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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. Common Foundation Courses (15-17 credits)

    B. Common Core Courses (12-13 credits)

    • ATM 201 Introduction to Climate and Climate Change or ENV 304 Environmental Global Change or SUS 343 Age of the Anthropocene
    • GSS 313/314 GIS Design and Applications I/GIS Laboratory or GSS 317 Geospatial Narratives
    • SUS 301 Technical Writing and Communication or COM 365 Talking Science
    • SUS 305 Collective Action and Advocacy or SUS 323 Environmental Justice

    C. Capstone Course (3 credits)

    One course selected from the choices below:

    • ENV 301 Sustainability of the Long Island Pine Barrens
    • SUS 352 Conduct and Communicate a Research Project in Ecotoxicology
    • SUS 390 Environmental Humanities Capstone
    • SUS 401 Integrative, Collaborative Systems Project
    • SUS 487 Research in Sustainability
    • SUS 488 Internship in Sustainability

    D. Tracks (Choose one, 39-40 credits)

    1. Ecosystems and Human Impact

    Required Foundation Track Courses:

    Upper Division Track Electives

    Seven courses (at least 21 credits) from the choices below:

    • ANP 307Comparing Ecosystems in Madagascar
    • ANP 350Field Methods in Primatology and Field Biology
    • ANP 351 Biodiversity Assessment Methods for Tropical Field Research
    • ANP 401 Pastoralism Under Pressure: Savannas, Society, and Sustainability in East Africa
    • BIO 319Landscape Ecology Laboratory
    • BIO 351Ecology
    • BIO 352Ecology Laboratory*
    • BIO 371Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems*
    • ENS 311/BIO 386 Ecosystem Ecology and Global Environment*
    • GEO 304 Energy, Mineral Resources, and the Environment
    • GEO 313 Understanding Water Resources for the 21st Century
    • GSS 325 GIS Design and Applications II
    • MAR 303 Long Island Marine Habitats
    • MAR 315 Marine Conservation
    • MAR 320 Limnology*
    • MAR 336 Marine Pollution*
    • MAR 340 Environmental Problems and Solutions
    • MAR 388 Tropical Marine Ecology
    • MAR 394 Environmental Toxicology and Public Health*
    • SUS 319 Preservation and Restoration of Ecosystems
    • SUS 322 Human Ecology
    • SUS 326 Conservation Genetics
    • SUS 340 Ecological and Social Dimensions of Disease
    • SUS 344 Sustainable Natural Resources
    • SUS 350 Contemporary Topics in Sustainability
    • SUS 351 Design Ecotoxicology Research
    • SUS 405 Environmental Sustainability in Tanzania
    1. Environmental Humanities

    Required Foundation Track Courses:

    Upper Division Track Electives

    Seven courses (at least 21 credits) from the choices below:

    • ENS 333/POL 333 Environmental Law*
    • GSS 325 GIS Design and Applications II
    • HIS 302 Environmental History in a Global Perspective
    • HIS 352/AAS 352 Environmental History of China
    • MAR 355 Coastal Cultural Experience
    • MAR 356 Maritime Traditions of New England
    • SOC 344 Environmental Sociology
    • SUS 314 Civilizations and Collapse
    • SUS 316 Cuba and Sustainability
    • SUS 317 Environmental History of North America
    • SUS 320 Utopia and Dystopia and the Environment in Literature and Culture
    • SUS 321 Ecology and Evolution in American Literature
    • SUS 324 Human Geography and the Environment
    • SUS 325 Environmental Writing and the Media
    • SUS 328 Ecofeminism, Literature, and Film
    • SUS 350 Contemporary Topics in Sustainability
    • SUS 362 Resilient Communities
    • SUS 366/PHI 366 Philosophy of the Environment 
    • SUS 405 Environmental Sustainability in Tanzania
    1. Societies, Economics, and Governance

    Required Foundation Track Courses:

    Upper Division Track Electives

    Six courses (at least 18 credits) from the choices below:

    • EDP 303 Spatial Economics
    • EDP 305 Risk Assessment and Sustainable Development
    • ENS 311/BIO 386 Ecosystem Ecology and Global Environment*
    • ENS 333/POL 333 Environmental Law
    • ENV 316 Coastal Zone Management
    • ENV 339 Economics of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems
    • GEO 304 Energy, Mineral Resources, and the Environment
    • GEO 313 Understanding Water Resources for the 21st Century
    • GSS 325 GIS Design and Applications II
    • GSS 350 Applied Spatial Data Analysis
    • HIS 302 Environmental History in a Global Perspective
    • HIS 352/AAS 352 Environmental History of China
    • MAR 392 Waste Management Issues*
    • POL 310 Immigration and Refugee Politics
    • POL 359 Public Policy Analysis
    • SOC 344 Environmental Sociology
    • SUS 302 Integrative Assessment Models
    • SUS 306 Business and Sustainability
    • SUS 307 Environmental Economics and Management
    • SUS 316 Cuba and Sustainability
    • SUS 317 Environmental History of North America
    • SUS 318 American Environmental Politics
    • SUS 324 Human Geography and the Environment
    • SUS 340 Ecological and Social Dimensions of Disease
    • SUS 350 Contemporary Topics in Sustainability
    • SUS 362 Resilient Communities
    • SUS 366/PHI 366 Philosophy of the Environment* 
    • SUS 405 Environmental Sustainability in Tanzania

    *Has a prerequisite outside of the major/track and/or requires CHE 129, 131, or 152.
    Other classes may be substituted with permission of undergraduate director.

    E. Communications and Writing Requirement

    The advanced writing component of the major in SUS requires registration in the 0-credit ​SUS 459 and approval of either a term paper or a laboratory report written for an advanced course in ​the appropriate major at Stony Brook (including Readings and Research  courses). Completion of SUS 459 with a grade of S will result in approval of the WRTD requirement. A list of preapproved courses can be obtained through the department. 

    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. Courses 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 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 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 or ENS 101 Prospects for Planet Earth
    • SUS 206 Economics and Sustainability

    And one of the following four courses:

    B. Required three courses from the following:

    • EDP 303 Spatial Economics
    • 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
    • ENV 310 Sustainable and Renewable Energy in Costa Rica or SUS 316 Cuba and Sustainability
    • ENV 340 Contemporary Topics in Environmental Science*
    • GSS 317 Geospatial Narratives: Deep Mapping for Humanities and Social Sciences
    • SUS 306 Business and Sustainability
    • SUS 307 Environmental Economics and Management
    • SUS 309 Global Environmental Politics
    • SUS 310 Migration, Development and Population Redistribution
    • SUS 311 Disasters and Society: A Global Perspective
    • SUS 312 Environment, Society, and Health
    • SUS 313 Ecosystem-Based Management
    • SUS 317 Environmental History of North America
    • SUS 318 American Environmental Politics
    • SUS 321 Ecology and Evolution in American Literature
    • SUS 401 Integrative, Collaborative Systems Studies
    • SUS 341 Environmental Treatises and Protocols
    • SUS 350 Contemporary Topics in Sustainability*
    • SUS 366 Philosophy of the Environment 

    *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

    For more information about SBC courses that fulfill major requirements, click 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:  Sharon Pochron

    Email: sharon.pochron@stonybrook.edu

    Undergraduate Advisor:  Nancy Black

    Program Office: E2361 Melville Library

    Phone: (631) 632-9404

    Website: https://www.somas.stonybrook.edu/ 

     

     





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