Are You Committed to Promoting Social, Environmental and Economic Justice?

Sustainability majors learn to find new solutions regarding more sustainable ways for humans to live while allowing ecosystems to thrive; understand the complex nature of these problems and the interdisciplinary approaches necessary to develop viable solutions.

Sustainability Degree Program Goals

  • Systems Thinking Orientation
  • Problem Solving from Multiple Perspectives
  • Ability to Formulate and Test Creative Hypotheses
  • Practitioner Orientation
  • Social Justice Perspective

Building Individual Empowerment and Facilitating Equitable Change

AUM Sustainability majors understand that inequality breeds unsustainable ways of living. Approach environmental problems from a grounded social perspective of equity and sustainability. Graduates of the Sustainability Program will gain an understanding of the duties and obligations of global citizenship and deepen their commitments to their communities and the world to foster more equitable and sustainable practices.

Sustainability is a mindful approach to living smartly, efficiently, and in harmony with the natural world, that surrounds us. I am truly in awe and inspired by the shear beauty and complexity of the planet’s various ecosystems. My experience here at Antioch has been eye opening and honored to be a student here. My fascination with nature and a curiosity to learn more married well with the Sustainability program here at Antioch University Midwest.

Kane Andrew Thompson Student, Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability, Expected Graduation 2013

The AUM Sustainability program prepares graduates for careers in a variety of fields including environmental protection and remediation, waste reduction, green building, sustainable agriculture, climate change, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

General Education (15 cr)

  • GNED-3210 Experience and Expression (3)
  • GNED-3250 Modes and Methods of Learning (3)
  • GNED-3310 Literary Analysis and Argumentation (3)
  • GNED-3350 Culture, Conflict, and Social Research (3)
  • GNED-3550 Leadership (3)

Major Requirements (39 cr)
Humanities Component: Take 3 of the following 4 courses (9 cr)

  • PHIL-4120 Environmental Ethics (3)
  • SST-3500 Thinking in Systems (3)
  • SST-3600 Population Growth & Global Poverty (3)
  • SST-3700 Culture and Ecology (3)

Social Sciences Component: Take 3 of the following 4 courses (9 cr)

  • PLS-4250 Energy and Environmental Policy (3)
  • SOS-4200 Environmental Economics (3)
  • SOS-4220 Environmental Health (3)
  • SST-4400 Resource Scarcity and Conflict (3)

Science Component: Take 3 of the following 4 courses (9 cr)

  • SCI-3150 Environmental Science (3)
  • SCI-3250 Physical Science (3)
  • SCI-3350 Biological / Ecological Systems (3)
  • SST-4300 Conservation (3)

Applied Learning Component: Take 3 of the following 4 courses (9 cr)

  • SST-4100 Housing and Energy (3)
  • SST-4200 Transportation and Energy (3)
  • SST-4500 Green Entrepreneurship (3)
  • SST-4600 Sustainable Agriculture (3)

PRO-4970 Senior Project (3)

GNED-3210 Experience and Expression
Students discover the uniqueness of each human life by reading and comparing life stories about transformative experiences. They learn to write in their own voice from their own life experience employing rhetorical modes such as narration, description, and reflection.
GNED-3250 Modes & Methods of Learning
This course shows ways to identify and apply diverse modes of learning to achieve ends such as acquiring knowledge of self and world, solving problems, producing works of art, or engaging in public speaking. Students learn to distinguish facts from values, intuition from logic, imagination from objective  representation, beliefs from arguments, synthesis from analysis, and qualitative from quantitative reasoning. They practice self-awareness and employ evidence and logic as foundations of inquiry.
GNED-3310 Literary Analysis & Argument
Students travel the world in literature to explore ideas, passions, and the lives of people in other times and places. Discussions focus on viewpoints and aims of characters, narrative techniques, cultural contexts, and intentionality in reading and writing. Students refine their ability to read closely and critically and to analyze literary texts using a variety of academic approaches. They learn both how to construct analytical arguments about literary themes and how this skill can be transferred to other professional situations.
GNED-3350 Culture, Conflict & Social Research
Introduces students to the historic and cultural origins of contemporary conflicts and the attitudes and institutions that perpetuate them. They learn methods of research that can effectively address the issues and questions that arise in conflict situations. Students learn how to pose productive questions, formulate hypotheses, design logical and effective research strategies, address issues of reliability and validity, and observe ethical protocols. They each conduct and compose a modest research project and make an oral presentation according to professional standards.
GNED-3450 Foundations of Civilization
This course focuses on understanding differences between cultures and civilizations, including how both evolve from specific environmental conditions, and are shaped to address local challenges. This course examines the religious, economic, and political systems in such foundational zones as ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, India and China, and Greece and Rome.[/accordion
GNED-3510 Ecology, Technology & Society
This course explores the interdependency of natural and social systems, the factors that contribute to the evolution and disappearance of species, and the human impact on natural environments by factors such as overpopulation, pollution, war, and excess consumption. It also examines more sustainable initiatives in waste management, and agricultural production, the use of alternative energies and technologies, and policy efforts to both conserve natural resources and ecosystems and build more sustainable communities.
GNED-3550 Leadership
 The course explores the concept of Leadership as science, as art, and as service. In the process of studying cases of successful and failed leadership the course requires students to reflect on how to make their lives meaningful and productive through the cultivation and exercise of leadership skills. They learn how to employ creative means to achieve constructive ends and how, in the process, to serve with integrity as they draw upon the capacities of diverse human resources and deploy the skills of community building.
PHIL 4120 Environmental Ethics
Students are introduced to how  philosophical assumptions and worldviews permeate our orientations to the natural world. We also examines our duties to preserve natural resources, conserve biodiversity, and expanour conceptions of rights to include those of future generations, other species, and  terrestrial and aquatic habitats.
PLS 4250 Energy & US Environmental Policy
This course will examine the history  of environmental policies, regulations and regulatory bodies in the United States. It will focus on the relationship between environmental decision-making, risk assessment, and natural resource policy in relation to energy use,development and security.
PRO 4970 Senior Project
In this seminar, each student develops and carries out a project relevant to professional goals. The project generally involves background study or research, planning, implementation, evaluation, and preparation of a written report. Instructor permission required.
SCI 3150 Environmental Science
This course is designed to introduce students to emerging trends in the natural sciences  concerning the environment. Several issues will be addressed, including: biomes; biological communities; species interactions; biodiversity; environmental health and toxicology; land use; water, air and solid waste; energy conservation; climate; natural preservation; resource depletion and management; human population growth; food; urbanization; scarcity; and sustainability.
SCI 3250 Physical Science
Physical Science is an introductory course that theoretically explores the areas of forces, energy, kinetic theory, work, simple machines, electricity and magnetism, wave theory (light and sound), geology, astronomy and meteorology. Theory, application and technology will be addressed. Various teaching / learning strategies will be explored and used throughout the class.
SCI 3350 Biological/Ecological Systems
This course examines the biodiversity of  the planet, including the structure and functioning of diverse organisms and their co-evolution with the environment.
SOS 4200 Environmental Economics
This course focuses on understanding macroeconomic theories and the reliance that market mechanisms have historically had on cheap resource availability and cheap energy. The course additionally addresses our understanding of the health and ecological benefits that diverse ecosystems provide, and for finding ways to internalize these values inside of market mechanisms.
SOS 4220 Environmental Health
This course focuses on understanding public health in relation to environmental factors such as air pollution, water pollution, and solid and hazardous waste disposal. It also addresses public health concerns raised by risks due to food supplies in a global marketplace, the spread of infectious diseases, and the apparatuses necessary to deliver health care services to poor and under-serviced populations.
SST 3500 Thinking in Systems
This course introduces students to how organic and natural systems function, how such systems are structured, and how their structure is related to their behavior. It introduces students to how systems maintain steady flows of inputs and outputs, and how various factors can destabilize the dynamics of a system. It also introduces students to ways in which feedback loops inside of systems can provide ways of understanding  how and when to intervene to regain the structural integrity of dynamic systems.
SST 3600 Population & Global Poverty
This course will focus on factors that have led to the alarming rate of growth in the world’s population. It will focus on the demographics of population growth and disparities in wealth distribution. It will also examine methods of curbing global population growth, some of which use laws and public policies, some of which use market mechanisms, and some of which use the development and health and educational networks.
SST 3700 Culture & Ecology
This course introduces students to a variety of cultures from around the world, and focuses on how each developed in relation to its natural environment. The course also examines historical and economic changes that have resulted from environmental changes, population and demographic shifts, and interactions between cultural groups.
SST 4100 Housing & Energy
This course analyzes the relationship between housing and energy consumption, with an emphasis on understanding how to design energy- efficient housing, and how to retrofit existing housing in affordable ways. This course will include a minimum of 15  hours of field-based learning.
SST 4200 Transportation & Energy
This course analyzes urban transportation, mass transit, and public and private investment in transportation networks both inside the United States and globally. The emphasis will be on developing community-based transportation networks that are less dependent on fossil fuels. This course will include a minimum of 15 hours of field-based learning.
SST 4300 Conservation
This course examines methods for preserving and protecting endangered plant and animal species and habitats by focusing on the critical factors that affect the survival of species in various biomes. We will look at important areas demanding public protection, including marine habitats, wetlands, prairies and forests. This course will include a  minimum of 15 hours of field-based learning.
SST 4400 Resource Scarcity & Conflict Management
This course addresses the problems that result from growing demand for scarce natural resources including water, petroleum, coal and natural gas, brought about by increasing consumption, population growth, and dwindling supplies of fossil fuels. The course will also examine models of understanding how conflicts over scarce resources develop, and how we can begin to analyze and manage such conflicts. This course will include a minimum of 15 hours of field-based learning.
SST 4500 Green Entrepreneurship
This course covers the process of bringing new innovations and ideas to fruition. By emphasizing where sources of funding (grants, governmental programs and incentives, universities and school systems, philanthropic organizations) can be combined with markets and organizations to take ideas from the research and development phases to being market-ready, this course combines theoretical approaches to market innovation with hands-on experience and practice. This course will include a minimum of 15 hours of field-based learning.
SST 4600 Sustainable Agriculture
This course begins by addressing changes in  agriculture brought about during the Green Revolution, when farming methods became intricately linked to fossil fuel-based energy and petrochemical soil management. It will look at problems that have arisen such as soil erosion and water pollution. It will emphasize less energy-intensive soil management principles and alternative forms of agriculture including permaculture, agroforestry, and organic farming. It will also emphasize agriculture methods that can be applied in multiple climates. This course will include a minimum of 15 hours of field-based learning.