Oct 20, 2018  
2018-2019 APU Catalog 
    
2018-2019 APU Catalog

Sustainability Studies, B.A.


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The Sustainability Studies major explores the relationship between humans and the environment through an interdisciplinary curriculum. This Alaska-based program encourages students to explore Alaska’s cultural and ecological diversity and directly experience the strong connections between the landscape and its communities. Focusing on the ‘triple bottomline’ of sustainability, students draw together studies addressing people, the planet, and the economy.

In the Sustainability Studies major, students develop an individualized study plan, allowing for customization of the educational experience. With the guidance of an academic advisor, majors choose from various topics, including sustainability, climate change, environmental problem-solving, agriculture, energy, fisheries, and water. This flexible program encourages students to take courses throughout the entire university. A typical study plan may include courses from Liberal Studies, Outdoor Studies, Counseling Psychology, Marine & Environmental Sciences, and Business. Once a plan is established, focus is placed on developing relationships with federal, state, and local non-profit agencies through internships and course projects that prepare students to enter the workforce in their field of expertise. This hands-on experience provides majors with the professional experience sought by a range of employers.

Alaska is positioned on the cusp of great change and great challenges within its terrestrial, marine, and atmospheric environments. Opportunities abound for those who can work across disciplines to study, publicize, manage, and/or predict these challenges. This major is specifically designed for exceptional students who are interested in addressing today’s multidisciplinary, environmental challenges.

Learning Outcomes

As a graduate, a student will earn an Bachelor of Arts degree with realized proficiency in APU’s Core Competencies:

  1. Effective Communication [EC]:  Demonstrate the ability to get one’s point across in writing, presentations, and organizations in order to share information, teach others, and foster collaboration
  2. Critical Thinking [CT]:  Demonstrate the ability to compute, analyze, make sense of information or data, and reach reasoned conclusions cognizant of possible bias or fallacies
  3. Cultural & Historical Perspective [CH]:  Demonstrate the ability to effectively consider tradition and heritage in relation to decision-making in a world shaped by diverse cultures and abiding histories
  4. Scientific Inquiry [SI]:  Demonstrate the ability to reach verifiable conclusions based on documented observations, findings, and recognized methods in order to know how things work in our world
  5. Ethical Engagement [EE]:  Demonstrate ability to raise needed questions and apply ethical and effective problem-framing and problem-solving to make things better

Foundational Studies (32-40 credits)


  • EC Written Communication** (WRIT 20100) (4)
  • EC Presentation & Media Literacy (from 10000-20000 level COMM) (3-4)
  • CT Critical Thinking (from 10000-20000 level CRIT) (3-4)
  • CT Computation** (MT 10100, BAM 10500, or higher placement) (3-4)
  • CH Intellectual Traditions (various) (4)
  • CH Creative Endeavors (various) (4)
  • CH Intercultural & Spiritual Understandings (various) (3-4)
  • SI Biological/Physical Scientific Inquiry (various) (4)
  • SI Social/Behavioral Scientific Inquiry (various) (3-4)
  • EE Social Responsibility (LS 10200) (2)
  • EE Personal Responsibility (various) (1-2)

     [**  Minimum grade of ‘C’ (defined as C+, C, C-) must be earned]
    (Unless otherwise noted, check for courses which satisfy Foundational Studies categories under ‘Bachelor-level Degree Requirements- Overview’)

Major Studies (66-67 credits)


Self-Determined Studies (varies)


  • Students are encouraged to pursue a minor, double major, Eco League exchange, or other distinguishing study program to add to the Sustainability Studies major.

Minimum Graduation Credit Hour Requirement: 128


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