Welcome to the SDSU Sustainability Program
Humans are currently facing some of the greatest environmental challenges ever experienced by our species. Global climate change, energy shortages, loss of species and ecological diversity, deforestation, environmental pollution, and acidifying oceans, combined with vast differences in political power and wealth lend urgency to studies devoted to sustainable policies and environmental management. The SDSU sustainability program is intended to meet these challenges by enabling students to explore the interacting cultural, sociopolitical, and biophysical aspects of complex environmental problems and devise practical solutions. To accomplish this, sustainability majors are introduced to concepts and methodologies from the humanities, social sciences, and the natural sciences and gain an interdisciplinary understanding of the many pressing environmental issues facing the nation and the world. The requirements for the sustainability major involve 15 units of premajor courses, 12 units of integrative core courses, 24 units of field distribution courses, a international experience, and a three unit capstone course. These requirements are in addition to the University's general education requirements.
There is little doubt that the next 50 years will see a dramatic growth in jobs related to environmental concerns. It is one of several “megatrends” and promises current and future growth in career opportunities.
What is sustainability?
There is no universal definition of sustainability but for purposes of this program sustainability is understood as “meeting the needs of present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Or as expressed by the Iroquois of eastern North America: “In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation…even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine”. The needs, both present and future, include environmental, social, and economic goals, requiring students to be familiar with a range of ways of thinking about the world.