2018-2019 Academic Catalog

Sustainability Studies Program

The Sustainability Studies Program (SSP) is a multidisciplinary effort to encourage students to explore complex societal sustainability issues that do not fit easily into one traditional academic discipline. The genesis of this program lies in the realization that a scientific and technical knowledge of environmental, ecological, and energy system challenges will not be sufficient to develop viable answers. Many disciplines at the University make contributions to these issues, ranging from ethical, spiritual, and artistic, to economic, political, and sociological approaches. Students will take interdisciplinary courses and will participate in interdisciplinary research.

Interested students should notify the program director.

Sustainability Studies Program Advisory Committee
Rebecca Potter (English), Program Director 

Beagle (Chemistry), Bednarek (History), Bohrer (Fitz Center), Brecha (Physics), Cuy Castellanos (Dietetics), Hallinan (Mechanical Engineering), Holcomb (Sociology), Jablonski (Marianist Environmental Education Center and Religious Studies), Jennings (Art and Design), King (Rivers Institute), McEwan (Biology), Pautz (Political Science), Schoenenberger (Hanley Sustainability Institute and Geology), Wu (Geology)


Certificate in Sustainability (SUS)

All students take the following two courses:
SSP 500Foundations in Sustainability3
SSP 580Applied Sustainability 3
Select two from the following courses, or receive approval for up to 6 credit hours of applicable coursework.6
Organizational Communication
Communication Training & Development
Theories & Models of Communication
Corporate Public Relations
State & Local Government
Introduction to Public Policy
Environmental Policy
Nonprofit & Community Leadership
Applied Geographic Information Systems
Environmental Remote Sensing
Advanced Applications of Geographical Information Systems
GIS Capstone
Ecological Restoration
Ecosystem Dynamics
Problems in Field Biology
Research Methods in Ecology
Travel Demand Modeling
Urban Public Transportation
Solid Waste Engineering
Special Problems in Civil Engineering
Engineering Magnetic Materials & Their Function in Green Energy
Materials for Advanced Energy Applications
Biofuel Production Processes
Building Energy Informatics
Solar Energy Engineering
Geothermal Energy Engineering
Wind Energy Engineering
Sustainable Energy Systems
Energy Efficient Buildings
Design for Environment
Renewable Energy Systems
Energy Efficient Manufacturing
Special Problems in Renewable & Clean Energy
Contemporary Issues in Accounting
Total Hours12


SSP 500. Foundations in Sustainability. 3 Hours

Graduate-level introductory course in Sustainability. A multidisciplinary introduction that examines scientific, economic, policy, ethical and cultural approaches to sustainability issues in a global and local context. Emphasis on examining complex issues from different disciplinary viewpoints, and learning how ethical, scientific and sociopolitical knowledge and inquiry work to investigate and address community, environment, climate change and sustainable development.

SSP 580. Applied Sustainability. 3 Hours

A capstone course that applies sustainability research methods to local and regional community-based projects. This course will model collaborative transdisciplinary research with a focus on systems, complexity, resilience and community. Students will work with community-based partners. Aspects of the project will be self-designed to reflect student interest and expertise. Prerequisite(s): SEE 501.