Course Descriptions

Required Core:

Fundamentals of Sustainability – SUST 510 – 3 Credits

Examine the multifaceted dimensions of sustainability. Natural, social and economic systems are explored for key relationships, factors and elements of sustainability. Students will acquire the necessary knowledge and tools needed to be change agents for a sustainable future.

Science for Sustainability – SUST 520 – 3 Credits

This course is designed to take a systems approach to analyze important science topics (solid and air pollution, the carbon cycle, water, energy, etc.) and their role in a sustainable future. Students enrolled in this course will develop a deeper understanding and an ability to describe in detail the scientific connections in each system and between different systems, in addition to the various economic and social factors that play important roles in working with these systems.

Environmental Economics – SUST 530 – 3 Credits

This course evaluates the functioning of economic markets, and how public policy may improve economic and social welfare. The economic concepts developed in the course will be applied to current environmental and resource issues.

Human Dimensions in Sustainability – SUST 710 – 3 Credits

This course explores both the individual and societal aspects of sustainability. It examines the influences that human thought, action and technology have on a sustainable way of life. The class views population trends, global consumption patterns, belief systems, social organizations, social norms and social identities in relation to sustainability.

Communication and Change – SUST 720 – 3 Credits

This course teaches students the art of influence, the skills of effective communication (written and oral) and the key steps to produce a meaningful change in human behavior in order to reach toward sustainability.

Environmental Law and Policy – SUST 730 – 3 Credits

Environmental Law and Policy provides a framework for understanding the background and development of significant legal and policy decisions affecting the environmental regulation in the United States. Participants gain an understanding of the core features of US environmental laws and regulations, developments in regulatory policy-making, the relationship between the national and state governments regarding environmental regulation and the roles of key political interests in the policy-making process.

Quantitative Methods in Sustainability – SUST 750 – 3 Credits

Quantitative Methods in Sustainability introduces students to analytical methods for sustainability (carbon footprint, polling and demographic analysis, etc.). In this class, the students gain the knowledge of various methods for the collection and analysis of data. They acquire a proficiency in these methods, as well as the ability to communicate and utilize the results.

Capstone – SUST 785 – 6 Credits

The capstone project will showcase the student’s ability to address a real world issue or problem using the tools learned throughout the program. The project will use an interdisciplinary approach to build a proposed pathway to overcome the selected topic in a sustainable way. Students will have the opportunity to develop their ideas through group discussion and interaction before preparing an oral proposal of their intended project. Once approved, the student will work independently to build the project using the knowledge and tools obtained from the program.


Global Climate Change – SUST 765 – 3 Credits

This course emphasizes the current status of climate change science and the impacts climate change is having on human society and biodiversity on a global scale. Participants will explore the cultural and societal implications of climate change, the impact that climate change has on biological diversity, followed by a discussion of why biological diversity is important to human culture and society. The different attitudes and responses to climate change will be explored, as well as how to discuss the topic with people from a wide range of opinions on the subject.

Alternative Energy – SUST 792 – 3 Credits

This course is designed to build the foundations of scientific knowledge for various types of alternative energy. Understanding of each type’s needed resources and waste management components are explored – in addition to the social and political policies that surround them.

Topics – SUST 792 – 3 Credits

This course is dedicated to current, advanced and special topics in the area of sustainability. The content is not entirely included in the regular program curriculum. Note that academically qualified guest experts may serve as instructors for the topics course.