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Sustainability Program

Sustainability Is Everybody's Business

The Sustainability Program at the University of Dayton provides students an understanding and appreciation of the interdisciplinary aspects of sustainability, energy and the environment. The goal of the program and the Hanley Sustainability Institute is to equip students with tools to implement sustainability in their careers. For the latest news, visit the Hanley Sustainability Institute blog. The bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees are designed to be part of a double major. Students eyeing environmental protection careers could double major in environmental biology and sustainability. A double major in history or sociology and sustainability could suit future urban planners. Students pursuing nonprofit careers, especially combatting food deserts, could benefit from a philosophy-sustainability double major. Sustainability majors will be marketable for engineering, architecture, agriculture, data analysis, education, facilities management and public administration, among others.

Bachelor of Arts

Food Systems

Required and elective courses include food justice, nutrition and health, politics of human rights, history of food and writing for grants and non-profits.

Academic Catalog for FSS

Urban Sustainability

Required and elective courses include cities and energy, applied geographic information systems (GIS), urban sociology and history of American city planning.

Academic Catalog for USS

Bachelor of Science


Required and elective courses include biology, chemistry, biology, physics, statistics, energy resources and principles of microeconomics.

Academic Catalog for NRG

Sustainable Watersheds

Required and elective courses include biology, chemistry, geology, physics, biology of rivers and lakes and surface and groundwater hydrology.

Academic Catalog for WAT

Other Sustainability Academic Programs

The Sustainability, Energy, and the Environment (SEE) Minor at the University of Dayton strives to provide (students) a deep understanding and appreciation of the interdisciplinary aspects of sustainability, energy, and the environment and to equip students with the tools to implement sustainability in their careers – here at UD and beyond. Students in the SEE program engage with faculty, staff, peers, student organizations, and local community partners to achieve hands-on experience through integrative learning, research, service, and community events.

Learn more about this program
Students earning the Certificate in Sustainability (SUS) take two sustainability courses: Foundations in Sustainability and Applied Sustainability. They also choose six semester hours of coursework from the social sciences, the physical sciences and engineering, allowing them to custom fit the certificate to their personal and professional goals and needs.

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I don’t think you can find a major – whether bachelor of science or bachelor of arts or in any of the schools – that is as integrative and innovative as this one.

Rebecca Potter

Director, Sustainability Program

Sustainability Week 2019

The University of Dayton's Sustainability Club hosted several events during Sustainability Week 2019. The calendar included yoga on KU's green roof, a farmer's market, a bicycle blender, a climate change dialogue, a cookout on Art Street, a clothing swap and a keynote address from UD graduate Matt Cox, the CEO and co-founder of The Greenlink Group. Here's a look back movie trailer-style and a reminder to stay tuned for the sequel - Sustainability Week 2020.

Sustainability careers: Alumni making a difference

Though the new Sustainability Program bachelors of arts and sciences majors just launched in 2019, UD graduates with sustainability education have made their mark in important and rewarding positions. Those jobs are in many varied industries. After all, sustainability is everybody's business.

UD Sustainability alumni career snapshots

In the News
University of Dayton joins Second Nature commitment affirming higher ed's role in shaping climate-resilient communities

University of Dayton President Eric F. Spina signed Second Nature's Resilience Commitment focused on climate adaptation and community-building to address a changing climate and resulting extremes. 

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Sustainability 09.17.19
Sustainability at UD: A major opportunity

Emily Skill graduated in 2017 from the University of Dayton with a bachelor’s degree in geology and a minor in sustainability, energy and the environment. She heard then that a major in sustainability may be in the works. This fall, it’s happening.

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Sustainability 09.23.19
Students call for personal action during climate strike

Organizers of the on-campus event to observe the Global Climate Strike Sept. 20 wanted their chants and written messages to turn into personal and transformative action. “We aren’t just here holding up signs. We aren’t here just telling stories,” said organizer Jared Marsh, who is pursuing a bachelor's degree in human rights studies. “We’re here to start taking pledges, commitments, start making the change.”

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Sustainability 08.08.19
Solar prairie blooms into a 'living laboratory'

In less than two years, the University of Dayton has transformed the front lawn of Daniel J. Curran Place into a “living laboratory” dedicated to sustainability. A solar array was installed in 2018 and a pollinator prairie was planted under those panels this spring. Those projects work hand in hand, according to Hanley Sustainability Institute student leader Elise Erhart. The solar prairie is the among the first in Ohio.

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