Specialization in Sustainability

Michigan State University

Year Founded: Jan. 1, 2010
Date Posted: Feb. 25, 2016
Submitted by: Monika Urbanski
Sustainability Topic: Curriculum
Content Type: Academic Programs
Program Type: Specialization/Concentration/Emphasis
Completion: 18 credits
Distance: Local Only
Commitment: Full-Time


The Specialization in Sustainability enables students to gain holistic and integrated competencies around four broad core content areas: aesthetic appreciation, ecological integrity, social equity, and economic vitality through the domains of civic engagement, systems thinking, critical thinking, and personal development. The specialization provides the opportunity to apply this knowledge and competencies in a wide variety of environments including business, government, and non-governmental organizations which work to cultivate sustainable communities. The specialization is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor's degree programs at Michigan State University in the Colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Arts and Letters; Business; Natural Science; and Social Science and James Madison College. With the approval of the department and college that administers the student's degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the specialization may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor's degree. The student's program of study must be approved in advance and in writing by the director of the specialization. Students must work with the director of the specialization and specialization advisors to prepare a written plan detailing the experiences and courses that will help them complete a portfolio demonstrating competency in the content areas and domains of the specialization. Students begin with enrollment in ACR 187, complete other courses and extracurricular activities and then enroll in ACR 387 to develop an integrative project which plays an essential role in the development of the portfolio. Each semester, students are required to provide evidence in their portfolios of progress toward competencies. Completion and defense of the portfolio is embedded in ACR 487. Students desiring knowledge and expertise in sustainability as it pertains to agriculture and food systems should consider the Specialization in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences.

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