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Latest News from the Sustainability Studies Blog

Food Access Internship at Prairie Crossing Farm

Jan 25, 2015

POSITION SUMMARY: This internship with the Prairie Crossing Farm and Liberty Prairie Foundation is focused on community engagement and distributing fresh vegetables via multiple programs to underserved communities. The position offers the successful candidate a diverse and meaningful experience in the … Continue reading

Sustainability Studies in 2014: The Year in Review

Jan 20, 2015

2014 was another productive and exciting year in the Sustainability Studies undergraduate program at Roosevelt University, and we’re looking forward to a great 2015 as we start classes this winter. Here we celebrate 2014 with a brief rundown on student activities … Continue reading

Honoring Dr. King and the Ongoing Quest for Social and Environmental Justice

Jan 19, 2015

Today’s national holiday in recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday is an apt time to acknowledge the persistence of social injustice and environmental racism in our society, and to encourage and support the ongoing quest for justice and equity locally, … Continue reading

More from the Sustainability Studies Blog

Sustainability Studies Program Overview

Welcome to the new Sustainability Studies program at Roosevelt University's College of Professional Studies, the first degree program of its kind in the Chicago region and one of the few bachelor's degree in sustainability programs in the US.

Chicago River Field Trip

Canoeing the North Branch of the Chicago River: rafting up to discuss the river's ecology and history with our canoe guides from Friends of the Chicago River, fall 2011 (photo by M. Bryson)

The nation and the world face an unprecedented challenge in the 21st century: we need to redesign and rethink much of our way of life to make it sustainable given the planet’s limited and fragile resources. Rigorous science has explained that current consumption trends threaten the planet with extraordinary climate change, which threatens extreme social dislocation by placing hardships on vulnerable peoples. Modern systems ranging from transportation networks to community building to food production will need to be significantly changed and adapted to this new reality. The leaders of this critical effort will be the next generation of college-educated students.

Roosevelt University's Sustainability Studies Program

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

Students graduating 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; be fluent in articulating how sustainability issues relate to matter of the environment, the economy, and social equity; and 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, 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 by forming hypotheses, gathering empirical data (in classroom- and field-based contexts), critically analyzing said data, and effectively presenting them in graphical and written form;
  • Recognize not only issues of concern to the U.S., but also the global social justice implications of resource allocation, food production, energy consumption, waste production, and related issues;
  • 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; and
  • Apply knowledge about sustainability to their areas of personal interest and/or work professions.

You can pursue an undergraduate major in Sustainability Studies through two different pathways: a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree designed for new Freshman and Transfer students, or the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in the Fast-Track Program for Adults, for students 24 and older. In both cases, the major requirements are the same -- what differs are the general education requirements.

In both the BA options, you can choose a minor in a related field to make your sustainability studies major more focused and powerful.

Consider pursuing a double-major in SUST and another discipline offered in the College of Professional Studies.

Majoring in something else? Consider complementing your chosen field of study with a minor in Sustainability Studies. The course sequence for the minor (18sh) can be completed fully online, or through a mix of online and on-campus classes.

For more information on which SUST degree option is right for you, contact a College of Professional Studies advisor.

Check out our Sust at RU Blog for news, events, student activities, and faculty accomplishments.  Also see our Facebook page and our student web project, Schaumburg's Sustainable Future.