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Undergraduate: Sustainability Studies

  • Program Overview

    Sustainability Studies (SUS)

    The Sustainability Studies major, leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree, provides the skills, knowledge, and preparation for students to understand and address the environmental, social, political, economic and ethical issues related to the transformation of our current societies to ones that are sustainable. The curriculum integrates principles and methodologies from social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities.

    The major prepares students for entry-level employment in the public, private, or non-profit sectors in a variety of fields including economic development, foreign aid, public administration, law, diplomacy, public policy, public health, resource and energy conservation, business, finance, international trade, or eco-tourism.  The major prepares students for graduate study in social science, political science, law, management and business.

    The major builds on the interdisciplinary sustainability core curriculum.  Students will enroll in major-specific courses in their junior and senior year.  As part of the preparation, students will work in teams with students enrolled in related majors to collaboratively solve problems.  Students are encouraged to take advantage of internships, project courses, independent research, and field courses to gain real-world experience.

     

  • Degrees and Requirements

    Requirements for the Major and Minor in Sustainability Studies (SUS)

    Requirements for the Major in Sustainability Studies (SUS)

    A. Required Foundation Courses (32-33 credits)

    • MAT 125 or MAT 131 or AMS 151. If students do not place into MAT 125 or MAT 131 or AMS 151 on the basis of the math placement examination, MAT 123 (or MAT 119/MAT 123) is a required course for the major.
    • ECO 108 Introduction to Economics
    • PHI 104 Moral Reasoning
    • POL 102 Introduction to American Government
    • SUS 111 Introduction to Sustainability Studies (formerly offered as SBC 111) or ENS 101  Prospects for Planet Earth
    • SUS 115 Introduction to Human Demographics (formerly offered as SBC 115)
    • SUS 201 Systems and Models (formerly offered as SBC 201)
    • SUS 206 Economics and Sustainability (formerly offered as SBC 206)
    • SUS 113 Physical Geography (formerly offered as SBC 113)  or GEO 102 The Earth
    • BIO 201 Fundamentals of Biology: Organisms to Ecosystems
    • CHE/ENV 115 Chemistry, Life, Environment (Note: CHE 115, 129, 131, 141, or 152 may be substituted for CHE/ENV 115)

    B. Career and Leadership Skills (6 credits)

    •  SUS 301 Technical Writing and Communication (formerly offered as CSK 302)
    •  SUS 305 Collective Action and Advocacy (formerly offered as CSK 305)

    C. Core Courses (27 credits)

    Required:

    • SUS 302 Integrative Assessment Models
    • SUS 366 Philosophy of the Environment 

    Required seven (7) three-credit courses with a minimum of one (1) course in each of the following five groups:

    Group 1: Physical Environment and Renewable and Non-Renewable Resources

    • ENV 304 Environmental Global Change
    • ENV 340 Contemporary Topics in Environmental Science
    • GEO 313 Understanding Water Resources for the 21st Century
    • SUS 342 Energy and Mineral Resource
    • SUS 343 Age of the Anthropocene
    • SUS 344 Sustainable Natural Resources (formerly offered as EHI 343)

    Group 2: Ecology

    • BIO 351 Ecology
    • EHI 326 Conservation Genetics
    • ENS 311 Ecosystem Ecology and Global Environment
    • SUS 313 Ecosystem-Based Management (formerly offered as EHI 311)
    • SUS 319 Preservation and Restoration of Ecosystems (formerly offered as EHI 310)
    • SUS 340 Ecological and Social Dimensions of Disease (formerly offered as EHI 340)
    • SUS 351 Design Ecotoxicology Research (formerly offered as EHI 350)
    • SUS 352 Conduct Ecotoxicology Research (formerly offered as EHI 351)

    Group 3: Human Population

    • ENS 312 Population, Technology, and the Environment
    • GSS 317 Geospatial Narratives: Deep Mapping for Humanities and Social Sciences
    • SUS 303 Demographic Change and Sustainability
    • SUS 310 Migration, Development and Population Redistribution (formerly offered as SBC 310)
    • SUS 322 Human Ecology (formerly offered as EHI 322)
    • SUS 324 Human Geography and the Environment
    • SUS 327 Human Reproductive Ecology (formerly offered as EHI 321)

    Group 4: Economics

    • ECO 373 Economics of the Environment and Natural Resources
    • EDP 303 Spatial Economics
    • SUS 306 Business and Sustainability
    • SUS 307 Environmental Economics and Management
    • SUS 308 Economic Development

    Group 5:  Environment, Policy and Society

    • EDP 305 Risk Assessment and Sustainable Development
    • ENS 312 Population, Technology and the Environment
    • ENS 333 Environmental Law
    • ENV 310 Sustainability and Renewable Energy in Costa Rica
    • ENV 316 Coastal Zone Management
    • ENV 339 Economics of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems
    • HIS 352 Environmental History of China
    • SUS 317 Environmental History of North America (formerly offered as SBC 307)
    • SUS 318 American Environmental Politics (formerly offered as SBC 308)
    • SUS 309 Global Environmental Politics (formerly offered as SBC 309)
    • SUS 311 Disasters and Society: A Global Perspective (formerly offered as SBC 311)
    • SUS 312 Environment, Society, and Health (formerly offered as SBC 312)
    • SUS 316 Cuba and Sustainability (formerly offered as EHM 316)
    • SUS 320  Utopia and Dystopia and the Environment in Literature and Culture (formerly offered as EHM 321)
    • SUS 321 Ecology and Evolution in American Literature (formerly offered as SBC 321)
    • SUS 341 Environmental Treatises and Protocols
    • SUS 350 Contemporary Topics in Sustainability
    • SUS 487 Research
    • SUS 488 Internship

    Other classes may be substituted with permission of undergraduate director.

    D. Systems Courses (3 credits)

    One course selected from the two choices below:

    • ENV 301 Sustainability of the Long Island Pine Barrens
    • SUS 401 Integrative, Collaborative Systems Project (formerly offered as SBC 401)

    E. Communications and Writing Requirement

    Proficiency in writing, oral communication, and computer literacy will be encouraged in all students. In addition to SUS 301, these skills will be developed within the context of other formal coursework and no additional credits are required. To meet the upper-division writing requirement, students must submit two papers with letter grades of no lower than a B from any 300-level or 400-level course in the major to the director of the SUS Undergraduate Program.

    Students should consult with the department advisor to ensure that their plan for completing the Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent with university graduation requirements for General Education.  Students completing the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) must complete a course that satisfies the "Write Effectively within One's Discipline" (WRTD) learning objective to graduate.  The Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent in most cases with the SBC learning outcomes for WRTD.

    Note: 
    No more than one course (4 credits maximum) with a passing grade lower than C can be credited towards the major. Course taken with the Pass/NC option may not be applied to the major.

    Study Abroad

    Stony Brook University offers study abroad experiences that are focused on issues of sustainability in Cuba, Madagascar, and the Turkana Basin (Kenya). While issues of climate change, water and energy security, sustainable agriculture, environmental justice, sustainable economic development, conservation of unique and threatened ecosystems, population growth, and human health are important everywhere, viewing these issues through the lens of a different place and a different culture provides a valuable perspective. Students are encouraged to participate in study abroad experiences and to talk with their major director to determine how study abroad coursework can be used to fulfill some requirements for their major.

    Double Majors

    Excluding ENV 301 (Sustainability of the Long Island Pine Barrens), SUS 301 (Technical Writing and Communication), SUS 305 (Collective Advocacy and Action), and SUS 401 (Integrative Collaborative Systems Studies), no more than 6 credits of 300-400 level course credits can be applied to two majors within the Sustainability Studies Program or the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.  

    Minor in Sustainability Studies (SUS)

    The Sustainability Studies minor is intended for students who seek to complement their chosen major with a foundation in the social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability.

    Declaration of the Minor

    Students should declare the Sustainability Studies minor no later than the middle of their sophomore year, at which time they should consult with the minor coordinator or undergraduate director and plan their course of study for fulfillment of the requirements.

    Requirements for the Minor in Sustainability Studies (SUS)

    At least 12 credits applied to the minor may not be applied to any major or other minor within the Sustainability Studies Program or the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. No more than one three-credit course in the minor may be taken under the Pass/No Credit option. All upper-division courses offered for the minor must be passed with a letter grade of C or higher. Completion of the minor requires 18 credits.

    A. Required introductory courses:

    • SUS 111 Introduction to Sustainability Studies (formerly offered as SBC 111) or ENS 101 Prospects for Planet Earth
    • SUS 206  Economics and Sustainability (formerly offered as SBC 206)

    And one of the following four courses:

    • PHI 104 Moral Reasoning
    • SUS 115 Introduction to Human Demography (formerly offered as SBC 115)
    • POL 102 Introduction to American Government
    • CHE/ENV 115 Chemistry, Life, Environment (Note: CHE 115, 129, 131, 141, or 152 may be substituted for CHE/ENV 115)

    B. Required three courses from the following:

    • ENS 311 Ecosystem Ecology and Global Environment
    • ENS 312 Population, Technology and the Environment
    • ENS 333 Environmental Law
    • ENV 301 Sustainability of the Long Island Pine Barrens
    • SUS 366 Philosophy of the Environment 
    • SUS 306 Business and Sustainability
    • SUS 307 Environmental Economics and Management
    • ENV 340 Contemporary Topics in Environmental Science*
    • EDP 303 Spatial Economics
    • SUS 317 Environmental History of North America (formerly offered as SBC 307)
    • SUS 309 Global Environmental Politics (formerly offered as SBC 309)
    • SUS 310 Migration, Development and Population Redistribution (formerly offered as SBC 310)
    • SUS 311 Disasters and Society: A Global Perspective (formerly offered as SBC 311)
    • SUS 312 Environment, Society, and Health (formerly offered as SBC 312)
    • SUS 321  Ecology and Evolution in American Literature (formerly offered as SBC 321)
    • SUS 401 Integrative, Collaborative Systems Studies (formerly offered as SBC 401)
    • GSS 317 Geospatial Narratives: Deep Mapping for Humanities and Social Sciences
    • SUS 341 Environmental Treatises and Protocols
    • SUS 350 Contemporary Topics in Sustainability*
    • SUS 313 Ecosystem-Based Management (formerly offered as EHI 311)
    • ENV 310 Sustainable and Renewable Energy in Costa Rica or SUS 316 Cuba and Sustainability (formerly offered as EHM 316)

    *An Internship with significant practical experience [SUS 488 Internship] or an approved research project [SUS 487 Research] may be substituted for SUS 350 or ENV 340.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Sequence

    Sample Course Sequence for the Major in Sustainability Studies

    A course planning guide for this major may be found here.

    FRESHMAN

    FALL Credits
    First Year Seminar 101 1
    WRT 101 3
    MAT 125  3
    SBC 111 3
    POL 102 3
    ENV 115 3
     Total 16
     
    SPRING Credits
    First Year Seminar 102 1
    WRT 102 3
    ECO 108 4
    SBC course 3
    SUS 113 3
     Total 14
     
    SOPHOMORE

    FALL Credits
    SUS 201 3
    SUS 115 3
    SUS 206 3
    SBC course 3
    SBC course 3
     Total 15
     
    SPRING Credits
    SBC course 3
    BIO 201 3
    PHI 104 3
    SBC course 3
    Elective
    3
     Total 15
     
    JUNIOR

    FALL Credits
    SUS 366  3
    Group 1 Elective 3
    SBC 3
    Elective  3
    CSK 305 3
     Total 15
     
    SPRING Credits
    SUS 302 3
    Group 2 Elective 3
    Group 3 Elective 3
    SBC course 3
    SBC course 3
     Total 15
     
    SENIOR

    FALL Credits
    Group 4 Selection 1  3
    Group 5 Selection 1  3
    SBC 401  3
    Electives 6
     Total 15
     
    SPRING Credits
    Group 1-5 selection 3
    Group 1-5 selection  3 
    Electives 6
    SBC 3
     Total 15

     

     

     

     

     

  • Contact

    Sustainability Studies (SUS)

    Major and Minor in Sustainability Studies

    Director:  Arlene Cassidy

    Email:  arlene.cassidy@stonybrook.edu

    Undergraduate Advisor:  Nancy Black

    Program Office: W0511 Melville Library

    Phone: (631) 632-9404

    Website: https://www.somas.stonybrook.edu/education/undergraduate/undergraduate-degrees/bachelor-of-arts-in-sustainability-studies/

     

     

     





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