Department of Geography and the Environment

Announcing New Undergraduate Sustainability Studies Major!

Mon, November 14, 2016
Announcing New Undergraduate Sustainability Studies Major!

August 18, 2016

We are excited to announce the Bachelor of Arts degree in Sustainability Studies has received final approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board!

The new major in Sustainability Studies is the result of many years of effort across the University, with participation and leadership by faculty, staff and students from virtually every College and School on campus, as well as administrators and staff in the Provost's Office, School of Undergraduate Studies, the Office of Sustainability, and Dean Diehl and Dean Flores in the College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Office. The program will be managed by the Department of Geography and the Environment and degrees will be granted by the College of Liberal Arts, but the major is by necessity multidisciplinary, and relevant courses are offered by many schools, colleges, and departments across campus.

There are various definitions of sustainability, but one of the most well-known comes from the Brundtland Commission: sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. As a major, Sustainability Studies involves understanding the multiple factors – environmental, societal, and ethical – involved in meeting this goal. Students will take courses in a number of relevant topics and in addition select one of three tracks: Trajectories in Sustainability, Sustainable Choices in a Diverse World, or Natural Resource Management. The curriculum also includes an internship and a capstone experience.

Sustainability involves protecting our natural environment, and respecting human rights and cultural diversity, while reducing poverty and promoting the general welfare. The major in Sustainability Studies will prepare undergraduates to engage in key problem-solving frameworks for addressing these interrelated economic, technological, and environmental challenges. 

The B.A. in Sustainability Studies major will be led by Geography Department Chair Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach. Greg Knapp will serve as Director, Molly H. Polk as Associate Director, Craig Gilden as Undergraduate Advisor, and Tiffany Swonke as Course Scheduler/Administrative Associate.

Information Sessions

February 7, CLA 1.302D - 4-5 PM

February 16, CLA 1.302D - 12-1PM

February 27, CLA 1.302D - 4-5 PM

Additional information on the new major can be found here.


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