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The Catholic University of America is unique as the national University of the Catholic Church and the only higher education institution founded by the U.S. bishops, committed to being a comprehensive Catholic and American institution of higher learning. With this distinguished role as a leader of Christian thought and education in the Catholic community, our nation and the world, our duties toward the environment and our fellow human beings must exemplify environmental ethics as the preservation of creation — a symbiotic relationship between the preservation of human dignity, the environment, and society. We strive to provide an active example of environmental stewardship, inspired by the conviction that all creation is a gift from God.

Currently, there are numerous curricular offerings at the University that address sustainability, most notably in the School of Theology and Religious Studies, the School of Architecture and Planning, the School of Business and Economics, the School of Engineering, and the School of Arts and Sciences. There are currently two curricular initiatives that tie these offerings together: the Environmental Studies (HSEV) track in the University Honors Program and the Minor in Sustainability within the School of Architecture and Planning. The Minor in Sustainability is open to the entire undergraduate student body. 

The curriculum for the minor seeks to combine the liberal arts (ethics, social sciences, science and technology) with courses that focus on the practice of sustainability (mostly housed in the professional schools). The goal is to combine a strong foundation in Catholic teaching with an understanding of current scholarship and practical skills that students can take with them when they venture out into the workforce.

Curriculum

To qualify for this minor students must take two courses in each of the categories A, B and C listed below.

Core Requirements

Two courses in each category:

a. Social Sustainability: 6 credit hours
b. Environmental Sustainability: 6 credit hours
c. Economic Sustainability: 6 credit hours

Total: 18 credit hours


Click here for approved course offerings in Fall 2021. The course offering available in summer 2021 is available here. Please note that the list provided is intended as a guide. Students are required to confirm that courses they intend to enroll for are actually offered in the semester they intend to take them. In addition, please note the following:

  • All students seeking a Minor in Sustainability can double count a maximum of 2 courses toward their major and minor. The only exception being the students seeking a Dual Degree (BSArch and BSCE). These students can double count a maximum of 4 courses for their minor, 2 for each major.
  • A course that is not listed on the current list of approved course offerings can be proposed by a student to the Undergraduate Associate Dean for approval.
  • Students interested in pursuing this minor need to first, let their advisor know and then set up a meeting with Alyssa Fields to review their tracking sheet options. Upon confirmation the minor is possible, the advisor will approval and the Minor form is to be completed.
  • BSES students seeking a Minor in Sustainability need to have a minimum of 4 of the 6 courses outside ARPL.
  • All other majors in the School of ARPL can have unlimited ARPL courses toward the minor.
  • For BAAS students, Areas of Interest can count toward the minor (these are not considered double counting).
  • For BSES students, Free Electives can count toward the minor (these are not considered double counting).
  • For BSArch students, Program Electives can count toward the minor (these are not considered double counting).

Advising will be undertaken by the School of Architecture & Planning. Contact Alyssa Fields at fieldsa@cua.edu for more information.