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Latest News from the Sustainability Studies Blog

Environmental Justice and Sustainability in Appalachia; Beeka Quesnell Reports from Southwest VA

Jul 24, 2014

This guest post is by RU undergraduate student and SUST major Beeka Quesnell, who is working as an intern at the Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards (SAMS) in the coal-mining mountain region of southwest Virginia this summer. Back in Chicago, Beeka … Continue reading

Fall 2014 Course Preview for SUST 330 Biodiversity at the Field Museum

Jul 20, 2014

This coming Fall 2014 semester the Sustainability Studies program will offer a special section of SUST 330 Biodiversity that will meet at the Field Museum of Natural History on Thursdays from 9am to 1pm. Overview of SUST 330 at the … Continue reading

Student Interns in Environmental Sustainability Install Drip Irrigation System at RU’s Community Garden

Jul 17, 2014

As reported here by SUST major Mary Beth Radeck on the Schaumburg’s Sustainable Future blog, students and staff at RU’s Schaumburg Campus installed a drip irrigation system in late June for the RU Community Garden, now in its third growing … 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.