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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 Sustainability Minor includes three required courses. Coursework starts with two introductory courses: SUST 3010 The Non-Sustainable Past and SUST 3011 Our Sustainable Future; and one exit course SUST 4949 Sustainability Capstone. These courses help students understand the interrelations among the historic, political, biological, anthropological, geographical, cultural, ecological, communicative, and economic aspects of past, present and future environmental sustainability issues.

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: 1 Natural Science Core and 1 Social Science Core). SUST 3011 concentrates on key aspects influencing today’s environmental sustainability movement, including emerging sustainability practices in government, the private sector, and grass-root environmental movements. Students do not need to take these two courses in sequence. SUST 4949 is designed to bring teams of students together to study and focus on solving specific environmental problems; it is the culminating experience for the sustainability minor.

3 ELECTIVE COURSES: Students will select three electives from an approved list of courses. For one of these electives, 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 Sustainability Minor faculty to determine appropriate elective courses and academic foci.

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

(SUST 3010, SUST 3011 and SUST 4960)
Electives: 9 total credits

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