Sustainability Minor

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Interdisciplinary minor in sustainability

Sustainability is often defined as "meeting the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." The new minor in sustainability at Iowa State University is available to any ISU student who wants to further learn about sustainability issues affecting humans today and in the future.

The interdisciplinary minor in sustainability exposes students to ideas and issues related to a sustainable, balanced and ethical future for the planet and its inhabitants. The minor is at the interplay between environmental, social and economic factors in improving the quality of human life within the capacity of supporting ecosystems.

The minor will help students understand the dynamics of biological population growth and decline in the natural world, predator-prey models, over-exploitation of natural resources, energy balances, and much more. Students also will learn how human behavior affects the natural world and the ability of earth to sustain life.

In addition, students in the minor will understand how the decisions they make as consumers, workers, resource owners, citizens and policymakers affect human welfare in this and future generations. Students also will be able to articulate why some environmental, social and economic profiles are sustainable and others are not.

The minor will provide students knowledge sufficient to apply sustainable practices in their personal and professional lives.

The colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Design, Engineering, and Liberal Arts and Sciences sponsor the minor in sustainability.

Requirements for the minor in sustainability

The minor in sustainability may be earned by completing a total of 15 credits including two required courses and nine elective credits from an approved list. Of the nine elective credits, at least six credits must be at the 300 level or higher. The required courses are:

  • Technology and Social Change 220 (Globalization and Sustainability)
  • Anthropology 230 (Globalization and the Human Condition)

Complete list of required and elective courses approved for minor in sustainability

For more information or to obtain a signature for adding a minor in sustainability, visit the student services office in 103 Bessey Hall.