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 101Introduction to Sustainability3
SUST 201Social Justice and Sustainability3
Choose Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Geology, Geography course or other in consultation with advisorChoose in consultation with advisor. Ex: SOCI 101 Sociology, ANTH 101, SUST 380 Society & Environment in the Media, ESCI 101/105 Geology and , or Geography (can be in another department)3
ENGL/ Writing Course Choice 204, 240, 275, 304 ,307, 240, or 340Choose writing course with advisor: Creative Non-Fiction, Introduction to Journalism, Introduction to Multimedia Journalism, Travel and Adventure Writing, Advanced Composition Course, Special Topics3
2 Choice Upper DivisionChoose upper division in consultation with advisor. Ex: ENGL 340 Journalism Workshop, ENGL 370 or 375 Intermediate Mulitmedia Communications or Workshop , ENGL 381 Language Thought and Culture, ODAL 401 Wilderness Ethics, SUST 381 Travel course. SUST 490 Internship in Sustainability, SUST 380 or 480 Special Topics6
SUST 350Field Work in Sustainability3
SUST 450Sustainability Solutions3
Total Humanities Requirements:  24
Business Requirements
ECON 102Macroeconomics3
INTL 221 or INTL 252Political and Economic Geography or International Environmental Issues3
ENTP 310, MGMT 260, or MKTG 201Opportunity Recognition, Principles of Management, or Introduction to Marketing3
ENTP 400Creating Entrepreneurial Ventures3
Upper Division ChoiceChoose in Consultation with advisor INTL, INTB, SBRM, GBUS, MGMT, ENTP, ECON, MKTG3
Total Business Requirements:  15
Science Requirements
BIOL 104 or BIOL 107Health Nutrition and Sustainability or Exercise Physiology3
BIOL 110Cells Inheritance, Evolution and Animal Studies3
BIOL Upper Division FIELD courseOne 3 unit ecology based field course to be determined in consultation with advisor such as BIOL 356, 357, 359, 386, 420 ENVS 360 or other course determined with advisor3
Lab Science CourseBIOL 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 or 425Environmental Planning or Environmental Law4
Upper Division ChoiceENVS 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, or ESCI 320 Climate Change3
Total Science Requirements:  20
Interdisciplinary Requirements
INTD 250Principles of Interdisciplinary Studies3
INTD 300Service Learning3
INTD 493Senior Portfolio3
Total Interdisciplinary Requirements:  9
Interdisciplinary Sustainability Requirements:68
General Education Core Requirements:30
Total Credits:  120

* Math 251 Statistics is highly recommended for this degree

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