This interdisciplinary major blends study in business, environmental science, health, law, writing, political science, and ethics to create an innovative course of study that addresses contemporary issues. The major addresses questions about the sustainability of our communities, our businesses, our environmental systems, our schools, our cultures, and our lifestyles. It draws on the strengths of our liberal arts institution and prepares students to become valuable and successful members of our society.


Interdisciplinary Studies Majors in Sustainability will:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the sustainable economic view by integrating the principles of business, economics, and entrepreneurship.
  2. Demonstrate and communicate a command of the concepts associated with the sustainable social view, a way of life that supports viable human communities.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency with the principles of environmental sustainability through an understanding of environmental systems as an interplay of biological, physical/chemical, and cultural dynamics with the goal of sustaining natural resources in perpetuity.
  4. Synthesize the interdisciplinary forms of sustainability into a holistic view that integrates paradigms for understanding complex human and non-human systems.
  5. Evaluate the sustainability of environmental institutions, legal frameworks, property rights, and culture.
  6. Demonstrate a commitment to promoting sustainability at the local, regional, national, and international levels.

Ask a question:

Katherine Zanto
Interdisciplinary Studies Program Chair
775-831-1314 x7529

Degree Requirements

Humanities Requirements
SUST 101 Introduction to Sustainability 3
SUST 201 Social Sustainability: Political Science and Social Justice 3
Choose lower division Choose lower division in consultation with advisor. Ex: Sociology, or Geology, Geography (can be in another department) 3
ENGL/ Writing Course Choice 204, 304 ,307, 240, or 340 Choose writing course with advisor: Creative Non-Fiction, Journalism, Travel and Adventure Writing, Advanced Composition Course, Special Topics 3
PSYC 441 Environmental Perceptions 3
2 Choice Upper Division Choose upper division in consultation with advisor. Ex: EDUC 460 Introduction to Education & Educational Research, ENGL 381 Language Thought and Culture, ODAL 401 Wilderness Ethics, SUST 490 Internship in Sustainability 6
SUST 450 Society and Global Justice: Sustainability Capstone 3
Total Humanities Requirements:   24
Business Requirements
ECON 102 Macroeconomics 3
INTL 221 or INTL 252 Political and Economic Geography or International Environmental Issues 3
MGMT 260 Principles of Management 3
ENTP 313 or 410 Creating Entrepreneurial/ Social Ventures 3
Upper Division Choice Choose in Consultation with advisor INTL, INTB, SBRM, GBUS, MGMT, ENTP 3
Total Business Requirements:   15
Science Requirements
BIOL 104 or BIOL 107 Health Nutrition and Sustainability or Exercise Physiology 3
BIOL 110 Cells Inheritance, Evolution and Animal Studies 3
BIOL Upper Division FIELD course One 3 unit ecology based field course to be determined in consultation with advisor such as BIOL 356, 357, 359, 386, 420 or other course determined with advisor 3
Lab Science Course BIOL 381/ 385- Ecology and Lab, BIOL 421/425 Aquatic Ecology and Lab, ESCI 301/305 Hydrology and Lab, ENVS 355/356 Environmental Engineering and Lab, ENVS 421/425 GIS and Lab. 4
ENVP 423, 425 or INTB 376 Choose: Environmental Planning, Environmental Law, International Law 3
Upper Division Choice ENVS 353 Alternative Energy Systems, ESCI 420 Geology of Death Valley and Eastern Sierra, ENVS 480 Special topics in Environmental Science (3 credits), BIOL 407 Conservation Biology 3
Total Science Requirements:   19
Interdisciplinary Requirements
INTD 250 Principles of Interdisciplinary Studies 3
INTD 300 Service Learning 3
INTD 493 Senior Portfolio 3
Total Interdisciplinary Requirements:   9
Interdisciplinary Sustainability Requirements: 64
General Education Core Requirements: 30
Electives: 23
Total Credits:   120

*Requirements listed above are based off the 2013-2014 Catalog, for other information check past catalogs or graduation requirements.