Bachelor of Arts Degree
in Sustainability Studies
Graceland’s Sustainability Studies Major combines classes in Humanities, Science & Math, Social Sciences, Business, and the Arts to teach you the skills you’ll need to take on the most urgent environmental challenges from the moment you arrive on campus.
Sustainability Studies majors have helped to build programs — like the Lamoni bike share and the “Sustainable Table” community meal program — that are creating a more sustainable future for Graceland and the whole community.
As a Sustainability Studies Major, you’ll learn a range of skills that will help you make a difference in the world and prepare you for a variety of graduate and professional degree programs or a range of careers in the green economy.
“The world requires all of us to focus on sustainability. We can’t keep doing the same things we’ve been doing. Having a major that is going to tell you how you can tackle these issues and how to think about tackling issues down the road is so important.”
– Emma Rose Cleland-Leighton ’21
- Our students are leading initiatives — like the “Sustainable Table” community meal program — that help to build a more sustainable future for Graceland and the whole community.
- The Sustainability Studies Major is rooted in Graceland’s essential education curriculum, which makes it easy to double major or explore other academic interests.
- Graceland’s pastoral location offers hands-on learning opportunities like beekeeping, gardening, a community bike share program and a food symposium.
The “green” economy is worth as much as the fossil fuel industry* and growth in career opportunities in the field are outpacing many other industries. As a Sustainability Studies Major, you’ll learn a range of skills that will
help you make a difference on some of the world’s most urgent environmental problems and prepare you for a variety of graduate and professional degree programs or a range of careers in the green economy, including
- Private Sector:
- Public Sector:
Environmental Policy Analysis,
- Nonprofit Sector:
Environmental Education ,
BA Degree - Sustainability Studies Major
In addition to the Essential Education requirements, the interdisciplinary major in Sustainability Studies requires 43 s.h.
Core course requirements 28 s.h.
- BIOL1100 Introduction to Sustainability 3 s.h.
- BIOL1260 Environmental Biology 3 s.h.
- CHEM1300 Introduction to Environmental Chemistry 4 s.h.
- ECON1320 Principles of Microeconomics 3 s.h.
- ENGL3260 American Environmental Literature 3 s.h.
- HIST1560 United States Environmental History 3 s.h.
- MATH1380 Introduction to Statistics 3 s.h.
- PHIL1200 Environmental Ethics 3 s.h.
- SOCI3100 Environment and Society 3 s.h.
6 s.h. of electives from the following list. Minimum 3 s.h. need to be upper division.
- AGRI1200 Sustainable International Agriculture 3 s.h.
- ARTS3240 Eco Art and Ceramics 3 s.h.
- BIOL3400 Ecology and Conservation Biology 3 s.h. and BIOL3401 Ecology and Conservation Biology Lab 1 s.h.
- BUAD3200 Business Ethics 3 s.h.
- ECON1300 Principles of Macroeconomics 3 s.h.
- ECON3200 Public Finance 3 s.h.
- ENGL2420 Creative Writing: Fiction 3 s.h.
- ENGL2540 Global Eco-Cinema 3 s.h.
- ENGL3570 Documentary Film 3 s.h.
- MUSC1270 Music and the Environment 3 s.h.
- PSYC3360 Environmental Psychology 3 s.h.
- SUST1900 Topics in Sustainability 3 s.h.
Internship requirements 6 s.h.
Capstone/Senior Seminar/Senior Project requirement (3 s.h.)
- SUST4700 Senior Capstone Project 3 s.h.
Programs, including internships, will be overseen by a standing Sustainability Studies Committee with a consistent chair who serves as a point person.
Courses in Sustainability
SUST3700 On-Campus Internship 3 s.h.
An internship program that connects students to campus initiatives that focus on sustainable practices. Potential internship areas might include campus engagement, air and climate, buildings, energy, food and dining, purchasing, transportation, waste, and water. Supervised and facilitated by the sustainability coordinator and developed in conjunction with the interests of the student. (Graded on a Pass/Fail basis) Prerequisites: major in Sustainability Studies, junior/senior status, and instructor's consent.
SUST4300 Off-Campus Internship 3 s.h.
An internship that allows students to work with professionals in career areas relating to the field of Sustainability Studies (including the private, public, and nonprofit sectors). Placements will be supervised by the sustainability coordinator and developed in conjunction with the interests of the student. (Graded on a Pass/Fail basis) Prerequisites: major in Sustainability Studies, junior/senior status, and instructor's consent.
SUST4700 Senior Capstone Project 3 s.h.
Planning, preparing, and presenting a senior project in the student's area of concentration. Prerequisites: major in Sustainability Studies, junior/senior status.
Support Courses for Sustainability Studies Major
AGRI1200 Sustainable International Agriculture 3 s.h.
Sustainable International Agriculture explores global issues, incremental and transformative steps toward sustainable agriculture, international development opportunities, current agricultural industries, educational pathways, and career options. Content includes emphasis on understanding the need for agricultural infrastructure and production, embracing sustainability, and appreciating broad-based, liberating (essential) education. ELO4 Global Learning - Sustainability
ARTS3240 Eco Art & Ceramics 3 s.h.
Contemporary and traditional approaches to clay with emphasis on wheel-throwing and hand-building techniques. Exploration of sustainable production practices will also address surface decoration and responsible firing processes. Additional fee required. ELO5 Arts - Sustainability
BIOL1100 Introduction to Sustainability 3 s.h.
An introduction to the fundamentals of sustainability and its impact on biological systems. Explores how sustainability relates to population, ecosystems, global change, energy, agriculture, water, environmental economics and policy, ethics, and cultural history. Practical approaches to this course will be tied closely to small-scale agriculture and water use with hands-on fieldwork at the campus EcoPlot. Goal 1A, ELO6 Science - Sustainability
BIOL1260 Environmental Biology (3-0) 3 s.h.
An exploration of the environment, including the normal structure and functioning of ecosystems and the human impact on these ecosystems. Current environmental issues, such as human population growth, air and water pollution, climate change, loss of biodiversity, and ecosystem degradation, will be considered. Goal 1A, ELO6 Science - Peace, ELO6 Science - Sustainability
+ BIOL3400 Ecology and Conservation Biology (3-0) 3 s.h.
A study of how organisms interact with one another and with their physical environments at the physiological, population, community, and ecosystem levels. Case studies will use ecological concepts to develop conservation strategies for species, habitats, and ecosystems. Corequisite (for Biology majors): BIOL3401 Ecology and Conservation Biology Lab. Goal 6, EL06 Science - World Citizenship, ELO6 Science - Sustainability
+ BIOL3401 Ecology and Conservation Biology Lab (0-2) 1 s.h.
Additional fee required. Corequisite (for Biology majors): BIOL3400 Ecology and Conservation Biology. Prerequisite: Instructor’s consent.
BUAD3200 Business Ethics 3 s.h.
An introduction to various ethical theories and their application to business situations. Students should gain greater awareness of ethical dilemmas as they occur, examine their own morals and their implications in various business settings, and become acquainted with some of the philosophical background of ethics. Goal 3E
CHEM1300 Introduction to Environmental Chemistry with Lab 4 s.h.
Examination of the chemical processes underlying the natural cycles of Earth including the impact anthropogenic processes and emissions have on these cycles. The course will also examine the technological innovations that have affected emissions and those innovations that have been implement to remedy environmental problems. ELO6 Science - Innovation
ECON1300 Principles of Macroeconomics 3 s.h.
Analysis of the fundamental principles of the American economic system, centering on price, national income, international trade and finance, fiscal policy, monetary policy, money, and banking. Prerequisite: 1 year high school algebra; geometry recommended. Goal 1C, ELO5 Social Science - World Citizenship, ELO5 Social Science - Innovation
ECON1320 Principles of Microeconomics 3 s.h.
Analysis of the fundamental principles of the American economic system, centering on price, production, market structures, and a survey of contemporary economic problems, e.g. sustainability. Goal 1C, ELO5 Social Science - Sustainability
+ ECON3200 Public Finance 3 s.h.
An examination of the taxation policies and expenditure programs of the public sector. Related topics include public goods, income distribution, and public choice theory. Prerequisite: ECON1320. Goal 1C, ELO5 Social Science - Equality, ELO5 Social Science - Equality and Peace. Offered odd years Spring.
+ ENGL2420 Creative Writing: Fiction 3 s.h.
Study of fiction writing through the lens of sustainability. Investigates the maintenance of various systems that meet human needs (e.g. emotional, physical, social, environmental) through extensive fiction writing and class discussion. Emphasis on fiction as a means of self-discovery as well as an art form. Goal 2B, ELO5 Humanities - Sustainability
+ENGL2540 Global Eco-Cinema 3 s.h.
A transnational survey of films that deal with environmental issues and, more broadly, with human relationships to the nonhuman world. An examination of the impact of urbanization on rural communities, the mysterious allure of wild and uncultivated landscapes, the threat of climate change to daily life around the world, and the cinematic representation of environmental apocalypse. Explores different genres and styles, including neo-realism, eco-horror, anime, and avant-garde cinema. Goal 2B, ELO5 Humanities - Sustainability
ENGL3260 American Environmental Literature 3 s.h.
What makes a work of literature "environmental"? How have humans thought about nature throughout history, and how does that intellectual and artistic history affect us today? Can works of literature help humans prevent environmental catastrophes like climate change and species extinction? We'll seek answers to these questions as we engage with fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry. We'll discuss the ways that literary and cultural forms can shape who we are, what we value, and what we imagine for the future. We'll also work to build your skills of critical reading, analytical thinking and persuasive writing, skills that will serve you in the future, in whatever environment you inhabit. Goal 2B, ELO5 Humanities - Sustainability
ENGL3570 Documentary Film 3 s.h.
Explores the history, economics, and formal qualities of the “documentary tradition” in filmmaking, with a special focus on documentary films that engage issues of sustainability, broadly defined (environmental, social, and economic). Goal 2B, ELO5 Humanities - Sustainability
HIST1560 United States Environmental History 3 s.h.
An examination of the complex relationship between human society and nature from early settlements to the present in what is now the United States. Important topics include the impact of human settlement, population growth, use of land and natural resources, the effects of industrialization, and the development of the conservation and environmental movements. Goal 1B, ELO5 Histories - Sustainability
MATH1380 Introduction to Statistics 3 s.h.
Data analysis and measures of central tendency, dispersion, and correlation. Introduction to probability. Estimation and hypothesis testing. Bivariate regression. Elementary ANOVA. Introduction to nonparametric techniques. Prerequisite: 1 year high school algebra. Goal 3A, ELO6 Math
MUSC1270 Music and the Environment 3 s.h.
Examines the relationship between music and the natural world, specifically ways in which the environmental movement has shaped musical composition throughout history. Covers a broad spectrum of popular and art music genres, ranging from Beethoven to Marvin Gaye to Radiohead. Identifies connections between music spanning multiple centuries and society's concern for enjoying and protecting the environment and the resources that it provides. ELO5 Arts - Sustainability
PHIL1200 Environmental Ethics 3 s.h.
An overview of environmental ethics, which analyzes the ethical responsibilities of human beings toward the natural world. Explores the diverse perspectives on and responses to environmental problems and analyzes the ethical underpinnings of these responses and perspectives. Goal 3E, ELO3 Ethical Thinking and Action - Sustainability
+ PSYC3360 Environmental Psychology 3 s.h.
Examination of the ways in which psychology impacts conservation, population, design, and sustainability issues in both natural and built environments. Interactive activity with ongoing campus sustainability programs is a feature of the course. Goal 1C, ELO5 Social Science - Sustainability
SOCI3100 Environment and Society 3 s.h.
Examines environmental concerns and issues such as environmental justice, wilderness preservation, sustainability, peak oil, environmental security, green consumption, conservation crime, oil spills, and fracking. Ecological hope and despair, that is, the question of emotional sustainability in the face of issues that seem beyond one's individual control, are explored throughout. Goal 1C, ELO4 Global Learning - Sustainability
|Expense||Annual Cost||Semester Cost|
University Technology Fee
|Total Direct Costs||$41,730||$20,865|
Room cost is based on a two-person room.
For more information regarding additional fees, please see Lamoni Campus Tuition and Fees.
Graceland University works closely with you and your family to develop a plan that you're comfortable with. We develop customized financial plans for hundreds of students every year. For example,
- Over 98 percent of Graceland students receive financial assistance, including International students.
- Graceland awards are available for exceptional achievement in everything from academics to athletics and visual or performing arts.
- We offer federal and state grants, loans and work-study for those who are eligible.
- Our extensive financial aid packages will give you an excellent education at a practical price.
HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES
To be considered for acceptance at Graceland University's Lamoni campus, you must qualify with two of the following three criteria:
March 23, 2020 - ACT/SAT Requirement:
Because of COVID-19's impact on testing sites, ACT/SAT test scores will be considered optional for fall 2020 undergraduate Admissions. Please contact your Admissions Counselor with any questions.
Rank in upper 50 percent of your high school class.
Have a 2.50 grade point average or above based on a 4.00 system.
21 - 1060
Have either a minimum composite ACT score of 21 or a minimum combined SAT I score of 1060.
For athletic eligibility, the test results must come from official test centers on the national testing dates.
A placement test will be required to determine proper placement in English and math if ACT or SAT scores are not submitted.
Applicants who do not meet the above criteria may be considered individually. If accepted, they may be required to take developmental courses.
Graceland welcomes applications from homeschooled students. We acknowledge the important contributions that homeschoolers make, both in the classroom and as part of student life. Graceland makes a deliberate effort to accommodate the special circumstances of homeschooled students during the admissions process.
To maintain a universal standard of achievement among applicants, while also allowing flexibility, Graceland requires two of the following three criteria:
- Have either a minimum composite ACT score of 21 or a minimum combined SAT score of 1060. For athletic eligibility, the test results must come from official test centers on the national testing dates.
- A portfolio demonstrating the breadth and depth of learning by the applicant. The portfolio may express the unique learning of the homeschooler during the years of high school or the last four years of learning. Admissions will assess the quality of the portfolio to determine whether it reflects sufficient preparation for success during college.
- A homeschool transcript prepared by the teachers/parents, an independent or supervising teacher, or an organization with whom the student is registered or affiliated. The cumulative grade point average must be 2.50 or above based on a 4.00 system.
A further description of the portfolio and transcript is available from the Admissions Office.
Applicants who do not meet the above criteria may be considered individually. If accepted, they may be required to take developmental courses as specified in policies for admission of high school students.
A homeschooled student who has 24 or more college credits will need to comply with Graceland's transfer student policies.
Placement Test may be required - see High School Students section of Catalog.
Applicants from countries outside the United States are considered by the Admissions Office on an individual basis.
In order to be considered for acceptance to Graceland, an applicant most provide the follow official documents containing the listed information:
- Show academic proficiency. Have a grade point average of 2.50 or above based on a 4.00 system.
- Competency in the English language. A TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based) or 80 (internet-based); or an IELTS equivalent score of 6.5, is required for applicants whose primary language is not English. If you are unable to access a testing location due to COVID-19 in your country, please contact your Admissions Counselor regarding alternative English proficiency assessment options.
- Rank in upper 50% of the class.
- Optional - either a minimum composite ACT score of 21 or a minimum combined SAT score of 1060.
- Show Financial Support. If applying for financial aid, an International Financial Aid Application is required. Advising and support services are provided by the Intercultural Office and the academic advisor. All forms are available through the Admissions Office or online.
Non-Traditional Students, all applicants who have been out of high school for one or more years and have completed 23 or less college credit course. For acceptance guidelines, please refer back to traditional student guidelines. When applying, please complete transfer application.
Transfer students, to be considered for admissions an applicant has to have attended college full-time for at least two semesters and/or has accumulated 24 semester hours or more of credit with a 2.0 GPA or higher.
Submit the following items
- An online application
- Official high school transcripts (if college work totals less than 24 semester hours)
- Official transcripts from all colleges previously attended
Transfer students, including community and junior college transfers, who have earned 56 transferable semester hours with a grade point average of 2.00 based on a 4.00 point system, if accepted, will enter Graceland at junior standing.
Courses accepted for transfer will be accepted as credit only and will not carry grade points. Credit will be accepted for courses in which the student earned a grade of D- or better.
Credit or waiver through College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Advanced Placement (AP) will be determined by Graceland upon receipt of the scores from the College Board and will not necessarily correspond with what the previous school may have awarded.
A detailed statement on transfer policies is available in the Registrar’s Office or you may click here.