diverse phenomena in the social and life sciences. Students’ career opportunities will be enhanced by combining fluency in the common language of complexity with a solid foundation in the domain knowledge of existing academic disciplines. There is a growing need for scientists to be able to work and collaborate in an increasingly interdisciplinary context.

The concentration is integrated with diverse university-wide research and emphasizes the value of a complex adaptive systems perspective when seeking solutions to critical societal issues. Complex adaptive systems science is the study of interactive and dynamic systems that learn and change over time.

Complex system behaviors are often said to be emergent and subject to self-organization, which makes them more difficult to predict. Such examples can include studying the long-term changes in epidemics, land degradation, urban growth, and natural disasters and their resulting impacts. The concentration is open to students who have been accepted to doctoral programs in the School of Sustainability, the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, and the School of Life Sciences.

Master of Science in Biomimicry

Flowers demonstrating biomimicry The Master of Science in Biomimicry is now based in the School of Complex Adaptive Systems. This unique online degree is designed for working professionals who want to make the practice of biomimicry central to their careers. With rapidly growing demand for biomimicry practitioners, graduates of this program well be able to:

  • Lead in-house implementation of biomimicry across a variety of applications;
  • Initiate or transform a consulting practice in the field of biomimicry;
  • Incorporate biomimicry into education for the next generation of biomimics;
  • Develop innovative and sustainable solutions to the most pressing global challenges.

  • All coursework is delivered completely online in conjunction with Biomimicry 3.8 — the internationally recognized leaders in the field. For more information about this degree, please visit The Biomimicry Center or apply to the MS program at ASU Online.

    Course offerings

    Complex Adaptive Systems Science (Certificate)

    Plane flying over forest lakesThis new interdisciplinary graduate certificate in Complex Adaptive Systems Science (CASS) aims to train the next generation of scientists in advanced concepts and methods needed for approaching interconnected phenomena in the social and life sciences as complex adaptive systems.

    This complexity science certificate is closely related to the interdisciplinary PhD concentration in Complex Adaptive Systems Science (CASS). The CASS educational program will be tightly integrated with diverse, ongoing and university-wide research on complex adaptive systems at Arizona State University, providing scholars with new perspectives and offering a more active role in seeking solutions to a broad array of critical issues facing our society today.

    Learning Outcomes

    verdant hill with sunraysComplex adaptive system concepts and tools can serve as bridges between disciplines, providing a common language, and thereby promoting the interdisciplinary collabortions 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 system, grounded in concrete examples and applications.

    Students must meet ASU’s Graduate College Requirements.

    To begin, apply directly to the ASU Graduate Application.

    Unfortunately, we are unable to provide feedback about individual
    applications and we cannot disclose why an applicant was not admitted.



    For more information, contact .