B.S. Degree in Sustainability {20-21}

B.S. Degree in Sustainability

The Bachelor of Science in Sustainability is an excellent degree to prepare for emerging jobs in the green economy while striving to make the world a better place for future generations. MSUM’s sustainability program is one of only a few universities in the country to focus on the entire spectrum of socio-environmental sustainability. The focus on sustainability within our societies crosses multiple disciplines with the shared goal of preserving and promoting a healthy planet; adding a second major or minor is encouraged and can often be achieved within 120 total credits. There are suggested tracks available through advising to pursue sustainability applications within environmental science, operations management, business, public policy, construction management, energy science and geographic information systems.
The Sustainability program is designed to give students an understanding of the need for long- term sustainable practices in our lifestyles and economy. As more and more companies adopt practices to decrease operating costs while also reducing their impact on the environment, they hire sustainability coordinators to manage these tasks. The future outlook for these positions looks bright as companies seek to maintain strong commitments to the environment and employ strategies to increase their economic competitiveness. Green jobs involve all aspects of employment in renewable energy or sustainability efforts. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, green jobs are either: Jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources; jobs in which workers' duties involve making their establishment's production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources. The number of industries that offer green employment opportunities are diverse and job titles do not always contain "sustainability". Green jobs offer wages that run approximately 13% higher than the average job in the US, with green energy jobs running 20% higher (US Bureau of Labor Statistics 2017).
To receive the B.S. Degree in Sustainability, the student must meet the minimum university requirements and specific requirements for the program. Completion of 120 credits is required for this degree which includes the Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Explore the concept of sustainability within the context of socio-environmental systems. (Nature of Sustainability, SUST 200)
  • Evaluate how humans impact the surface of the earth and the biosphere, and the consequential effects on ecosystem services. (Physical Geology, GEOS 115 or Exploring Biology, BIOL 370)
  • Examine the relationships between civilization, society and energy use and look at possible steps to a sustainable energy and environmental future. (Energy and the Environment, PSCI 378)
  • Identify issues faced by developing countries in the conflict between rapid economic development and the threat of environmental degradation. (Big City, Big Impact, ENGL 407)
  • Describe how class, gender, race, ethnicity, nation status and other identities intersect with relationships within environmental justice and activism. (Gender, Justice and the Environment, WS 330)
  • Examine the motivations behind humans' decisions to modify ecosystems throughout the world, and the effects that environmental change has had on the peoples and ecosystems throughout human history. (Environmental History, HIST 379)
  • Interpret any environmental issue within a systems thinking framework. (Systems Thinking, SUST 421)
  • Articulate the ethical responsibilities humans have for the non-human world and for future human generations.  (Environmental Dilemmas, SUST 432)
  • Recognize and apply sustainable ideas and practices to potential career opportunities. (Internship, SUST 469 and Capstone Seminar, SUST 492)

Program Delivery Mode
Land plus: face-to-face where some online courses may be available or required

Core Requirements ( 25 credits )

SUST 200 Nature of Sustainability (3)
ENGL 407 Big City, Big Impact (3)
HIST 379 Environmental History (3)
PSCI 378 Energy and Environment (3)
WS 330 Gender, Justice and the Environment (3)
SUST 421 Systems Thinking (3)
SUST 432 Environmental Dilemmas(3)
SUST 469 Internship (3)
SUST 492 Seminar: Sustainability Capstone (1)

Designated Writing Intensive Course for Major
HIST 379 Environmental History (3)

Related Requirements ( 3 credits )

Must take a 3 credit college algebra course or above.

Restricted Electives ( 3-4 credits )

Take one course from the list of courses below.

GEOS 115/GEOS 115L Physical Geology (4)
GEOS 117/GEOS 117L Water, Land, and People (4)
BIOL 370 Exploring Biology (3)

Electives ( 18 credits )

Take 6 additional elective courses 3 of which are upper level courses.

All LASC 10 courses are automatically included as possible elective courses.  Additional courses listed below have been identified as "Green Leaf" courses after approval by the Sustainability Programmatic Committee. 

ANTH 308 Migration and Human Adaptation (3)
ANTH 317 Collapse (3)
ANTH 325 Reading Landscape: Ways of Seeing (3)
BIOL 305 General Botany (3) 
BIOL 248 Introduction to Public Health (3)
CHEM 102 Environmental Chemistry (3)
GEOS 115/GEOS 115L Physical Geology (4) 
GEOS 117/GEOS 117L Water, Land, and People (4)
GEOS 205 Thinking Spatially (3)
GEOS 207 GPS Field Techniques (3)
GEOS 210 Cartography (3)
GEOS 407 Spatial Analysis (3)
GEOS 307 Introduction to GIS (3)
GEOS 320 Economic Geography (3)
GEOS 325 Reading Landscapes: Ways of Seeing (3)
GEOS 340 Economic and Environmental Geology (3)
GEOS 370 Structural Geology and Mapping (3)
GEOS 415 Reading Geochemical Fingerprints (3)
POL 120 American National Government and Politics (3)
POL 160 International Relations (3)
POL 352 Political Problems in Developing Countries (3)
ART 345 Art of Social and Environmental Justice (3)