Academics

About the Sustainability Dual Major (SDM)

The field of sustainability explores the ways in which we maximize both environmental and social well-being while solving complex challenges. Solving real-life problems require the skills and perspectives of people from multiple disciplines and backgrounds. A dual major in sustainability teaches you how to think about these systems, identify relevant environmental and social issues, and become agents of change in a complex world.

A dual major at UNH is paired with a primary major. The sustainability dual major is designed to work for any student at UNH. It is a university-wide program. It enables you to apply the skills and knowledge of your primary major to address the grand challenges of sustainability.

You will learn to:

  • Describe and recognize sustainability
  • Understand the ecological and social foundations of sustainability
  • Examine specific grand challenges of sustainability, such as climate change, agriculture, and energy
  • Analyze sustainability case studies at local, regional and global scales
  • Engage with the challenges of sustainability at the UNH campus
  • Work in interdisciplinary teams
  • Apply a systems perspective towards analyzing sustainability problems
  • Explore the role of values and ethics in sustainability
  • Learn how to work with partners in defining problems, producing and analyzing data, and developing solutions
  • Complete a capstone project in sustainability

For more details see the description of the required core courses and a list of electives.

With a sustainability dual major, you are prepared not only for specific careers in sustainability but also to add value to a position within your primary field. For more details, click here.

Dual Major vs. Double Major

We get this question a lot. Here are the key differences between a dual major and a double major:

  • A dual major complements a primary major. If you'd like to participate in the sustainability dual major, you need to declare a primary major first. This can be a major from any college.
  • A double major can stand alone as a course of study.
  • Dual majors tend to 
  • When in doubt, contact us with questions.

Prospective Students

Are you ready to declare a dual major in sustainability? We’d love to have you join our growing community!  Here’s what you need to do:

1. Make sure you meet the prerequisites:

  • GPA of 2.5 or greater
  • You’ve already declared your primary major
  • You’ve taken or are registered to take SUST 401

2. Log onto WebCat and:

  • Go to Student Records -> Change of Major -> Change Major/Option
  • Click on the link next to Second Major
  • Choose “Liberal Arts” as the college in the pull-down menu and then select Sustainability as your new major
  • Submit and Confirm Request

3. Your change of major is then approved by Vanessa Levesque and the Dean of COLA

Are you interested in learning a bit more about the dual major before enrolling? Contact Vanessa Levesque to set up a meeting!

Course Requirements

Sustainability dual major students must take 32 credits, which consists of 3 core SUST courses and 5 electives. 

Students are required to take the following three (3) SUST courses (in order):

  • SUST 401: Surveying Sustainability – offered every fall and spring semester (Click here for a sample syllabus. Please note that this course may change from year to year)
  • SUST 501:  Sustainability Perspectives & Methods – Writing Intensive as of Fall 2017 – offered every fall semester (Click here for a sample syllabus. Please note that this course may change from year to year)
  • SUST 750: Sustainability Capstone – Writing Intensive as of Fall 2017 – offered every spring semester

Students must choose five elective courses to complete the remaining 20 credits for the dual major. All SUST majors will take at least one elective from the natural & biological sciences list, and at least one from the social science and humanities list. Approved electives are posted below – and the list is still growing!  

If there are Sustainability dual major electives available in your primary major, you may double-count two courses to count for both your primary and dual major. There are no limits to how many Discovery courses you can count as SDM Electives.

Students may petition to have sustainability-related courses counted as electives, both from UNH and abroad. For more information, contact Vanessa Levesque.

Approved SDM Electives, updated as of November 2017 (click to open PDF)