College of Arts & Sciences Sustainability


Students majoring in Sustainability will be prepared to pursue careers in the private sector or government in the areas of sustainable practices, natural resource management, renewable energy, community planning, non-governmental organizations focused on sustainable development, and education.  A wide variety of organizations, including corporations, local governments, school districts, utilities, and hospitals, are hiring sustainability coordinators.

What is Sustainability?

The concept of sustainability encompasses a wide range of topics and endeavors, including economic development, population, food security, ecosystems, energy, industry, and conflict resolution. Its unifying core is a commitment to development that can be sustained over time while preserving the health of both human society and the environment. Our Common Future, a comprehensive report by the United Nations' World Commission on Environment and Development, is considered a founding document in the international movement towards responsible management of the planet's natural and human resources.  This document (also called the Bruntland Report) defines sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

For more information view the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) website.


The Curriculum for the Sustainability major consists of a core of major courses required for all students, along with two specializations. Thirty-six credit hours are required, with 18 common core and 18 to be selected as electives from courses available in the selected specialization. Students choose either a Natural Sciences Specialization or a Social Sciences Specialization.  


Sustainability graduates will be prepared for professional or graduate education, and to enter careers in the following fields:

  • Renewable energy
  • Resource management
  • Community planning
  • Environmental protection
  • Research and development
  • Marketing/media
  • Consultancy  

Scholarship Opportunities 

USD awards numerous scholarships each year. Please contact the Office of Admissions for more information.