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Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability Studies

Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability Studies

Collaborative Online Degree

This 100 percent online, consortial program is taught by IU South Bend, IU East, IU Kokomo, and IU Southeast. This consortial model allows you to take coursework from several campuses and learn from a wide range of faculty.

Many online support services are available to assist you as you progress through the program.

Sustainability studies is quickly becoming one of the most important fields as the global population faces increasingly pressing environmental challenges. As a student in the BA in Sustainability Studies, you study climate, energy, geography, history, sociology, and economics to understand the complex environmental problems of today. You learn modern conservation methods and techniques and adopt a transformative mindset so that you can become an effective agent of change. 

When you complete the program, you will be able to:

  • Identify fundamental environmental, social, and economic concepts associated with sustainability.
  • Synthesize historical and contemporary and scientific and ethical arguments to develop a systems approach to sustainable practices.
  • Use skills of persuasion, audience analysis, and aesthetic expression to advance rhetoric and argument, media communications, public relations, and political/community organizing related to sustainability.
  • Apply quantitative and qualitative tools and metrics to design innovative sustainable practices and assess their impact.
  • Demonstrate professional skills of leadership and collaboration through experiential learning (civic engagement, service learning, research, or internship) in order to apply sustainable solutions in real-life settings.

Your IU Online B.A. in Sustainability Studies prepares you for such careers as:

  • Sustainability policy consultant
  • Environmental advocate
  • Environmental engineer
  • Natural sciences manager
  • Environmental specialist
  • Sustainability program coordinator
  • Energy manager
  • Ecotourism guide
  • Energy auditor


Students who meet the admission standards of their home campus will be admitted directly into the B.A. in Sustainability Studies major.

Degree Requirements (120 cr.)

Students complete the standard degree requirements (including general education requirements) of your campus and school of enrollment, plus the 42 hours of the B.A. in Sustainability Studies major requirements.

Students receiving the Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability Studies must complete 120 total credit hours including:

  • IU South Bend Campuswide General Education Curriculum (33 cr.)
  • The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences additional requirements (14-23 cr.).
  • Major concentration (includes Sustainability Electives) (42 cr.)
  • Required Minor taken in any campus school or interdisciplinary program (15-18 cr.)
  • Free Electives (balance of credits needed to equal 120 credit requirement)

  • Courses required for the major must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.
  • A minimum CGPA of 2.0 i required
  • All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise noted

Major Requirements (42 cr.)
Introduction to Sustainability (3 cr.)
  • SUST-S 201 Foundations of Sustainability

Scientific Foundations of Sustainability (3 cr.)

Select 3 credits from the following:

  • GEOG-G 107 Physical Systems of the Environment (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 108 Physical Systems of the Environment Laboratory (2 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 110 Human Geography in a Changing World
  • GEOG-G 111 Hurricanes (1 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 112 Thunderstorms and Tornadoes (1 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 113 The Ozone "Hole" (1 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 114 Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming (1 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 123 Soil Survey 
  • GEOG-G 208 Environment and Society
  • GEOL-G 101 Introduction to Earth Science
  • GEOL-G 107 Earth and the Environment
  • GEOL-G 110 Physical Geography
  • GEOL-G 115 Introduction to Oceonography
  • GEOL-G 135 Indiana Geology
  • GEOL-G 136 Indiana Geology Laboratory (2 cr.)
  • GEOL-G 185 Global Environmental Change
  • PHYS-P 120 Energy and Technology

Sustainability Science (6 cr.)

Select 6 credits from the following:

  • AHLT-L 331 Environmental Health
  • BIOL-L 325 Ecological Principles 
  • BIOL-L 333 Environmental Science 
  • BIOL-L 350 Environmental Biology
  • GEOG-G 303 Weather and Climate
  • GEOG-G 307 Biography: The Distribution of Life
  • GEOG-G 404 Geography of Soils
  • GEOG-G 475 Climate Change
  • GEOL-G 400 Energy: Sources and Needs
  • GEOL-G 476 Climate Change Science 
  • PLSC-B 364 Summer Flowering Plants (5-6 cr.)
  • SUST-C 330 Scientific Foundations in Sustainability

Social and Behavioral Foundations of Sustainability (6 cr)

Select 6 credits from the following:

  • GEOG-G 306 Current Issues in Globalization, Development and Justice x
  • GEOG-G 310 Human Geography in a Changing World
  • GEOG-G 315 Environmental Conservation 
  • GEOG-G 320 Population Geography 
  • HPER-N 220 Nutrition for Health 
  • POLS-Y 308 Urban Politics 
  • POLS-Y 313 Environmental Policy
  • POLS-Y 346 Politics in the Developing World
  • POLS-Y 377 Globalization 
  • PSY-P 488 Environmental Psychology and Sustainable Living
  • SOC-S 308 Global Society
  • SUST-B 190 The Sustainable Future
  • SUST-C 340 Social and Behavioral Approaches to Sustainability

Arts and Humanities and Sustainability (3 cr)

Select 3 credits from the following:

  • GEOG-G 418 Historical Geography
  • SUST-C 350 Sustainability in the Arts and Humanities

Methods and Techniques for Sustainability (6 cr)

Select 6 credits from the following:

  • ECON-E 270 Introduction to Statistical Theory in Economics and Business 
  • GEOG-G 336 Environmental Remote Sensing
  • GEOG-G 337 Computer Cartography and Graphics
  • GEOG-G 338 Geographic Information Systems 
  • GEOG-G 438 Geographic Information Systems II 
  • SOC-S 261 Research Methods in Sociology 
  • SOC-S 262 Statistics for Sociology
  • SUST-C 360 Topics in Sustainability Studies

Written Communication (3 cr)

Select 3 credits from the following:

  • ENG-W 231 Professional Writing Skills
  • ENG-W 234 Technical Report Writing
  • ENG-W 230 Science Writing
  • ENG-W 270 Argumentative Writing

Business and Economics of Sustainability (3 cr)

Select 3 credits from the following:

  • BUS-B 399 Business and Society
  • ECON-E 363 Environment and Natural Resource Economics
  • GEOG-G 314 Urban Geography 
  • GEOG-G 331 Economic Geography
  • GEOG-G 478 Global Change, Food, and Farming Systems 
  • PHIL-P 306 Business Ethics 
  • SUST-C 370 Business and Economics of Sustainability 

Sustainability Capstone (3 cr)

Select 3 credits from the following:

  • SUST-C 490 Capstone in Sustainability
  • SUST-S 491 Internship in Sustainability

Sustainability Electives (6 cr)

Select one from the following options:

Option 1:
  • Two distinct courses from chosen form two distinct Learning Outcomes lists. Courses cannot double count. A course already used to satisfy a particular B.A. Sustainability Studies Learning Outcome cannot also be counted as an elective.
Option 2:

Select two from the following:

  • Scientific Foundations of Sustainability
  • Social and Behavioral Foundations of Sustainability
  • Arts and Humanities and Sustainability
Option 3:
  • Business and Economics Sustainability
  • Sustainability Capstone


Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

2021-2022 Campus Bulletin
2020-2021 Campus Bulletin
2019-2020 Campus Bulletin
2018-2019 Campus Bulletin
2017-2018 Campus Bulletin
2016-2017 Campus Bulletin
2015-2016 Campus Bulletin
2014-2015 Campus Bulletin

Please be aware that the PDF is formatted from the webpages; some pages may be out of order.