Core Courses & Electives

The sustainability studies minor requires a minimum of 15 credits. This includes 6 credits of the required core courses, including SUST 3003 and SUST 4004, and a minimum of 9 credits of elective courses.

New Spring Courses Available! View them here!


SUST 3003: Sustainable People, Sustainable Planet (3 credits)

Introduction to interdisciplinary sustainability studies minor. Scientific, cultural, ethical and economic concepts that affect environmental sustainability and global economic justice. Key texts. Participatory classroom environment.

SUST 4004: Sustainable Communities (3 credits)

Students synthesize multiple disciplinary perspectives and integrate insights gained from various approaches/methods. Concepts/scholarship related to sustainability. Applying knowledge/experience to real sustainability problems.

SUST 4096: Sustainability Internship (2-4 credits)

Four to ten hour per week internship experience related to a sustainability theme or approach, such as sustainable foods, green building, renewable energy or environmental justice. Intern in a non profit, governmental, educational or business organization or working on a campus sustainability project, from choices provided or approved by instructor(s).

Electives

Sustainability Studies Minor students are required to complete 9 credits from electives.

Take three courses, not more than one from each of four categories.

  • Economics and Policy
  • Social Science and Humanities
  • Biophysical Sciences
  • Design and Technology

Sustainability Studies Minor students may also petition for study abroad, summer, Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA), special topics, new, and other courses to count toward elective requirements. Students may complete up to one online course as an elective. Students may complete up to one 1xxx or 2xxx level elective, pending approval from the minor advisor or coordinator. For course petitions, please contact the Minor Advisor, Lauren McCarthy, at lfmccart@umn.edu or 612-625-6443. You can also find her advising schedule here. (You must be logged in to Gmail or Google to view it.)

There are many options for completing the minor in a way that suits your academic and professional interests. While all students must complete the two core courses (SUST 3003 and SUST 4004), there is a lot of flexibility in choosing electives.

General Elective Courses

Current information on electives is available on the University Catalogs’ Sustainability Studies Minor web page.

Sustainability Topics

Look for courses titled “SUST 3480: Topics in Sustainability.” These courses may vary by semester.

Study Abroad

Students who have taken relevant courses while studying abroad can earn up to 6 elective credits. See the Sustainability Studies Minor Advising Page for a list of possible programs. Other programs can also fulfill the elective requirement.

Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs

The Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs is an off-campus study program based in the Twin Cities. The program incorporates classroom studies with an internship and fieldwork. HECUA curriculum options include a fall semester program in environmental sustainability and a spring semester program in agriculture and food justice. Sustainability studies minor students enrolled in these programs will receive elective credit. Visit the Center for Community-Engaged Learning for more information.

Directed Study

Students may design studies or research projects and have these options approved for elective credit. Check with professors for more information about this option, or learn more about undergraduate research opportunities at the University.

Petition Unlisted Courses

Students may petition courses for elective credit. Contact the Sustainability Education program for more information.