Sustainability Minor

Biology and Engineering Departments
Degree Type Minor
Careers and Salary Career Outcomes
Delivery On Campus

The minor in sustainability is intended to draw from and supplement most majors to explore the challenges of sustainability and how it may be used to develop solutions to pressing issues at local and global levels.

Sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, and to do so while maintaining ecological processes, functions, biodiversity, and productivity into the future. An understanding of sustainability includes the scientific basis for sustainable resource use as well as the social and economic implications and/or costs of sustainable practices. 

Sustainability is a growing field, with job opportunities in the sciences, social sciences and the humanities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "although their specific career paths might differ, sustainability professionals promote environmental protection, social responsibility, and profitability."

Sustainability professionals may help their employers conserve resources (from energy to water to dollars) and improve efficiency; create new, more environmentally and socially responsible technologies or services; educate stakeholders about environmental and social issues and engage them in planning and programming accordingly and more. Regardless of job title, the work of all sustainability professionals focuses on the intersection of environment, economics and social and cultural issues: what's referred to in the business world as the "triple bottom line" of people, profits and planet.

Job candidates with both sustainability skills and a solid professional background in another field are receiving job offers because they bring useful and much-needed combinations of skills to organizations. For example, in a survey of about 200 managers and executives, 65 percent of small-company respondents and 87 percent of large-firm respondents said they would consider a sustainability concentration when making a hiring decision. Survey participants also said sustainability-related topics should be taught to all managers and executives. Read the full article here: 

For more information about careers with a sustainability focus, check out this U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics article: 


Minor Requirements

Minors are defined as either “studies in the discipline” or as “teaching.” 
Required Courses