Environmental Sustainability (B.S)



The B.S. in Environmental Sustainability produces graduates who can apply systems thinking, life cycle assessment, ecological literacy and impact analysis to innovate and solve environmental problems.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the environmental sustainability program will be able to:

  • Evaluate fundamental chemical, biological, and physical principles to explain the flow of energy and materials on Earth and the functioning of living systems.
  • Critique historical, cultural, social, political, and economic aspects of human environmental behavior that shape the relationship between human societies and their environments, using reflexive thinking and scales of analysis ranging from local to global.
  • Evaluate the sustainability of a product, organization, supply chain, or community using systems thinking and life-cycle analysis.
  • Report sustainability challenges and solutions clearly and effectively to a variety of different audiences and stakeholders, using an appropriate mixture of written, oral, visual, and quantitative communication methods.
  • Evaluate complex real-world sustainability problems to determine appropriate change strategies and to define your role as leader or collaborator.

Program Description

Sustainability involves balancing the needs of human societies with the health of the ecosystems that surround and support them. It also challenges us to behave ethically across generations: how can today’s societies meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs? This challenge is growing sharper every day as rapid population and economic growth produce a number of related concerns: climate change, dwindling oil supplies, extreme weather events, shrinking water supplies and the accelerating resource requirements of developing nations like India and China. This combination of issues calls for a new category of experts who can develop and implement the strategies for sustainability.

Designing a sustainable operation, whether at the local, national or global level, requires a comprehensive approach that accounts for the political, cultural, scientific, economic and technological context of the relationship between humans and their ecosystems. Sustainability professionals need to be able to think across these different areas and communicate with a variety of experts and audiences in their own “languages.”

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sustainability equips students with the skills and vocabularies to bridge the multiple disciplines—architecture, design, business, engineering and policymaking—necessary to produce environmentally sustainable operations for communities, businesses and organizations. Philadelphia University offers the only environmental program in the region with training across these different professional fields; this approach builds upon the University’s strengths and produces creative problem-solvers with the skills necessary to build the sustainable societies of the future.

With the increasing global attention to environmental issues, the demand for sustainability experts will continue to rise. Environmental sustainability professionals can expect to build careers in local, state and federal environmental agencies, utility companies, non-profit environmental organizations, wildlife and conservation agencies, environmental consulting and auditing firms, “green” contracting and construction management companies, and educational programs in schools, museums and parks. In addition, the study of environmental sustainability develops scientific and social science skills that can be applied to graduate training in a variety of fields, including law, public policy, education, business and natural resource management. Internship opportunities and multiple elective courses allow students to gain professional experience before graduation and to customize their major according to their career objectives.