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Sustainability Minor - Overview

What Can You Do With A Sustainability Minor?

A recent review of job postings reveal over 300 employment opportunities for which graduates with the Minor in Sustainability may be eligible. Of equal importance, students graduating with this Minor will be highly competitive for interdisciplinary graduate programs at several major universities such as Columbia University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Arizona State University, all widely recognized as major players in the emerging field of environmental sustainability.

The Sustainability Minor Program and Requirements

Sustainability is among the CLAS approved Signature Areas with participation from most of the departments in the College. Cross-departmental faculty expertise contributes to an interdisciplinary integration of scientific principles, historic trends, philosophic theories, cultural perspectives, and communicative action.

The program starts with two introductory courses, ENVS 1342 Environment, Society, and Sustainability, and SUST 3010 Sustainability; Past, Present, and Future and finishes with an exit experience or course, SUST 4960 Sustainability Capstone

  • ENVS 1342 Overview of perspectives on environmental issues within the context of sustainable development and taking a systems approach. The focus is on social science approaches to explore the human footprint on the earth, environmentalism, scientific uncertainty, policy creation and social change. 
  • SUST 3010 focuses on the intersection of natural resource depletion, ecosystem degradation, and anthropogenic climate change. The course examines both sustainable and unsustainable practices in land use, water depletion, energy demands, food production, resource depletion, conservation efforts, and biodiversity loss (Prereq: ENVS 1342). 
  • SUST 4960 is a student driven project designed to bring students into an applied experience to study and focus on solving specific environmental problems; it is the culminating experience for the sustainability minor and can take the form of a self-directed project, internship, or 4000+ level sustainbility elective (Prereq: ENVS 1342 and SUST 3010).

3 ELECTIVE COURSES: Students are strongly encouraged to locate field studies, internships, or service learning experiences that focus on real-life, practical applications of sustainability principles. Throughout their course of study, students consult with the Sustainability Minor director to determine appropriate elective courses and academic foci.

The Minor consists of 18 credit hours of study:
Core Courses: 9 total credits

(ENVS 1342, SUST 3010, and SUST 4960)
Electives: 9 total credits

Twelve hours of course work for the minor must be upper division (3000 or above) and approved for the Sustainability Minor. Students must complete a minimum of nine (9) credits in residence, and average a minimum 2.5 GPA in all courses counted towards the Minor. No more than six (6) credits counted for another major or minor can be counted toward the Sustainability Minor.

Participating Departments

Academic departments offering coursework in the Sustainability Minor include Anthropology, Integrated Biology, Chemistry, Communication, Economics, Geography (GIS), Environmental Sciences, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Public Health, Physics and the Business School.​