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The interdisciplinary field of Sustainability Studies caters to the growing need for environmental literacy and awareness as a solution to unsustainable human behavior and environmental degradation. 

This academic discipline not only includes environmental sciences and social sciences, but also the study of social and cultural systems, from history to anthropology to philosophy to economics and policy. It focuses  on the importance of climate change, poverty and development and looks forward to creating a sustainable future for both humans and the environment. 

The program curriculum includes extensive collaborative and interactive learning, problem solving, and direct hands-on engagement.



Sustainability means long-lasting health, integrity, diversity, and vitality for all living systems. The 21st century is one with many pressing issues confronting humanity such as climate change, biodiversity or food security. To respond to these challenges we need science that is not only integrative in nature but also sustainable. 


The main goal of sustainability studies is to find ways to develop novel solutions to environmental problems. For example, Engineers at Stanford University have developed a fuel cell that can run on the citrus fruit’s leftovers. The idea is to take organic waste (eg: orange or lemon peels) and turn it into clean energy. Sustainability Studies cater to building a strong, competitive economy and mobilizing environmental protection by  conserving, improving and enhancing our natural and developed environment.



The field of sustainability studies is best suited for someone who is interested in current environmental challenges and looking to incorporate a variety of subject areas and research methods into their work.

Sustainability is important to study even if one is not an environmental science major as it is the key to a better future. Humans rely on natural resources for business, activities, and survival. 

Ignoring sustainability can lead to severe exhaustion of natural resources.


Few universities across the world currently offer sustainability studies as a degree program.

Some universities offer the programme albeit with a different name, making it imperative to read through coursework before finalizing the major.

Divided into subcategories of energy studies or environment studies or urban sustainable development, various  prestigious universities across the world offer certificate or minor programmes in sustainability studies


While a sustainability career typically requires a bachelor’s degree, certain positions may require more advanced educational credentials. Other relevant degrees that can help in pursuing a sustainability career are:

  • Master of Business Administration with a Sustainability Concentration: This field of study focuses on sustainability and environmental management in the business sector.
  • Master of Science in Global Energy Management: This field encompasses energy management such as fuel resourcing, monitoring and acquisition with international applications.
  • International Environmental Law & Policy: When pursuing this degree, students study the planning and implementation of environmental policies, laws and regulations.



“Green Job” growth is steadily rising and outpacing most other employment areas. The study of sustainability teaches students to be proactive, critical and creative thinkers, all of which prove to be invaluable skills while finding solutions to environmental problems.


The Department of Energy, which tracks energy jobs by sector, noted that solar energy for electricity production is expected to grow 107% by 2022 and wind power is to increase by 96%. 

Similarly, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in “energy conservation and efficiency” will increase by 38% from 2012-2022. 



Pursuing Interdisciplinary Careers:

A student might be interested in pursuing a sustainable studies degree as they can utilize this background knowledge at diverse career roles.

Graduates from this degree are prepared to enter a variety of fields and graduate programs including education, law, politics, policy and planning, journalism, business, landscape and architectural design, renewable energy, conservation, marine sciences, forestry, environmental health, food studies, and the arts, among others. 


Pursuing A Career In Sustainability:

A career in sustainability involves preventing the depletion of natural resources, analyzing an organization’s current ecological impact and advocating for the use of sustainable practices. It also involves policy analysis and knowledge of environmental regulations and climate change.

Scholarly activities and positions in academia are also viable possibilities within sustainable studies.


Some of the positions in this field are listed below:

  • Environmental Consultant
  • Research Scientist
  • Environmental geologist
  • Urban planner
  • Ecologist
  • Landscape architect
  • Air quality engineer



Creating a sustainable future for humans and animals