May 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Sustainability Studies B.A.

Plans of Study

The Sustainability Studies Bachelor of Arts degree at University of South Florida will prepare graduates for careers in industrial settings, commercial outlets, not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies. A degree in Sustainability Studies allows the individual to become the point of contact for managers, owners, and politicians when implementing new technologies and policies. Sustainability Studies provides the tools to safeguard the well-being of future generations, increase profits today, and understand the role science plays in developing new technologies to address societal challenges.

The program establishes a foundation in Sustainability Studies by integrating the natural sciences, social sciences and business into the core curriculum.  This distinctive core curriculum makes it unique in the state, providing students with a broad base of skills, knowledge, and abilities, in the context of a recognizable and valued program of preparation for careers or graduate studies.

A degree in sustainable studies will increase the value of a degree in:

  • Business:  By understanding how sustainability concepts can increase efficiency and profits and provide corporate direction to deal with the ever-changing policy landscape.
  • Social Science and Policy: To help create and implement new policies, laws, and techniques to create a stable and enriched future and to protect the well-being of future generations.
  • Science: By enhancing the understanding behind new technologies and the ability to help businesses and government agencies to implement sustainable processes.

Students must complete 120 course hours, including all required prerequisite and core courses. The curriculum includes all university and college degree requirements.

University Admissions - College of Arts and Sciences

Admission to the University is based on the University’s Undergraduate Admission Requirements that may be found by clicking on the following urls:

For Admission information specific to the College of Arts and Sciences, see the information at College of Arts and Sciences .

Graduation Requirements - College of Arts and Sciences

Satisfactory completion of the following requirements:

  • Students must complete all State and University level graduation requirements.
  •  Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in USF coursework. Note: Some Departments/program/major require a higher GPA. Students should refer to Department/program/major specific catalog requirements.
    • The College may approve an exception when a student has successfully earned the minimum grade required for all courses applied in the major but does not have a major GPA of 2.0.
  • Physical Education coursework is limited to two (2) semester hours.
  • ROTC courses that are primarily physical training and field experiences will not be applied to College of Arts and Sciences degree programs. All other military Science coursework will apply, in particular, coursework utilized toward completing an established ROTC minor will be applied to the total hours toward degree. 
  • When earning a second degree, double major or concurrent degree, the Major Core and Major Elective/Concentration areas of the degree audit must not overlap for both degrees.  All other areas of the degree audit may have overlapping credit hours applied.
  • Maximum of 20 hours of S/U option. S/U contracts must be negotiated in writing within the first three (3) weeks of the term. None of the 20 credits may be taken in the student’s major unless S/U is the only grading option. Coursework fulfilling the General Education Core Curriculum Requirements and the State Communication Requirement (formerly known as Gordon Rule Writing) and State Computation Requirement (formerly known as Gordon Rule Math) may not be taken S/U.
  • The Audit option is available only during the first 5 days of classes.
  • Complete all major course requirements.
  • College of Arts and Sciences students are expected to complete a minimum of 50% of their major and/or minor coursework in residence at USF. Some College of Arts and Sciences Departments/programs/majors have established additional major course hours to be taken in residency at USF. See the major or program section of the catalog for these credit-hour requirements.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites - Sustainability Studies B.A.

Following Florida BOG Regulation 8.010, state mandated common course prerequisites are lower-division courses that are required for progression into the upper division of a particular baccalaureate degree program. 

Transfer students should complete the State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites at the lower level prior to entering the university. If these courses are not taken at a Florida College System institution, they must be completed before the degree is granted. Successful completion of the common prerequisites alone does not guarantee a student admission into the degree program.

There are no specified common prerequisites for this major.

Major Requirements: (37 credit hours)

Major Required Core Courses: 12 courses; 33 credit hours

The core courses are designed to provide students with a broad interdisciplinary knowledge base in business, social sciences and the natural sciences to prepare students for a wide variety of careers or graduate work in fields related to sustainability studies.

Business Courses: 3 courses; 9 credit hours

Capstone Course: 1 course; 4 credit hours

Additional Information - Sustainability Studies B.A.

GPA Requirements

  • An overall average of 2.50 GPA or greater in all core courses.
  • A transfer student must have a 2.0 GPA or higher when combined with all work attempted at other institutions.

Grading Requirements

A minimum of score of C (not C-) or greater in all core courses.

Residency Requirement

Students are required to complete 50% of the Sustainability Studies major at USF.

Internship Opportunities

The Sustainability Studies Degree requires a Senior Capstone Course ISS 4942  Practicing Sustainability (fully vetted) which enables students to choose either a Practicum experience or an Internship.  A wide range of internship experiences are available to students, including opportunities with:

  • Pinellas Community Composting Alliance - (Food Justice & Sustainability Program)
  • Keep Pinellas Beautiful
  • Feeding Florida - Fresh Access Bucks Program - (Food Justice & Sustainability Program)
  • Brick Street Farms
  • Southwest Florida Water Management District - FARMS (Facilitating Agricultural Resource Management Systems) program
  • The Florida Aquarium - Corals research / regeneration
  • Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory - plant taxonomy / research
  • Florida Wildlife Corridor
  • Environmental Protection Commission
  • Montana Conservation Corps via Americorps
  • Reef Monitoring Inc
  • Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger (Food Justice & Sustainability Program)
  • Bartlett Park Community Garden (Food Justice & Sustainability Program)
  • WunderFarms (Food Justice & Sustainability Program)
  • Edible Peace Patch (Food Justice & Sustainability Program)
  • Surfriders Foundation - Rise Above Plastics

Please note this is not an exhaustive list.

Research Opportunities - College of Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate students in any degree program are able to participate in undergraduate research. Several options exist to show mentored undergraduate research activity on a student’s official transcript. Those who wish to enroll in an undergraduate research course should consult with their academic advisor to understand how the credit will apply towards the degree requirements. If no credit is needed, students may be eligible to enroll in the 0-credit IDS 4914 - Advanced Undergraduate Research Experience  course. This course will not impact degree credits or GPA but will show on an official transcript and document the experience. The Office of High Impact Practices and Undergraduate Research is able to assist with further inquiries.

Advising Information - College of Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate Advising Information

The College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) Advising Team provides students with support to create timely graduation plans that will integrate both their academic and professional goals.  Each of our undergraduate programs has dedicated professional advisors with specialized knowledge and understanding of the major requirements, course offerings, undergraduate research, and career opportunities in their field.  Additionally, we have dedicated pre-health and prelaw advisors to help students prepare for admission to professional graduate programs.


CAS Academic Advisor Contact information can be found here: CAS Advisors

To schedule an advising appointment: Advising Appointments