BS in Environmental Sustainability

Description Curriculum

Program Description

The Environmental Sustainability major within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) department in the School of Arts and Sciences working in collaboration with the School of Health Sciences and the Department of Humanities will educate students to recognize, study, and analyze complex relationships between the social, human, and environmental systems that address issues involving: population shifts, climate change, natural resources, environmental degradation, food systems, sustainable production and consumption, lifestyles, human security and public health. This interdisciplinary approach incorporates the essential skills that promote life-long learning in the liberal arts tradition and transcend cultural boundaries. These essential skills include: written and oral communication; critical thinking and analytical reasoning; complex problem solving; teamwork skills in diverse groups; community education; creativity and innovation; information literacy; quantitative reasoning; as well as awareness and understanding of cultural diversity, ethical decision making, and intercultural knowledge and competence

Program Objectives

  • Increase environmental science literacy and its application in business and personal decision-making.
  • Promote engaged- and problem-based learning in Earth and environmental sciences by incorporating original research through the use of field and laboratory technology.
  • Integrate and apply scientific knowledge across students’ interdisciplinary liberal arts & sciences and health sciences curricula.



The BS in Sustainability Science requires students to take one introductory course, four core courses, five upper level elective courses, one internship, and two Capstone courses. Students interested in the major are to plan in consultation with their academic advisor to enroll in the following courses as part of their General Education/Core Curriculum: BI 103, BI 104, BI 108 or BI 209, and MA 210. In order to take upper level biology electives a student must complete BI103, BI 104, either BI209 or BI108 and BI210. In order to take upper level chemistry electives students must complete CH 103, 104, and CH305.

Introductory Course

  • Principles of Sustainability Science for the Environment
       - Introduction to the concepts of sustainability and the complex problems associated with sustainability.

Core Courses

Core courses introduce the three systems of global sustainability and laboratories focus on an introduction to specific methods within each system. The fourth course focuses on how complex, dynamic systems are modeled. Laboratories cover an introduction to basic methods common in global environmental systems, human systems, and social systems.

  • Environmental Science/Lab
  • Human System/Lab
  • Social Systems
  • Dynamic Systems Modeling/Lab

Upper-Level Electives

Students will take a total of five electives from the list of approved elective courses below. At least one elective from each category and no more than three electives from any one area can be selected. These areas focus on the complex problems of global sustainability that arise within each of the global, human, and social systems, as well as feedbacks between the systems.

Environmental Security

“Environmental degradation, inequitable access to natural resources and the transboundary movement of hazardous materials can lead to conflict and pose a risk to national security and human health”

  • BI 326 Environmental Microbiology/Lab
  • BI 305 Ecology/Lab
  • CH 303 Environmental Science and Toxicology
  • BI 324 Environmental Biology/Lab
  • CH 402 Science and Public Policy
  • PBH 203 Introduction to Epidemiology

Human Security

“The protection of the vital core of all human lives in ways that enhance human freedoms and human fulfillment.”
- "Human Security In Theory And Practice" Human Security Unit, United Nations

  • PHB 200 Introduction to Public Health
  • PBH 203 Introduction to Epidemiology
  • PBH 300 Environmental Health
  • PBH 206 Global Health
  • PBH 307 Public Health Policy and Advocacy
  • SO 335 Society, Technology and Environment

Sustainable Production and Consumption

  • ID 214 Environmental Studies: People, Planet, Prosperity
  • EC 327 Environmental Economics
  • PO 345 Politics of Development
  • PO 333 International Political Economy

Capstone Courses

  • ID 402 and ID 403 Environmental Sustainability Research and Analysis
       - This is a research, analysis, and writing course based on data collected by the student during the fall semester for use in the spring semester part of the year-long research project. These courses must be taken in sequence.


  • ID 413 Interdisciplinary Internship Seminars

Students pursuing a the major in Environmental Sustainability are to complete Statistics (MA 210) to fulfill the College General Education/Core Curriculum requirement. Additional course work in mathematics, particularly Calculus, is strongly recommended but not required.


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Contact Information


Shari Litch Gray, PhD

Associate Professor of Biology, Chair, STEM Department

Santhosh Mathew, PhD

Associate Professor of Mathematics

Erin McQuaid, MS

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Nicoletta Pellegrino, PhD

Assistant Professor of Education and Humanities, Field Placement Supervisor for Education/History

Brian Plouffe, PhD

Assistant Professor and Director, Biomedical Engineering

Kyle Peet, PhD

Assistant Professor of Environmental Sustainability

Regis College Undergraduate Programs