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Minor in Sustainability

To prepare students for leadership in the 21st century, Ball State offers an undergraduate minor in sustainability.

Participating students will be provided a breadth of exposure to issues including systems theory, values and ethics, atmosphere and climate, population, energy, water, land, food (land-based and freshwater/marine-based), health (disease and nutrition), materials (including resource harvesting, resource limitations, resource recycling), natural biological systems (including ecosystem services), economies and poverty.

Upon completion of the minor, students will be able to: 

    Explain the meaning of sustainability. 
        1. Describe social, environmental, and economic elements of long-term human survival. 
        2. Understand the systems nature of the interrelationships among social, environmental, and economic elements of civilization. 
        3. Articulate their personal values as related to this complexity. 

    Apply concepts of sustainability in decision making. 
        1. Articulate within a systems context the role of their discipline for long-term human survival. 
        2. Analyze problems using criteria for long-term human survival within the social, environmental, and economic elements of civilization. 
        3. Identify leverage points within the social, environmental, and economic elements of civilization for interventions that will help to ensure long-term human survival.

It is intended that some courses in the minor be those that qualify for UCC21 standing under the WISER+ criteria, especially those courses designated as E (with a focus on sustainability specifically). Although most of the courses listed are currently taught in face-to-face instructional format, there are some that are web-based only and the anticipation is that future additional web-based courses could be offered.

The courses from which students will select, do not have onerous prerequisite requirements. The opening course for the minor is SUST250 Introduction to Sustainability. This course will expose students to the complexities of social, economic and environmental systems and their interactions; from this foundation the role of students as world citizens, in shepherding resources and valuing cultures and understanding economies will be developed.

The completion of the sustainability minor is to be achieved by taking SUST400 Creating a Sustainable Future. This is a hands-on, project-based, immersive learning course in which students apply to a real-world problem the awareness, understanding and ability developed in the previous courses.

For a printable brochure describing the minor, click here.

For course choices, click here.

For an advising spreadsheet, click here.

Click here to listen to an Indiana Public Radio Interview of John Vann discussing BSU's Minor in Sustainability.

Click here to read a BSU Daily News article discussing the minor.