Overview

What is sustainability? 
Sustainability is balancing environmental integrity, economic prosperity, and social equity without compromising the needs of future generations. 

Why minor in Sustainability Studies? 
The Sustainability Studies minor explores the complex interplay among environmental justice and protection, economic vitality, and social equity through interdisciplinary, action, and field-based learning that blends the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. The minor is designed to encourage undergraduate students from any discipline to explore the three pillars of sustainability (economic, social, and environmental) beyond coursework in their major. It offers students broad opportunities for internships and experiences that can lead to fulfilling jobs upon graduation. 

Topics Covered

  • Climate change and sustainable energy  
  • International sustainable development  
  • Political ecology 
  • Sustainable urban planning and design  
  • Sustainable transportation 
  • Sustainable food systems

Outcomes

  • Students develop the ability to apply sustainability as a framework for achieving ecological health, economic vitality, and social equity across multiple domains of human society. 
  • Students deepen their familiarity with many interrelated social and environmental problems facing Earth and innovative solutions-based thinking being applied to these.  

Requirements

Program Description

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is balancing environmental integrity, economic prosperity, and social equity without compromising the needs of future generations.

Why Sustainability Studies Minor?

The Sustainability Studies minor explores the complex interplay among environmental justice and protection, economic vitality, and social equity, through interdisciplinary, action and field-based learning that blends the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. The minor is designed to encourage undergraduate students from any discipline to explore the three pillars of sustainability (economic, social, and environmental) beyond coursework in their major. It offers students broad opportunities for internships and experiences that can lead to fulfilling jobs upon graduation.

Minors in Geography, Planning and Sustainability

The department offers two (2) Geography Minors which require 18 credit hours. GPS 0101 - World Regional Geography is required in each minor. The student is advised of the courses related to specific interests from the courses listed below.

The Geography minor involves a specialization in a particular region of the world. The Sustainability Studies minor includes courses related to site location analysis and application. Regional Planning majors are not eligible to earn the Sustainability Studies Minor.

Requirements for the Sustainability Studies Minor

Requirements for the Sustainability Studies Minor is a total of 18-19 credits, twelve (12) of which must be taken at Westfield State University as follows:

Part 1: Foundation courses: Two GPS Courses (6 credits)

  • GPS 0105 Introduction to Community Planning
  • GPS 0106 Environment, Sustainability, and Society

Part 2: Science Courses: Any one of the following Courses (3 - 4 credits)

Part 3: Sustainability and Planning Courses: Any two of the following GPS Courses (6 credits)

Part 4: Elective Course: Any one Course from Other Department

Faculty members may advise the course selection based on the need and background of individual students. With the approval of the Chair of GPS, and upper-level course (200 or 300 level) that is offered by another department may substitute for no more than two of the GPS courses. Students seeking more information about the minor or needing academic advice about completing the minor should contact the Chair of GPS.

For course descriptions and additional prerequisite recommendations, please see WSU catalog at http://catalog.westfield.ma.edu/