Roosevelt University in Chicago, Schaumburg and Online - Logo

Sustainability Studies BA


Roosevelt's University's Sustainability Studies (SUST) program is an exciting new undergraduate major that is interdisciplinary and environmentally-focused. Offered through the College of Professional Studies, the SUST program is the first such sustainability-themed bachelor's degree program in the Chicago area. Its overall goals include:

  • Engaging students in the pressing public policy concerns surrounding consumption, energy usage, and viable economic growth.
  • Fostering students' environmental literacy using rigorous, scholarly-based research in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
  • Exploring social justice issues on a range of fronts, including environmental justice, resources allocation, urban development, and social equity.
  • Positioning Roosevelt University as a leader on issues of sustainability, which has become one of the critical social justice issues of the 21st century.

Students graduate with a major in Sustainability Studies will have a truly interdisciplinary understanding of the varied dimensions of sustainability, both from a local and global perspective; will be fluent in articulating how sustainability issues relate to a matter of the environment, the economy, and social equity; and will demonstrate proficiency in critical thinking, reading, writing, and research skills. More specifically, students will learn how to:

  • Identify and explain the central sustainability problems of the 21st century in multiple arenas, including energy, transportation, food production, waste management, water availability, conservation, and general consumption.
  • Draw on a foundation of scientific, environmental, and quantitative literacy in order to understand and assess the science behind major sustainability problems, such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, and the threats to natural resources.
  • Apply the scientific method and quantitative literacy skills to the study of natural and social ecosystems.
  • Recognize the local, national, and global social justice implications of resource allocation, food production, energy consumption, and waste production;
  • Understand the political processes and policy actors central to progress in sustainability.
  • Understand the importance of leadership as central to social change and technical innovation with respect to creating more sustainable communities.
  • Apply knowledge about sustainability to their areas of personal interest and/or work professions.


English 101 is a pre-requisite for all 200-level SUST courses; the University Writing Requirement is a pre-requisite for all 300-level SUST courses.

Grade of C- or higher required in all Major courses.

  SUST 210 Sustainable Future .....3
  SUST 220 Water .....3
  SUST 230 Food .....3
  SUST 240 Waste .....3
  SUST 310 Energy and Climate Change .....3
  SUST 320 Sprawl, Transportation, and Planning .....3
  SUST 330 Biodiversity .....3
SUST Elective (choose one of the following)
  SUST 340 Policy, Law, and Ethics OR .....3
  SUST 350 Service Learning OR .....3
  SUST 390 Special Topics .....3


Two electives, chosen in consultation with an advisor, from these subject areas: SUST, biology, chemistry, environmental science, math (especially statistics), GIS, commerce and enterprise, criminal justice, organizational leadership, paralegal studies

Functional Area or Minor

  Related courses in a discipline or interdisciplinary area selected in consultation with an advisor .....18


Proficiency equivalent to Math 095 by course completion or Roosevelt placement.

Other Requirements

  ACP 101 ACP 101, for students with less than 15 credits in transfer .....3
  PLS 201 Pro-Seminar -OR- (see PLS 302) .....6
  PLS 302 Methods of Critical Reasoning (per advising) -OR- (see PLS 201) .....3
General Education
  Three courses in Humanities .....9
  Three courses in Natural Sciences .....9
  Three courses in Social Sciences .....9
General Education (University Writing Requirement)
  ENG 101 Introduction to Composition .....3
  ENG 102 Argument, Analysis, and Research .....3
To be selected from any area: additional courses to complete the 120-hour requirement.

* Electives must be chosen in consultation with advisor from these subjects: SUST, commerce, transportation, organizational leadership, GIS, biology, chemistry, environmental science, math (especially statistics), paralegal. These courses may be in the same subject as the Functional Area and may be used to complete a double-major.