Catholic believes all people on this planet have a duty to preserve and protect the environment in which we live. For Catholic students, they believe in putting that practice into effect. This minor combines the liberal arts and sciences — ethics, social sciences, science, and technology — with courses that focus on the practice of sustainability.

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.


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 a comprehensive list of approved course offerings. Click here for approved course offerings in Fall 2023. 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.
  • At least two of the courses must be taken in a different school or department than the student's own major.  For example, an Architecture student would double count two ARPL courses toward the minor, would take two more ARPL elective courses or any other non-ARPL courses that are coded under the sustainability minor, and then the last two courses will be necessarily non-ARPL courses (this change is effective Fall 2023 and affects students choosing the minor Fall 2023 and after).
  • A course that is not listed on the current list of approved course offerings can be proposed by a student to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies for approval.
  • Students interested in pursuing this minor need to meet with the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies to review their tracking sheet options. Upon confirmation that the minor is possible, the Associate Dean will send a Google Form to the student to be completed.
  • For BAAS students, Areas of Interest 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 for more information.