Sustainability Studies, B.S.

Students pursuing the B.S. in Sustainability Studies examine human-environment interactions and develop sustainability strategies through policy, community engagement, and hands-on projects. 

Presenter presenting students with agricultural items
Seek solutions to today’s most pressing environmental challenges by asking better questions.
An Interdisciplinary Toolkit Students and faculty tackle questions from multiple scientific, technical, and social perspectives, to find innovative solutions.
A Well-Rounded Curriculum Analyze the social, political, and economic dynamics of environmental problems and sustainable systems.
A Living & Learning Community Rensselaer is home to Vasudha, a living and learning community for first-year students interested in earth, energy, water, and food systems.

Program Overview

Sustainability Studies is a degree designed for environmentally conscious students seeking an education that blends social and natural sciences, humanities, and technology.

Outstanding students at Rensselaer have the option to complete a dual major, for a distinctive career profile. These combinations of degree programs - for example, Chemical Engineering and Sustainability Studies - are designed so that you can complete the requirements for both majors in just four years.

Sustainability Studies prepares students to work as environmental experts in government, industry, and non-profits. The Sustainability Studies degree combines techniques and insights from the social sciences and humanities to pursue a healthy environment, economic prosperity, and social justice.

Coursework, research, and co-curricular initiatives like the Vasudha Living & Learning Community equip environmentally conscious students with the scientific, technical, and social perspectives needed to find innovative solutions to issues such as the global food system, water pollution, and climate change.

For more information about the requirements for this degree, please consult the Rensselaer Catalog for your starting year at Rensselaer or contact the STS Undergraduate Programs Director, Professor Matthew Wolf-Meyer ( To change your major or to declare a dual major, book a meeting at the HASS Student Services Advising Hub. If you have already declared this major, you can direct questions to your faculty advisor and the HASS Student Services Advising Hub.

Program Outcomes

Students who graduate from this program will have the ability to: 

  • Analyze the social, political, and economic dynamics of environmental problems and sustainable systems.
  • Conduct research using methods from the social sciences and humanities to pursue sustainability, which will prepare students for graduate and professional studies.
  • Collaborate with diverse stakeholders in order to formulate policy and design interventions that address sustainability issues, with attention to ethics, justice, and local cultural understandings.

After Graduation

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this program are prepared for careers in environmental and public policy, nonprofit research and advocacy, and green industries.


The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Russell Sage Laboratory (SAGE) 5304, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180
(518) 276-6575

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