Sustainability Studies Major

Students getting practical experience in the field while on a trip with CSE.

The major in sustainability studies at Albion College is an interdisciplinary, international program that is grounded in the social sciences and designed for students who are engaged in today's and tomorrow's sustainability challenges. Students develop an understanding of human prosperity, social justice, and ecological integrity as essential elements in a sustainable world. Students explore the relationships among the economy, lifestyle, politics and policy, the physical environment, natural resource use, climate change and biodiversity preservation. A required international experience stresses the global dimensions of sustainability and introduces other nations' approaches to sustainability. Students prepare for careers as sustainability professionals in corporate and civic settings, policy advocates, and educators.

Course Work

The requirements for the major in sustainability studies are as follows:

  1. Nine and one-quarter to ten units of courses including:

    • ENVN 101, 102 and 220;
    • One of the following: Anthropology 271, 357 or Political Science 237;
    • Two of the following, with at least one from the arts and humanities list, and both from different departments:
      • Art 315, English 206, 238, 354, Philosophy 301 (arts and humanities courses);
      • Political Science 216, History 337, Communications 311 (social science courses).
  2. In some cases, courses may require prerequisites, class standing or permission of the instructor. Please discuss these options with your adviser.

    • PBSV 289: Innovative and Sustainable Cities
    • Study abroad in an approved program, with a minimum of three courses summing to a minimum of 2.25 units approved in advance. A list of programs and approved courses is available from the director of the Center for Sustainability and the Environment.
  3. Two cognate courses including:

    • Geology 111
    • One of the following: Anthropology 240, Biology 240, Geology 104, 106, 115, Physics 102.
  4. Experiential requirement including:

    • Selection from one approved opportunity for experiential learning (up to one-half unit). This can include one of the following:
      • Honors Program or departmental honors thesis
      • FURSCA
      • ENVN 201or 206
      • An approved internship or summer work experience
    • Participation in the bi-weekly Center for Sustainability and the Environment Seminar unless excused because of a conflicting obligation.