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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.

Striving Toward the Common Good

The first group of Sustainability Program majors start attending classes in early 2020. This video produced by the University of Dayton illustrates the work and motivation of some current sustainability students.

Striving Toward the Common Good

The first group of Sustainability Program majors start attending classes in early 2020. This video produced by the University of Dayton illustrates the work and motivation of some current sustainability students.

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 academic programs

The Sustainability Minor at the University of Dayton strives to provide 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 this minor 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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Learn more about us

Find the courses in sustainability that are right for you.

Learn about the opportunities and activities that are available to students interested in sustainability.

Learn more about our advisory committee, our faculty, staff and student assistants.

Reach out. We are here to answer your questions.


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
Sustainability 04.20.20
Sinclair transfer picked UD's 'multi-dimensional' sustainability major

Mark Ryan hasn’t totally decided on which sustainability track he will take, but he chose the major because he said it’s his way to make the world better. “I think sustainability is the best path for me to take because it focuses on so many different aspects of society so I get to learn about how different parts of society interact and how I can help improve them,” said Ryan, a sophomore at the University of Dayton after transferring from Sinclair Community College. “It focuses on the integration of environmental, economic and societal factors that interact with each other to make up society.”

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Sustainability 04.03.20
Freshman from Texas found a home at UD and in the sustainability major

Yamilet Perez Aragon is a Mexican-American first generation student from Austin, Texas, who chose the University of Dayton because it aligned with the values she developed growing up and spending time at her parents’ Mexican villages. The freshman enrolled to study graphic design, but near the end of last semester she found another passion.

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Sustainability 03.02.20
UD students help Mission of Mary become Dayton's first net-zero energy organization

University of Dayton engineering and other students have helped Mission of Mary Cooperative, a Dayton-based urban farming operation, become the city's first net-zero energy organization through the New Buildings Institute, a third-party non-profit organization pushing for better energy performance in buildings. The Cooperative produced 52,000 pounds of food last year on its 2-acre campus in the Twin Towers neighborhood, all while operating on 100 percent renewable energy. Lincoln Hill Gardens was a project including partners such as UD's Hanley Sustainability Institute, East End Community Services and Mission of Mary Cooperative.

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Sustainability 12.02.19
UD's first sustainability minor, now in Norway, has advice for first majors

The first 10 University of Dayton Sustainability Program majors begin classes in Spring 2020, about nine years after Mike Voellmecke became UD’s first student with a Sustainability, Energy and the Environment (SEE) minor. The 2011 graduate with a major in civil and environmental engineering got the sustainability minor by checking his finished courses against the requirements.

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