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Sustainability Minor Program

UMass Dartmouth is pleased to offer a minor in Sustainability.‌‌‌

Sustainability is the ability of a community or socioeconomic system to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

In the Sustainability minor program, you will learn about the causes of unsustainable practices and explore solutions for creating more sustainable communities and businesses.

Areas of focus in Sustainability include:            ‌

  • Renewable energy
  • Urban development
  • Transportation planning
  • Environmental challenges and solutions
  • Natural resource and land use
  • Sustainability reporting and "triple bottom line" accounting
  • Environmental communication
  • The food system
  • Green entrepreneurship

The Sustainability minor will enhance your attractiveness to potential employers, such as firms that produce sustainable goods and services, businesses interested in greening their production methods, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

This is a valuable asset in today’s labor market: a recent survey revealed that at least one-third of all UMD Sustainability alumni are currently employed in the sustainability sector.[1]

What’s more, you can combine all or most of the requirements of the Sustainability minor with your University Studies, college, and major requirements.

Current and Upcoming Sustainability Courses

Sustainability Minor Requirements

Questions and Answers about Declaring the Minor

University Studies and College Requirements Fulfilled by Sustainability Courses


Sustainability Minor Requirements

In order to earn a minor in Sustainability Studies, you must complete 18 credits of coursework. All courses may double-count toward University Studies and college requirements. For students who entered UMass Dartmouth in or after Fall 2014, the requirements are as follows:

  • SUS 101, Principles of Sustainability or SUS 202, Topics in Sustainability
  • One course from each of the following three content areas:
    • Sustainability in the Natural Sciences
    • Sustainability in Economy, Society, and Policy
    • Sustainability in the Arts, Thought, and Media
  • Two courses from any content area(s)
At least three of these courses (nine credits) must be numbered 300 or higher. These nine credits may not double-count toward major department requirements.
You can fulfill all or most of the requirements of the Sustainability minor with courses that fulfill your University Studies, college, and/or major requirements.
  • If your major department offers courses for the Sustainability minor, you may count up to two courses in your major toward the minor, provided that at three of the other courses that you take for the minor are numbered 300 or higher and do not count toward your major requirements.


Questions and Answers about Declaring the Minor

Q.        How do I declare the Sustainability minor?

A.        It’s easy:

  1. Contact the Director of Sustainability Studies, Professor Robert Darst, at rdarst@umassd.edu. Professor Darst will give you a Minor Request Form.
  2. Secure the signatures of your academic advisor and your major department chair.
  3. Take the form to the Registrar.


Q.        When should I declare the Sustainability minor?

A.        You can declare the Sustainability minor as soon as you have completed 24 or more credits—typically, at the end of your first academic year. Don’t wait any longer than you have to: The minor will appear on your transcript as soon as the paperwork is processed, which may help you to secure internships, scholarships, or a summer job.


Q.        Do I have to wait until I declare the minor to start taking Sustainability courses?

A.        NO. Eligible courses count toward the minor, regardless of when you take them. If you are interested in the Sustainability minor, start fulfilling your University Studies and/or college distribution requirements with courses that count toward the minor. For example, if you are a non-science major, you can fulfill your University Studies natural science requirements (2A and 2B) with Sustainability courses. Even if you decide not to pursue the minor, those requirements will still be fulfilled.


Q.        What happens if I decide not to complete the minor?

A.        That’s easy, too. If you decide that you do not wish to complete the minor, obtain the "Request to Drop Minor" and secure the minor director's signature. No other signatures are required.

University Studies and College Requirements Fulfilled by Sustainability Courses

Note: To save space, this list does NOT include majors-only Sustainability electives in BIO, CEN, and MNE. Click here for the complete list. "Sp16" indicates courses offered in Spring 2016.

SUS = Sustainability minor content area. NS = Natural Sciences; ATM = Arts, Thought & Media; ESP = Economy, Society & Policy

US = University Studies

CAS = College of Arts & Science distribution requirement. H = Humanities, SS = Social Science, NS = Natural Science, L = Literature


  Coursenameandnumber SUS US CAS Prerequisites Sp16 
100 & 200 Level Classes SUS 101 Principles of Sustainability   4A or 4C SS  
SUS 202 Topics in Sustainability   4A SS    
BIO 112 The Ocean Environment NS 2A NS    
BIO 143 Ecology and Environmental Issues NS 2B NS    
BNG 162 Designing a Healthier Planet and Its People NS 2B NS  
CHM 130 Chemistry and the Environment NS 2A NS    
ECO 107 Economics of Pollution ESP 4C SS  
ENL 200 Environmental Literature ATM  3A L ENL 102  
FIA 223 Nature Drawing I ATM        
FIA 224 Nature Drawing II ATM       
MAR 110 Natural Hazards and the Ocean NS 2A NS  
PHY 162 Science, Technology & Society II: Environment NS 2B NS  
PHY 171 Planet Earth & Its Resources I NS 2A NS    
PHY 172 Planet Earth & Its Resources II NS    NS    
300 & 400 Level Classes SUS 350 American Environmental Policy ESP   SS SUS 101 or 202  
ARH 322 Art of the City ATM    H  
ARH 349 Architecture & Sustainability ATM  3B or 4B; 5B H    
ECO 337 Environmental Economics ESP    SS ECO 231 (4B/SS)  
ECO 360 Cost-Benefit Analysis ESP   SS ECO 231 (4B/SS)
EGR 303 Engineering Economics ESP  4B   Engineering majors only  
ENL 357 Environmental Communication ATM    H ENL 260 (1C), ENL 257, or permission of instructor  
MGT 312 Legal Framework of Business ESP      Declared Sustainability minor or concentration
PHL/WGS 307 Ecofeminism ATM    H    
PSC 347 Environmental Law ESP    SS Junior standing  
PSC 384 International Law & Organization ESP  4C SS PSC 161, SUS 101, or permission of instructor
PSC 385 Politics of Global Climate Change ESP  4C SS PSC 161, SUS 101, or permission of instructor  
PSC 400 State and Local Public Policy ESP    SS PSC 101 (4B/SS) or permission of instructor  
PSC 477 Global Environmental Politics ESP    SS PSC 161, SUS 101, or permission of instructor  
SOA 334 Food, Feast, and Famine ESP    SS Sophomore standing
SOA 381 Social Impact of Science & Technology ESP    SS Sophomore standing
SOA 386 Sustainability in Action ESP  5B SS Sophomore standing
PHY 419 Advanced Traffic Engineering NS 5B NS None for Sustainability minors  



[1] Data from a 2014 survey of the LinkedIn profiles of all UMD sustainability graduates. 40 percent of the graduates did not provide sufficient information to determine the nature of their current employment.