Academic Programs Catalog

College of Natural Science

Interdepartmental Minors and Specializations

Minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies

The Minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies is available as an elective to all students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University. Students completing the minor will gain knowledge and skills essential for understanding the biological and physical environment that is inhabited and influenced by humans; managing complex interactions between humans and natural systems; and understanding how policy-making impacts and shapes environmental and sustainability outcomes. The College of Natural Science is the primary administrative unit for the minor with support from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, the Eli Broad College of Business, College of Engineering, and College of Social Science.

Students who have declared the intent to complete the minor or who have declared a major preference for a bachelor’s degree program in one of the above listed colleges may elect to live in residence and participate in the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE). Students who elect this option will be housed in Bailey Hall in the Brody Neighborhood. This integrated living-learning program allows for students from multiple colleges and disciplines to develop a sense of community and promotes a team approach to managing complex problems.

With prior written approval from the RISE Coordinator who administers a course in the minor, another course may be substituted for a course from the list of approved courses. Before a student requests a substitution, the student should consult with their academic advisor to ensure that the substitution will not adversely affect the requirements for their degree program.

Requirements for the Minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies

The student must complete a minimum of 15 credits from the following:

1. Biological and Physical Dimensions. Two of the following courses (6 or 7 credits):  
  CSS 210 Fundamentals of Soil Science 3
  CSS 442 Agricultural Ecology 3
  CSS 455 Environmental Pollutants in the Soil and Water 3
  ENT 319 Introduction to Earth System Science 3
  FOR 404 Forest Ecology 3
  FW 364 Ecological Problem Solving 3
  GEO 203 Introduction to Meteorology 3
  GEO 206 Physical Geography 3
  GLG 201 The Dynamic Earth 4
  ZOL 355 Ecology     3
2. Coupled Human and Natural Systems. Two of the following courses (5 to 8 credits):  
  ANS 427 Environmental Toxicology and Society 3
  COM 399 Special Topics in Communication 3
  CSUS 200 Introduction to Sustainability 3
  CSUS 300 Theoretical Foundations of Sustainability 3
  CSUS 310 History of Environmental Thought and Sustainability 3
  EEP 320 Environmental Economics 3
  EEP 405 Corporate Environmental Management 3
  ENT 205 Pests, Society and Environment 3
  ENE 280 Principles of Environmental Engineering and Science 3
  FW 211 Introduction to Gender and Environmental Issues 3
  ISS 310 People and Environment (I) 4
  JRN 472 Special Topics Laboratory in Environmental Reporting 3
  JRN 473 Special Topics Seminar in Environmental, Health and Science Journalism 3
  NSC 292 Applications in Environmental Studies 2
  PHL 342 Environmental Ethics 3
  PKG 370 Packaging and the Environment 3
  SOC 452 Environment and Society 3
  UP 353 Land Use Planning 4
3. Environmental Policy and Law. One of the following courses (3 credits):  
  CSUS 265 Exploring Environmental and Sustainability Issues and Policy Using Film 3
  CSUS 465 Environmental Law and Policy 3
  FOR 466 Natural Resource Policy 3
  FW 445 Biodiversity Conservation Policy Practice 3
  GBL 480 Environmental Law and Sustainability for Business: From Local to Global 3
  ZOL 446 Environmental Issues and Public Policy 3
4. Freshmen students who elect the RISE Option are required to complete Natural Science 192.