University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Sustainability Education

For students interested in making Sustainability Studies a larger part of their curriculum, there are many majors offered by the U of M that work well with the Sustainability Studies Minor, incorporating many of the same principles, and at times, involving some of the same courses.

Architecture B.A./B.S./B.D.A.

School of Architecture
College of Design
Architects develop a constructive balance and creative synthesis in the discourses between the individual and the community, between private interests and the common good, and between the natural, the social and the technological. This requires a comprehensive education with a thorough understanding of the social, economic, and ecological forces that shape our built environment.

Bachelor of Individualized Studies/Individually Designed Interdepartmental Major

Individualized Degree Programs
College of Liberal Arts

The Bachelor of Individualized Studies (BIS) and the Individually Designed Interdepartmental Major (IDIM) are programs of individualized study in the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) for students who wish to tailor an educational program to their own specific interests and goals. The BIS is a degree program in which students combine three areas of concentration rather than choose a single major. One of these concentrations may be from outside CLA, and the concentrations may be unrelated to one another. An IDIM enables students to focus on a unifying theme by combining courses from three or more departments within CLA.

Biology, Society & the Environment B.A.

College of Liberal Arts
An interdisciplinary major, the Biology, Society & Environment (BSE) program consists of an in-depth examination of the relevance of biology to social and environmental issues. The major enhances the traditional study of biology with coursework in ethics, social sciences and the humanities. The BSE program is great for students looking to incorporate some of the underlying principles of sustainability into a variety of fields, including scientific research, health care, government, business, and the environment.

Bioproducts & Biosystems Engineering B.B.E.

Department of Bioproducts & Biosystems Engineering
Institute of Technology/College of Food, Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences

Bioproducts & Biosystems Engineering (BBE) provides a scientific and engineering background for students aspiring to help improve the environment by developing solutions to environmental issues through harnessing the molecular building blocks of natural resources for sustainable use. The major features an Environmental & Ecological Engineering concentration that complements the principles of sustainability emphasized by the Minor.

Civil Engineering B.C.E.

Department of Civil Engineering
Institute of Technology

Civil engineers play the key role in developing and maintaining our modern infrastructural systems. As some of the most important elements of our built environment, these infrastructural systems, like roads, skyscrapers, dams, water supply systems and pollution control will be an integral part of a sustainable future. Considering the social, economic and environmental forces that shape our infrastructure, a sustainable perspective in civil engineering is essential in attaining that future.

Ecology, Evolution & Behavior B.S.

Department of Ecology, Evolution & Behavior
College of Biological Sciences

An ecological perspective examines the growth and maintenance of populations and their interactions within communities, examining the relationships between organisms and the physical events in their ecosystems. A perspective of behavioral biology studies environmental adaptations, behavioral mechanisms and the evolution of social systems. The aim of the Department of Ecology, Evolution & Behavior (EEB) is to integrate these perspectives in pursuit of an understanding capable of addressing many of the biological and environmental challenges facing society today.

Environmental Design B.E.D.

Department of Landscape Architecture
College of Design

Landscape architecture focuses on issues of land use and creating a future that provides a quality lifestyle in a quality environment for an ever-increasing human population. In dealing with these issues, landscape architects integrate the design, planning and management of the landscape to create outdoor environments that sustain ecological function, fulfill human aspirations for community development, public health and safety, and are artistically evocative and meaningful.

Environmental Sciences, Policy & Management B.S.

Environmental Sciences, Policy & Management
College of Food, Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences

The Environmental Sciences, Policy & Management (ESPM) major features concentrations in: Conservation Resource Management; Corporate Environmental Management; Environmental Education & Communication; Environmental Science; and Policy, Planning, Law & Society. Each of these concentrations gives students the ability to approach environmental issues from multiple perspectives relevant to sustainability.

Fisheries & Wildlife B.S.

Department of Fisheries, Wildlife & Conservation Biology
College of Food, Agriculture & Natural Resource Sciences
The Fisheries & Wildlife B.S. curriculum offers the broad background in biological and environmental sciences needed for many careers in natural resource and environmental fields. Graduates are prepared to research, plan and implement the management, protection and enhancement of fisheries and aquatic resources, wildlife resources, and biological diversity. Areas of specialization in this major include conservation biology, fisheries, and wildlife.

Forest and Natural Resource Management B.S.

Department of Forest Resources
College of Food, Agriculture & Natural Resource Sciences
The Forest and Natural Resource Management curriculum educates students in a wide range of natural resource and environmental management topics from forest ecology to park management to urban vegetation. Students may specialize in one of three tracks: Forest Ecosystem Management and Conservation, Park and Protected Area Management, or Urban and Community Forestry.

Geography B.A./B.S.

Department of Geography
College of Liberal Arts

The Geography major offers four main areas of study, including a track in Environmental Systems. This track examines the natural environments and resources that sustain human life and activity, from local to global patterns of climate, soils, vegetation and surface land form, and ways of analyzing and predicting both human-caused and naturally occurring environmental change.

Global Studies B.A.

Institute for Global Studies
College of Liberal Arts

The Global Studies major is an interdepartmental program ideal for students interested in working with public, private, and non-profit organizations dealing with social issues in an international context. The major features a thematic concentration in Environment & Sustainable Development, which meshes well with the Sustainability Studies Minor.

Horticultural Science B.S.

Department of Horticultural Science
College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences
The horticulture major educates students for rewarding careers in diverse areas including research, food and plant production, plant use and function, and recreation. Students gain expertise in the use of plants to alter environments, restore damaged landscapes, improve the health and well-being of individuals, educate others about science and agriculture, improve community environments, and provide recreational and practical benefits to the public.

Political Science B.A.

Department of Political Science
College of Liberal Arts
Political science majors study topics such as the exercise of power and influence; sources of conflicts and resolutions; the relationship between politics, the economy and culture; the adoption and implementation of public policy; and the development of political systems. These topics are studied at all levels, ranging from the local to the global, and are implicated in the process of achieving sustainable solutions.

Recreation Resource Management B.S.

Department of Forest Resources
College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences
This degree’s curriculum prepares students to plan and manage natural and non-urban recreational land and water resources and to manage the interactions between people, organizations, and these important resources on which they depend. Incorporating many of the principles of sustainability into the study of interactions between people and their environments, this program provides excellent preparation in the human dimensions of natural resource sciences that is essential for graduate study and careers in research and teaching.

Urban Studies B.A./B.S.

Urban Studies Program
College of Liberal Arts

The Urban Studies Program examines the conceptual and analytical frameworks and specialized skills needed for professions focused on urban change or development in public agencies, non-profits, or private business. Or for the continued study in urban planning, law, social welfare, public affairs, or the social and environmental sciences. The major’s interdisciplinary tracks include a concentration in Urban Infrastructure and the Environment that may be of interest to Sustainability Studies Minor students.

The Sustainability Education website is administered by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment.

The University of Minnesota offers sustainability courses in most of its colleges and campuses around the state. These courses encompass biophysical sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts, design, engineering, business, and health. The Sustainability Studies minor is one of several interdisciplinary programs through which such diverse courses come together.