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Latest News from the Sustainability Studies Blog

Microcosm Film Project: Fall Update

Nov 21, 2014

by Michele Hoffman Trotter, SUST adjunct professor at Roosevelt University and director/co-producer of the Microcosm film project As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, the Microcosm team pauses to reflect on how much has happened and how far we have come over … Continue reading

SETF Activist Tom Shepherd Speaks at Roosevelt on Nov 19

Nov 17, 2014

The Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project at Roosevelt University continues its Fall Distinguished Environmental Organizer Series this Wednesday, Nov. 19th, 3:30 – 5 p.m., with a special presentation by Tom Shepherd of the Southeast Environmental Task Force. Mr. Shepherd will talk about … Continue reading

Will County E-Waste Recycling Program’s Future Uncertain

Nov 15, 2014

In the article “Future of Will County Electronics Recycling Program in Jeopardy, Director Warns” published on 12 Nov 2014 in the Joliet Herald-News, reporter Lauren Leone-Cross details the fiscal challenges facing the hitherto effective drop-off program and uncovers the difficulties in … 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.