Online Bachelor’s in Sustainability Curriculum

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Sustainability is a growing priority for organizations across industries, providing opportunities to improve processes, increase revenue, and create healthier communities. Governments and businesses around the world are tackling environmental issues in groundbreaking ways, and they need a new generation of leaders to guide their initiatives.

An innovative, forward-thinking degree program like a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Sustainability online can help students cultivate the skills and knowledge they need to pursue careers that contribute to a more sustainable future.

Maryville University Online BS in Sustainability

Maryville’s online Bachelor of Science in Sustainability program comprises 128 credit hours of general education, sustainability major core courses, professional track courses in environmental science, business, or policy, and sustainability electives. Students in this program will gain a practical education by participating in experiential projects, case studies, simulations, and field tests. The program’s coursework covers areas like conservation, ecology, economics, social and cultural issues, urban planning, environmental law, and sustainable agriculture.

Sustainability Core Courses (22 Credit Hours)

SUST 101Introduction to Sustainability3 Credits
SUST 201Environmental Science and Health3 Credits
HUM 211Nature and Humanity3 Credits
BIOL 120Biology I4 Credits
SUST 210Earth Systems3 Credits

Choose one:

MATH 141Elementary Statistics3 Credits
SOSC 341Understanding Statistical Inference3 Credits
BUS 241Business Statistics3 Credits

Choose one:

SUST 499Sustainability Internship
SUST 491Capstone3 Credits

Environmental Science Concentration (17 Credit Hours)

Gain a deeper understanding of the biological, chemical, and physical nature of both natural and human-altered ecosystems to understand the role and impact of climate change on Earth’s systems at both the local and global level.

BIOL 121Biology II4 Credits
BIOL 305Ecosystem Studies4 Credits
CHEM 120General, Organic and Biological Chemistry3 Credits
SCI 132Energy and Our World3 Credits
SUST 310Climate Science3 Credits

Business Concentration (15 Credit Hours)

Understand and engage in the process of developing sustainable organizations for water, land, air, and urban management at the local to global level. Develop practical skills to properly implement, maintain, and grow sustainable organizations.

SUST 220Sustainability Practices in Business I3 Credits
SUST 320Sustainability Practices in Business II3 Credits
SCI 132Energy and Our World3 Credits
SUST 375Strategies in Sustainability3 Credits
SUST 330Sustainable Agriculture3 Credits

Policy Concentration (15 Credit Hours)

Understand the sustainability of technology, the built environment, and their environmental regulations and policy. Learn how institutions in society, including government, business, and nonprofits, all participate in devising solutions to environmental issues.

SUST 220Sustainability Practices in Business I3 Credits
SCI 132Energy and Our World3 Credits
SUST 375Strategies in Sustainability3 Credits
SUST 310Climate Science3 Credits
SUST 460Environmental Law and Policy3 Credits

Sustainability Elective Courses (Choose 9-12 Credit Hours)

ADID 324Issues in Sustainable Design3 Credits
BIOL 306Plant Science3 Credits
COMM 251Principles of Strategic Communication3 Credits
COMM 422Global Communication3 Credits
DSCI 200Foundations of Data Science3 Credits
DSCI 302Introduction to R3 Credits
SCI 337Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 3 Credits
SOC 381Urbanism and the Built Environment3 Credits
SUST 150Sustainability Exploration Seminar3 Credits
SUST 350Sustainability Expedition3 Credits

To ensure the best possible educational experience for our students, we may update our curriculum to reflect emerging and changing employer and industry trends. Undergraduate programs and certificates are designed to be taken at a part-time pace. Please speak to your advisor for more details.

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Skills Gained with a Bachelor of Science in Sustainability Online

According to the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, sustainability leaders possess key skills, such as problem-solving, analytical thinking, and communication. Leaders in the field can use these skills to apply their foundational knowledge of sustainability policies, principles, and regulations to create new initiatives that impact the future of the planet. Communication, for example, is crucial for educating others about the importance of sustainability practices, translating complex technical language into inspiring presentations that spur change, and sharing crucial information about emerging trends in the field.

A BS in Sustainability curriculum can arm students with these skills so they can drive innovation and manage lifesaving environmental projects. A sustainability degree can also prepare students to engage in areas such as social advocacy, urban planning, and environmental law.

Common Courses for Bachelor of Science in Sustainability Students

Common courses in a BS in Sustainability curriculum can include:

Strategies in Sustainability

This course takes a deeper look at the connections between sustainability, stewardship, and sound science. Students look at applications in sustainable strategies that can operate at the personal, community, national, and global levels, with an emphasis on energy conservation, pollution control, reduction of solid and toxic waste, and maintaining biodiversity.

Environmental Science and Health

This course provides students with an understanding of how human health is connected to the environment, including access to natural resources such as water, air, plants, and animals. Students also learn about the processes of analyzing and mitigating environmental hazards that have biological and chemical effects on health.

Economics of Sustainability

This course provides a broad overview of sustainability topics and how they affect today’s business climate. Students look at case studies on specific consumer products and services and the social and environmental impact of organizations.

Sustainable Agriculture

This course explores the concept of sustainable agriculture, which involves using environmentally conscious practices to produce and process food and natural materials. Students also learn about the economic benefits of sustainable agriculture as a business model that conserves resources, such as soil and water, and preserves biodiversity in habitats.

Build a Career in Sustainability Online

Create a more sustainable future by learning from expert faculty and building your knowledge in key areas, such as environmental science, policy, conservation, and the social and cultural aspects of sustainability. As more companies and government agencies pivot to incorporate sustainable programming, they’ll need leaders with the passion and knowledge to manage innovative projects in this growing field.

Learn how Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Sustainability program can provide you with the skills to become a sustainability leader and make a difference.

CSRwire, “Top Three Communications Skills of Sustainability Influencers”

Harvard Business Review, “Reskilling Workers Is a Central Part of Corporate Social Responsibility”

Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, Sustainability Skills Map

Nielsen, The Evolution of the Sustainability Mindset

United Nations, Sustainability Development Goals

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Learn About Sustainability

WayUp, “What Types of Skills Are Best for a Sustainability Studies Major?”