Sustainability Studies (B.A.)

Sustainability Studies (B.A.)
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Be part of the solution

Our global society faces many challenges to creating resilient, healthy, and socially equitable ways of living that ensure future generations will have access to the resources on which we depend.

Sustainability studies focuses on the interdisciplinary benefits of the sustainability concept. We explore how to make a more sustainable and equitable future by developing combined skill sets from fields including business, the social sciences, the arts and humanities, environmental science, and public health. Students:

  • Engage in interdisciplinary learning at multiple scales (local, national, global)
  • Learn systems-thinking approaches for identifying and resolving sustainability-related problems
  • Develop skills to promote equitable community, collaboration, and collective action while addressing sustainability-related challenges
  • Develop professional and transferable skills for employment in sustainability professions

Professor/Director, Office of Environmental Sustainability
Phone: (603) 535-2497
Office: Tourism, Environment & Sustainable Societies, Memorial Building Rm 4, MSC 39, Plymouth, NH 03264

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Curriculum & Requirements

Course Title Credits
Major Requirements 1
SU 2111Introduction to Sustainability Studies4
PBH 2000Foundations of Public Health (WECO)4
SU 3112Social Science Perspectives on Sustainability (DICO,GACO) (DICO, GACO)4
SU 3113Conversations in Sustainability1
SU 3115Economic and Ecological Sustainability (GACO,QRCO) (QRCO)4
SU 3333Environmental Humanities (WRCO) (WRCO)4
SU 4111Sustainability Project Design4
Methods Courses (Choose two, at least one must be a TECO)8
AG 2100
Design Software Basics (TECO)
AN 4415
Methods of Social Research (TECO)
GE 2050
GIS I: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (QRCO,TECO)
CM 2775
Media and Cultural Studies (TECO)
CM 3095
Technical Communication (TECO,WRCO)
PBH 2200
Assessment and Communication in Public Health (TECO)
CM 2007
Strategic Communication
AR 1045
Art Foundations 2D: Composition and Content
AR 1075
Art Foundations Drawing: Line and Language
CM 2915
Communication and Leadership
CM 3400
Interactive Web Communication (INCO,INCP)
EN 2710
Creative Writing
EN 3125
Advanced Composition
EN 3135
Non-Fiction Workshop
ESP 4405
Environmental Outreach and Communication
GE 3050
GIS II: Advanced Geographic Information Systems
GE 4010
Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing
GE 4050
Geospatial Technology Applications
MA 2300
Statistics I (QRCO)
PBH 3010
Epidemiology and Biostatistics for Public Health (QRCO)
PBH 3200
Social and Behavioral Health Psychology (INCO,INCP)
SS/SW 3705
Social Statistics (QRCO)
Focus Courses: Choose 6 courses from list below or Methods list above (cannot double count)18-24
Arts, Humanities, and Communication
AR 3575
Art and Sustainability
AG 2100
Design Software Basics (TECO)
AG 3200
AN 3115
Environmental Anthropology: Culture, Ecology, and Conservation
AR 3015
AR 3125
Painting: Process Exploration
AR 3295
Printmaking: Cut, Carve, Etch
AR 3325
Printmaking: Silkscreen and Alternative Processes
CM 2995
Professional Social Media
HI 3342
New Hampshire and New England History
Economy and Entrepreneurship 
BUS 1400
Principles of Economics (GACO)
BU 3220
Business and the Environment
ENT 3030
Social Entrepreneurship
ENT 2040
Foundations of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
ECN 3100
Intermediate Macroeconomics
ECN 3200
Intermediate Microeconomics
ECN 4400
Current Topics in Economics
ENT 3052
Executing for Growth and Sustainability (Executing for Growth and Sustainability)
GE 3080
Economic Geography
TMP 3060
Ethics and Equity 
CJ 3157
Society, Ethics, and the Law (DICO)
CM 3485
Global Perspectives in the Media (GACO)
PBH 4000
Ethics, Social Justice, and Policy in Public Health
PO 3355
Women in World Politics
PO 3505
Politics and Conflict in the Middle East (GACO,INCO,INCP)
PY 3310
Environmental Ethics (INCO,INCP,WECO)
PY 3330
Business Ethics (DICO,INCO,INCP)
SO 3375
Sociology of Race and Ethnicity (DICO)
SW 3450
Social Welfare Policy and Services
SW 3490
Diversity and Oppression
Environmental sciences
AP 2500
Natural History and Ecology for Adventure Educators
BI 1110
Biological Science I (TECO)
BI 1120
Biological Science II
BI 2070
BI 3240
Conservation (DICO,GACO,INCO,INCP)
BI 3260
Freshwater Ecology
BI 4050
Ecology (QRCO,WRCO)
BI 4800
Current Environmental Issues
CH 3600
Environmental Chemistry (INCO,INCP)
EPL 3150
Introduction to Permaculture
ESP 2100
Introduction to Environmental Science and Policy I
ESP 2110
Introduction to Environmental Science and Policy II
ESP 3325
Climate, Risk, and Adaptation (GACO,INCO,INCP)
ESP 3335
Environmental Geology (TECO)
ESP 4310
Advanced Conservation Ecology
MT 2000
Fundamentals of Meteorology and Climatology (GACO)
MT/ESP 4440
Climate Change (INCO,INCP)
Public Health, Policy and Governance
ESP 2305
Foundations of Environmental Policy (WRCO)
ESP 3550
Environment and Health (WECO)
ESP 3600
Special Topics in Environmental Policy
ESP 4325
Decision Making in Environmental Management
PBH 3400
Program Planning for Public Health (WRCO)
PBH 4000
Ethics, Social Justice, and Policy in Public Health
PO 2025
Public Administration (DICO)
PO 3060
Political Analysis and Policy (WRCO)
Sustainable Development and Planning 
EPL 2105
Community Planning
EPL 3100
Environmental Planning
ESP 3270
Sustainable Structures
ESP 3325
Climate, Risk, and Adaptation (GACO,INCO,INCP)
ESP 3550
Environment and Health (WECO)
ESP 4325
Decision Making in Environmental Management
GE 3030
Urban Geography
GE 3050
GIS II: Advanced Geographic Information Systems
GE 4010
Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing
GE 4040
Topics in Geospatial Technologies
SO 3040
Disaster, Crisis, and Chaos
SO 3395
Environment and Society (INCO,INCP)
SO 3605
Sustainability in Practice (WECO)
TMP 3070
Cultural and Heritage Tourism
General Education
EN 1400Composition4
IS 1115Tackling a Wicked Problem4
MAMathematics Foundations3-4
CTDICreative Thought Direction3-4
PPDIPast and Present Direction3-4
SIDIScientific Inquiry Direction3-4
SSDISelf and Society Direction3-4
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SIDI, SSDI) 24-8
GACOForeign Language 36-8
Total Credits120

At least half of the credits in the major must be at the 3000/4000 level.


Directions should total 20 credits (unless the major has a waiver for a specific Direction). 


The foreign language requirement for all BA degrees calls for 0-8 credits:  one year of one language (6-8 credits); or one 3000/4000 level world language course (3 credits); or being a native speaker of a language other than English (zero credit). American Sign Language I and II fulfill this requirement; however, American Sign Language does not satisfy the Global Awareness Connection.

Plan of Study Grid
Year OneCredits
SU 2111 Introduction to Sustainability Studies 4
SU 3333 Environmental Humanities (WRCO) 4
MAMathematics Foundations 3-4
IS 1115 Tackling a Wicked Problem 4
EN 1400 Composition 4
PPDIPast and Present Direction 3-4
SSDISelf and Society Direction 3-4
Year Two
PBH 2000 Foundations of Public Health 4
SU 3115 Economic and Ecological Sustainability (GACO,QRCO) 4
SU 3113 Conversations in Sustainability 1
CTDICreative Thought Direction 3-4
SIDIScientific Inquiry Direction 3-4
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SIDI, SSDI) 4-8
One Focus Area Course 3-4
Electives 6-8
Years Three and Four
Four Focus Area Courses 12-16
Two Methods Courses (one TECO) 6-8
SU 3113 Conversations in Sustainability 1
INCPIntegrated Capstone 3-4
GACOForeign Language 8
Electives 17-21
SU 4111 Sustainability Project Design 4
 Total Credits120

Objective 1: Promote interdisciplinary learning at multiple scales (local, national, global) with respect to sustainability
Outcomes: Students emerging from this major will be able to:
1A: Engage in holistic thinking/learning about sustainability across socio-environmental perspectives
1B: Describe scientific and ethical aspects of key sustainability and resilience concepts (e.g. planetary carrying capacity, population growth, social and environmental justice, climate change, and ecological footprints)
1C: Explain how socio-cultural perspectives, values and actions affect sustainability and resilience at multiple levels.
Objective 2: Promote systems-thinking for identifying and resolving sustainability-related problems
2A: Exhibit critical thinking skills and a systems-thinking approach to identify feedback loops, tradeoffs, and synergies with respect to complex problems
2B: Demonstrate interconnectedness between and among societal and environmental nodes (e.g. water security, food production, health care, energy production and consumption, environmental management)
2C: Express the importance of eco-centric approaches to sustainability
Objective 3: Promote equitable community, collaboration, and collective action while addressing sustainability-related challenges
3A: Connect the theories of sustainability to organizational and social change and become effective change agents
3B: Facilitate collaboration among stakeholders, including nonhumans entities
3C: Assess community readiness to promote sustainability and resilience
3D: Identify, develop, and evaluate community- and policy-level intervention strategies to promote sustainability
3E: Identify barriers to and benefits of behavioral change for sustainability
3F: Apply social justice principles while solving sustainability-related challenges
Objective 4: Develop professional and transferable skills to operationalize sustainability
4A: Communicate effectively using multiple, innovative approaches (stakeholder engagement, visualization, messaging, facilitation, conflict resolution)
4B: Apply theories of sustainability to practice (ie., praxis)
4C: Create professional presence through portfolio and network development In addition to the skills and knowledge developed by all students in the program, graduates will also develop additional specialized knowledge and skills through the individualized focus they create within the individualized cluster program they create

Sustainability Coordinator, Sustainability Analyst, Sustainability Project Manager, Sustainability Marketer, Nonprofit Administrator, Sustainability Communicator, Sustainability Entrepreneur, Planner

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