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Sustainability Studies Major Requirements

The Sustainability Studies major requires 120 credits to complete. This degree is interdisciplinary, consisting of courses in Political Science, math, Business, English, and various types of social science.

General Education Requirements (57-58 credits)

In addition to meeting the course requirements for the Biology major and concentration major, all students must also fulfill the General Education requirements for the Undergraduate College. Nine credits of courses required for the Sustainability Studies major can be applied to General Education requirements.

Required Courses (19 Credits)

Science for Life, General Biology Fundamentals, or General Biology II.  All are considered introductory biology. (3 credits)

A study of the fundamental inter-relationships between plants and animals and their living and non-living environment. Includes laboratory and field experience. (3 Credits) 

Laboratory experience, to accompany BIO 0230, Ecology. (1 credit)

In this course you will gain an understanding of environmental problems and learn the theories necessary for engaging in solution focused outcomes.  Since environmental problems

are multifaceted, you will develop solutions from a variety of disciplinary perspectives (SEES: Science, Economics, Ethics and Spirituality).  Using our campus as a living laboratory, you will build the skills necessary to solve environmental problems. Working in teams, you will create solutions for our community to live sustainably.  This course is designed to facilitate your development as an integral ecologist. (3 credits)

This course explores the social and political dimensions of sustainability.  Students will study the common problems created by environmental degradation and the depletion of non-renewable resources; the solutions to these problems proposed by governments, businesses, and non-governmental organizations; and the processes by which competing preferences over these different solutions are reconciled.  This course includes theoretical readings and case studies in order to provide an accurate survey of the rapidly changing politics of sustainability.   At the conclusion of the course, student will have an increased awareness of what actions society must take in order develop in a sustainable manner. Prerequisite:  None. (3 Credits)

Laboratory experience for Politics of Sustainability.  (1 credit)

This course involves supervised work experience, usually at a research site or university research laboratory. The type and period of work as well as the means of evaluation will be arranged by the on-site research supervisor in consultation with the student’s advisor. Open to junior and senior biology majors. 1-3 credits. Graded pass/fail. (3 Credits)

Required Supporting Courses (18 Credits)

  • One course in Business (3 credits)
  • One course in Humanities (3 credits)
  • One course in Social Sciences (3 credits)
  • Three additional courses in any category below

Business Supporting Courses

An analysis of ethical issues arising in contemporary business life. Sample topics include fair and unfair competition, responsibilities towards employees, society and the environment, honesty and integrity in business, and the moral status of corporations.  Readings from texts in business, philosophy, law, and other relevant fields.  Offered every year. 

This course is designed to introduce students to the nonprofit sector and provide them with the foundational knowledge they need to understand the role and purpose of non-profit organizations in contemporary American Society. (3 credits)

This course will focus on best practices in sustainable business operations. You will be engaged in discussions on how environmental issues shape competitive strategy, government regulation, investor relations, marketing and financial business functions. You will learn to apply tools for implementing sustainable practices such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and thus, be equipped to make investment decisions that take sustainability into view. Prerequisites: BUS-0305 Intro to Finance AND BUS 340 Management Information Systems or permission of Business Discipline Coordinator. Offered each spring semester. (3 credits)

An introduction to the economic theories which explain the workings of the marketplace in a capitalist system. Topics include the behavior of consumers, businesses, the public sector, labor market, discrimination, poverty, and pollution. Course emphasizes techniques of analysis that will continue to be useful in comprehending a changing economic world. No co-requisite.  Business students should register for this section of Microeconomics. Offered spring semester. (3 credits)

Humanities Supporting Courses

The course offers a chronological survey of environmental social movements from the birth of the American conservation movement to recent ideas of sustainability and of stewardship.  Drawing on readings, films and field trips, we will focus on individuals, organizations, values, and movement culture in our exploration of environmentalism. (3 credits)

This course explores the history of the American environment and the ways in which different cultural groups have perceived, used, managed, and conserved it from colonial times to the present. Cultures include American Indians and European and African Americans. Natural resources development includes gathering-hunting-fishing; farming, mining, ranching, forestry, and urbanization. Changes in attitudes and behaviors toward nature and past and present conservation and environmental movements are also examined.  Offered every other year. (3 credits)

An examination of different conceptions of nature, and different theories about the relationship of humans to their natural environment, that have shaped current debates about environmental issues. Readings will be drawn from historically important moral theories as well as from contemporary philosophical writings in the area of environmental ethics.  Offered every other year.

Social Science Supporting Courses

A consideration of the process of policy making from the formulation of a policy through its success or failure in becoming part of the public agenda and official policy. Students will learn to analyze and write case studies on pressing contemporary political and social issues, e.g. cloning, third world indebtedness, poverty, health care, crime, and education. (3 credits)

An analysis of ways in which our society protects or fails to protect the environment through laws and regulations. Comparative models of government regulation are examined and critiqued. (3 credits)

This course introduces students to the planning and conduct of research in political science.  The class, under the direction of the instructor, will devise and execute a small research project.  By the end of the term, successful students will have learned the logic of social scientific inquiry, be familiar with political science methodology, and have completed a professional and publishable research project. (3 credits)

The course will explore the study of the relationship between animals and humans throughout social history; how domestication has coincided with social evolution; the role of animal companions in the lives of individuals and families; treatment of animals as a reflection of culture; animals and physical/social/emotional help; visits to settings where animals are employed as therapeutic agents; the role of animals in personal and societal security; animal communication patterns and capacities.  Offered as needed. (3 credits)

*This course cross-lists with SOC 0380

Natural Science Supporting Courses

This is an upper level biology course for majors that focuses on oceanography, diversity and functioning of different marine ecosystems, biology of marine organisms, and threats to the ocean environment. General ecological principles as they apply to the marine environment will be highlighted. Requirements: Field trip. Prerequisites: BIO 0150, BIO 0155, CHE 0142, CHE 0145, and either BIO 0230 or BIO 0240; or permission of instructor. Offered: As needed . (3 credits)

The study of selected current environmental issues and their scientific, social, economic and philosophical origin and implications for the global community as it works toward a sustainable future. (3 credits)

A study of the fundamental inter-relationships between plants and animals and their living and non-living environment. Includes laboratory and field experience. (3 credits)