Sustainability Studies Minor

Sustainability Studies Minor

    Overview

    The Sustainability Studies Minor immerses undergraduate students in the exploration of real-world problems from a variety of academic perspectives, incorporating disciplines from across the natural, social and applied sciences.

    The minor is a stand-alone, interdisciplinary minor rather than a major because of the breadth and wide-ranging applicability of the principles of sustainability. Students must earn at least 15 credits through five or more courses. The program is flexible, allowing students to petition for courses that are not listed to count towards the Minor, allowing study abroad to count for up to 6 credits and allowing courses that count towards students’ major or another minor to count towards the Sustainability Studies Minor.

    View the Sustainability Studies Minor brochure or keep reading below to learn more about the minor requirements. You can also go to the graduate page to learn more about the emerging suite of graduate-level opportunities to study issues of sustainability.

    Enrollment in the Sustainability Studies Minor is an online process, but advising regarding course options, petitions to include new courses, study abroad or general questions about the Minor available at Enrollment and Advising. Press the buttons below for more information. Click the button below to learn more about the advising process.

    Sustainability Minor Requirements

    Sustainability Studies Minor students are required to complete 9 credits from electives.  Current information on electives is available on the University Catalog Sustainability Studies Minor web page.

    The requirements are easy to follow:

    • Two core courses, SUST 3003 and SUST 4004, are required for the Sustainability Studies Minor and provide an immersion in the history, practice and future of sustainability.
    • Three or more elective courses, drawn from at least 3 of 4 categories, are required for the Sustainability Studies Minor. The elective categories are:

    Take no more than 1 of the following courses:

    • ANTH 3041 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
    • ANTH 4053 – Economy, Culture, and Critique [SOCS, GP] (3.0 cr)
    • ENGL 3501 – Public Discourse: Coming to Terms with the Environment [LITR, ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • ESPM 3011W – Ethics in Natural Resources [CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
    • GCC 3031 – The Global Climate Challenge: Creating an Empowered Movement for Change [CIV] (3.0 cr)
    • GEOG 3376 – Political Ecology of North America [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • GEOG 3379 – Environment and Development in the Third World [SOCS, ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • GLOS 3303 – Environment and Development in the Third World [SOCS, ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • GLOS 3613W – Stuffed and Starved: The Politics of Eating [SOCS, GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
    • GLOS 3613V – Honors: Stuffed and Starved: The Politics of Eating [SOCS, GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
    • GLOS 4305 {Inactive} [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • GLOS 4311 – Power, Justice & the Environment [DSJ] (3.0 cr)
    • HSCI 3244 – Nature’s History: Science, Humans, and the Environment [HIS, ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • HECU 3592 – Environmental Sustainability: Ecology and Socio-ecological Systems Change (4.0 cr)
    • PHIL 3301 – Environmental Ethics [ENV] (4.0 cr)
    • SOC 3613W – Stuffed and Starved: The Politics of Eating [SOCS, GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
    • SOC 3613V – Honors: Stuffed and Starved: The Politics of Eating [SOCS, GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
    • SOC 4305 – Environment & Society: An Enduring Conflict [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • SOC 4311 – Power, Justice & the Environment [DSJ] (3.0 cr)
    • SUST 3017 – Environmental Justice [DSJ] (3.0 cr)

    Take no more than 1 of the following courses:

    • APEC 3611W – Environmental and Natural Resource Economics [ENV, WI] (3.0 cr)
    • CEGE 5212 – Transportation Policy, Planning, and Deployment (3.0 cr)
    • ESPM 3241W – Natural Resource and Environmental Policy [SOCS, CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
    • ESPM 3245 – Sustainable Land Use Planning and Policy [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • ESPM 3251 – Natural Resources in Sustainable International Development [GP] (3.0 cr)
    • ESPM 3261 – Economics and Natural Resources Management [SOCS, ENV] (4.0 cr)
    • ESPM 3602 – Regulations and Corporate Environmental Management (3.0 cr)
    • ESPM 3603 – Environmental Life Cycle Analysis (3.0 cr)
    • ESPM 3604 – Environmental Management Systems and Strategy (3.0 cr)
    • ESPM 4242 – Methods for Environmental and Natural Resource Policy Analysis (3.0 cr)
    • ESPM 5602 – Regulations and Corporate Environmental Management (3.0 cr)
    • GCC 3001 – Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It? [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • GCC 3011 – Pathways to Renewable Energy [TS] (3.0 cr)
    • GCC 5008 – Policy and Science of Global Environmental Change [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • PA 5232 – Transportation Policy, Planning, and Deployment (3.0 cr)

    Take no more than 1 of the following courses:

    • AGRO 3203W – Environment, Global Food Production, and the Citizen [GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
    • AGRO 5321 – Ecology of Agricultural Systems (3.0 cr)
    • ANSC 3203W – Environment, Global Food Production, and the Citizen [GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
    • BIOL 1052 – Environmental Biology: Science and Solutions [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • BIOL 1055 – Environmental Biology: Science and Solutions with Laboratory [BIOL, ENV] (4.0 cr)
    • CHEM 4601 – Green Chemistry [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • EEB 3001 – Ecology and Society [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • EEB 3407 – Ecology (3.0 cr)
    • EEB 3408W – Ecology [WI] (4.0 cr)
    • EEB 4609W – Ecosystem Ecology [ENV, WI] (3.0 cr)
    • ESCI 3005 – Earth Resources (3.0 cr)
    • ESCI 3402 – Science and Politics of Global Warming [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • ESCI 5402 – Science and Politics of Global Warming (3.0 cr)
    • ESPM 3108 – Ecology of Managed Systems [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • FNRM 3101 – Park and Protected Area Tourism (3.0 cr)
    • FW 4102 – Principles of Conservation Biology [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • GEOG 1403 – Biogeography of the Global Garden [BIOL, ENV] (4.0 cr)
    • GEOG 3401 – Geography of Environmental Systems and Global Change [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • HECU 3591 – Environmental Sustainability: Sci, Public Policy, & Cmty Action Climate & Environment Justice (4.0 cr)
    • HORT 3131 – Student Organic Farm Planning, Growing, and Marketing (3.0 cr)

    Take no more than 1 of the following courses:

    • ARCH 4561 – Architecture and Ecology [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • BBE 2201 – Renewable Energy and the Environment [TS] (3.0 cr)
    • BBE 4733 – Renewable Energy Technologies [TS] (3.0 cr)
    • CEGE 3501 – Introduction to Environmental Engineering [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • CEGE 4011 – Special Topics (1.0-4.0 cr)
    • CEGE 4561 – Solids and Hazardous Wastes (3.0 cr)
    • EE 1701 – Climate Crisis: Implementing Solutions [TS] (3.0 cr)
    • ESPM 3601 – Sustainable Housing–Community, Environment, and Technology [TS] (3.0 cr)
    • GCC 3005 – Innovation for the Public Good: Design for a Disrupted World [GP] (3.0 cr)
    • HSG 3482 {Inactive} [TS] (3.0 cr)
    • GCC 5005 – Innovation for the Public Good: Design for a Disrupted World [GP] (3.0 cr)
    • GCC 5501 – Knowledge to Impact: Creating Action with Your Grand Challenge Project Idea (3.0 cr)
    • LA 1001 – Sustainability by Design [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • LA 3003 – Climate Change Adaptation (3.0 cr)
    • LA 3004 – Regional Environmental Landscape Planning (4.0 cr)
    • LA 3501 – Environmental Design and Its Biological and Physical Context [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • LA 3514 – Making the Mississippi [CIV] (3.0 cr)
    • LA 4755 – Infrastructure, Natural Systems, and Space of Inhabited Landscapes [TS] (3.0 cr)
    • LA 5514 – Making the Mississippi (3.0 cr)
    • PA 5743 – Social Innovation Design Lab: Making Your Idea a Reality (1.5 cr)
    • URBS 3751 – Understanding the Urban Environment [ENV] (3.0 cr)
    • An optional internship course, SUST 4096, matches students to sustainability-related opportunities and may count as an elective in the Sustainability Studies Minor.
    • An optional course on environmental justice, SUST 3017, offers community-engaged learning and may count as an elective in the Sustainability Studies Minor.

    Students are encouraged to run a ‘What-If-APAS’ report on their record. The ‘What-If-APAS’ will not only show students what classes are required for the sustainability studies minor, but also show them any classes they have already taken that will apply to the minor. In addition to the information above, students can go to the OneStop page below to find more details about the Sustainability Studies Minor.

    SUST Designated Courses

    Below are the courses under the SUST designation, some of which are required to be taken for the minor, while others are electives that can be taken to fulfill other minor requirements. Scroll through the courses below for more information!

    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 & Leadership Projects (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 work on a campus sustainability leadership project, from choices provided or approved by instructor(s).

    SUST 3017: Environmental Justice (3 credits)

    With a focus on understanding environmental justice, including interconnections between health, economic and environmental disparities, this course shows students how they can take action for sustainability. Students synthesize multiple disciplinary perspectives and participate in small group collaborative activities, service learning, and digital mapping, all related to contemporary challenges.

    SUST 3480/5480: COVID-19 and the United Nations Sustainability Goals: Resilience, Connections, and Threats (3 credits)

    New Summer 2020!

    How are sustainability & global pandemics connected?  Join us this summer to hear from interdisciplinary experts, explore systems thinking and plan for a more resilient future with this new online course.

    Petitioning Courses

    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, Grant McCormack, at grantkm@umn.edu. You can also find his advising schedule here.

    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.

    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.