Western offers many degrees focused on or related to the principles of sustainability.
Sustainability-Focused Degrees[tabby title=”Business and Sustainability Major”]
The State of Washington is a leader in responding to the societal imperative regarding environmental issues. This Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Sustainability is an action component of the state’s initiatives.
This degree combines three areas of study that give graduates the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to operate in a changing economic and social environment.
The minor in Energy Policy is an interdisciplinary program designed to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding green-energy economy. Graduates will be well prepared to enter the workforce as leaders, equipped with the knowledge, skills and applied expertise demanded by this dynamic and evolving sector of the global economy. The participating departments are recognized for their outstanding educational programs and demonstrated excellence. This program will support interdisciplinary learning while fostering an approach to problem solving that encourages cross-discipline thinking.
This minor will be particularly valuable for individuals who seek leadership roles in business or government.
Huxley College of the Environment and the Engineering Technology Department jointly offer a minor in Sustainable Design. The minor provides basic foundations in environmental studies and design, allows for individualized tailoring, and requires students to design products that promote long-term economic, social, and ecological values. Students in the program will obtain an understanding of the natural systems within which human institutions and technologies function, and of the social systems which mediate human interactions with ecosystems.
Created by the Sustainability Academy and approved by the Sustainability Curriculum Committee, this Sustainability Studies Minor draws across all the colleges at WWU, and is administered by an academic program director and advisers within the student’s major. The Minor is appropriate for students who wish to complement their undergraduate curricula and to further gain knowledge about the social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability in both their academic and professional growth. The minor is highly cross-disciplinary in an effort to provide a diverse foundation for becoming engaged citizens.
This interdisciplinary program prepares students to enter professional fields concerned with the sustainability of the human and natural environment. The Urban Planning and Sustainable Development program consists of a core, and specialization electives. The core incorporates the interdisciplinary foundation of Huxley College’s approach to the study of the environment. Urban planning and sustainable development concentrate studies in public policy development, law, and methods and processes of planning and decision making. The specialization elective component of the program is flexible. It allows students to develop an area of special interest, concentrating on a minor in an academic discipline, or to select from a number of thematically oriented clusters of courses.
Economics deals with how people living in a world of scarcity make choices. These choices inevitably involve costs. Questions examined in environmental economics include efficient resource use, preservation of wilderness and biological diversity, local and regional air pollution, global climate change, and treatment of toxic substances. Students learn how to use economic principles to help understand the causes of environmental problems and to identify potential remedies.
Environmental Studies draws on basic knowledge of how natural systems work and is applied to solving problems largely created by human activities. Often these problems are represented by disturbances in the functioning of natural systems. In addition to the study of the natural environment, a study of laws and policy related to the environment provides a foundation for solving environmental problems.