This is an archive of the 2021-2022 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2021-2022 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit



SUS 500. Foundations of Sustainable Systems (3)

This course will teach the foundations of sustainability from a broad, systems-level approach. Topics include human impacts on the environment, ecological systems and natural resources; world views and carrying capacity; food and agriculture; energy, water and waste; transportation and the built environment; corporate social responsibility; and the psychology of change. Case studies and research are used to discuss how changing current practices might impact our ecological footprint, social well-being, and economic prosperity. Major obstacles and challenges faced in attempting to form a sustainable future at the local, national, and global levels will be discussed.

SUS 510. Resource Use and Management (3)

Recommended Preparatory Course: SUS 500. In this course, students will learn current and best practices for resource use, monitoring and management.  Discussions will focus on energy and water consumption and sources, waste and emissions. In the course we will evaluate alternative practices for use and supply of energy and water taking into account technical, environmental, economic and social considerations, including disposal and waste. Topics will include practical methods for monitoring, computing and managing resource consumption; efficiency measures; alternative technologies; and computational and management tools.

SUS 520. Regulatory Framework for Sustainability (3)

Recommended Preparatory Course: SUS 500. This course examines the law and regulatory policy governing the operation of businesses and organizations and their impact on sustainability. Topics include an examination of sustainable business practices in light of international and U.S. federal and state law governing environmental policies and practices; implementation of law and policy to further environmental sustainability; compliance with the legal and regulatory systems; disclosure and risk assessment in business and organizational operations; sustainable natural resources law (including management of resources and legal doctrines that affect biodiversity conservation and sustainable resource utilization); energy law and regulation; land use and development and ethical use of resources.

SUS 530. Mixed Methods in Sustainability Research (3)

Prerequisites: SUS 500 and SUS 510. This course provides an overview of the methodologies utilized by practitioners of sustainability. These qualitative and quantitative methodologies are applied in multiple ways in a wide variety of government, business, non-profit, NGO, and educational sectors. Thus, becoming familiar with these tools will further help students develop their own methodological skills which they will eventually apply in their capstone project.

SUS 540. Sustainable Business Practices (3)

Recommended Preparatory Course: SUS 500.  An interdisciplinary exploration of strategic issues in sustainability. Uses various frameworks such as systems thinking to analyze opportunities and threats sustainability creates for organizations. May include lectures, readings, case studies, computer simulations, experiential exercises, guest speakers, field trips, and student projects.

SUS 698. Thesis or Graduate Project (3-3)

Prerequisites: SUS 500, SUS 510, SUS 530; Graduate standing; Instructor permission required. This is the culminating experience for this graduate degree. By synthesizing and applying the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills gained in their prior graduate coursework, students will plan, prepare and complete a thesis or graduate project that creatively addresses a local, regional or global problem to demonstrate their mastery of sustainability principles and theory, as well as ethical and moral values in sustainability practice. May be repeated once for credit.