Sustainability Minor Academic Program

Sustainability science is an integrative discipline, sometimes defined as the union of equitable economic growth, social well-being, and thriving natural systems. The Sustainability Minor is an interdisciplinary program that provides students with many ways to be engaged learners, including experiences that use our campus as a “living-learning laboratory” to learn about energy issues and other dimensions of sustainability. The program of study is a multi-disciplinary approach that challenges students to develop a deep understanding of a diverse array of sustainability issues while energizing them to integrate those lessons into their lives in meaningful ways.

Sustainability perspectives and practices are emerging as essential tools in the 21st century at local, national and global scales. To prepare graduates from all fields to create and work in a more sustainable world, this interdisciplinary minor was created to allow all students the opportunity to develop a solid mastery of the fundamental components of sustainability and its applications across multiple disciplines. Students will be provided opportunities through course selection and capstone experiences to develop a focus that compliments the content of their major curriculum and provides them with skills to directly apply to their professional and personal practices in the future. The program allows for student choice while maintaining a focus that ensures all students learn core sustainability concepts. Within the minor all students must take the Issues in Sustainability and the Capstone courses, and no more than six credits in the minor can be double counted with a student’s major. Four of the six classes taken in the minor must be at the 3000 or 4000 level. For more information about the minor and for advising help please contact a member of the Sustainability Council. The members of the Sustainability Council include: Kathleen F. Bush, Brian W. Eisenhauer, Patrick May, Mary Ann McGarry, Maria A. Sanders, Amy M. Villamagna, Steven W. Whitman.

The Sustainability Minor Curriculum:

Complete both of following courses: 6 credits
  • ISDI 2100 Issues in Sustainability (SSDI) 3 credits (An introduction to sustainability issues and the Sustainability Minor Program)
  • IS 4460 Sustainability Capstone (INCO) 3 credits (The capstone, culminating experience for students completing the Sustainability Minor (prerequisite: Completion of Issues in Sustainability course plus 9 credits of coursework in the Sustainability Minor)).
Environmental Systems – complete two of the following courses: 6-8 credits
  • BI 2070 Botanyecohouse in use for perma class2
  • BI 3240 Conservation (DICO) (GACO) (INCO)*
  • BI 4050 Ecology (QRCO) (WRCO)*
  • BI 4800 Current Environmental Issues*
  • CH 3600 Environmental Chemistry (INCO)*
  • EPL 3150 Introduction to Permaculture
  • ESDI 2500 Environmental Science (SIDI)
  • ESDI 2610 Earth Systems Science: The Hazardous Earth (SIDI)
  • GEDI 1200 Environmental Geography (SIDI)
  • MTDI 1200 Weather and Climate (SIDI)
  • MT 2800 Climatology (GACO)*
  • MT 4440 Climate Change (INCO)*
Social and Economic Systems – complete two of the following courses: 6 credits
  • AR 3570 The Art of Sustainability (INCO)*
  • BU 3220 Business and the Environment
  • EPL 3100 Environmental Planning*
  • EPL 3270 Sustainability in Residences
  • ESP 3270 Sustainable Structures
  • IS 3090 Food Issues (INCO)*
  • PY 3310 Environmental Ethics (INCO) (WECO)
  • PY 3330 Business Ethics (DICO) (INCO)
  • PY 3610 Philosophy of Technology (INCO) (TECO)
  • SO 3600 Sustainability in Practice (WECO)

*course has prerequisites Four of the required six courses must be taken at the 3000/4000 level. No more than six credits may double count with a student’s major.

A description of the program and a program planning guide are available:

Sustainability Minor Guide for Planning