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The Solar Trailer, a student project in sustainability.
Sustainability is the philosophy that increasingly drives global business, organization, and politics. Our changing world has presented challenges that future leaders will be called on to address, including climate change, reliance on traditional energy sources, water issues, and a growing demand for socially and environmentally responsible products and services. At Oregon State, we consider sustainability in the context of the Brundtland definition: encompassing environmental, economic, and social aspects and maintaining them for future generations. Whether dealing with small businesses, large organizations, government, academia, or even just daily life chioces, the Sustainability Double-Degree provides a value added benefit to a student's main field of study by formalizing his or her ability to deal with the breadth of long-term analyses needed for decision making.
The Sustainability double-degree exposes students to these real-world problems and fosters knowledge, skills, and abilities to address them in communities and workplaces. In step with the interdisciplinary nature of sustainability, the degree was designed to complement all OSU degree programs and is to be earned as a second bachelor’s degree, in addition to a major area of study.
Students take a sustainability "core" consisting of 5 courses: environmental science, sustainable communities, sustainability assessment, and a choice of several (1) economics and (2) sociology courses.
Students also engage in either a required internship (see below) or research experience, which will expose them to challenging sustainability issues.
Finally, students take 6 elective courses to further their sustainability education. While we have a list of recommended courses, we are willing to work with students to make each degree individualized and practical.
The sustainability double-degree is available both on campus and on e-campus. In general, students are finding that the additional hours of the degree can be easily incorporated into their desired academic timeline, provided that planning begins early! We work hand in hand with the students main degree program to help each student reach graduation in a timely manner and with practical skills that will augment the main degree.
In order to join the program, a student must come to OSU having declared a primary major. The sustainability double-degree can then be added as a secondary major, for an additional 32-36 credit hours. The total hours required by the degree (plus the main degree) are 212.
Careers in Sustainability
Some sample careers in sustainability:
- Carbon and greenhouse gas management
- Sustainability operations for private companies, universities, and government entities
- Sustainability marketing and market research
- Sustainability and engineering manager
- Sustainability/environmental performance assessment and monitoring
- Sustainability specialist for waste, energy, or water management
- Sustainability strategic planning
- Sustainable supply chain management
- Sustainable packaging design and management
- Sustainability coordinator for school districts, hospitals, and for-profit organizations
- Attend graduate school for the Masters in Environmental Arts and Humanities
Earning a Sustainability double-degree begins with choosing a primary degree program major. Students are required to complete 180 credits in an OSU major and can receive a second bachelor’s degree in Sustainability by completing an additional 36 credits. Courses from a student’s major course of study will not count towards double-degree requirements. The Sustainability double-degree code is 870.
The sustainability field is rich in internship opportunities. Opportunities for hands-on learning in conjunction with a Sustainability double-degree might include working with local organizations to develop community gardens and greenhouses, including food distribution systems, land use and food production or collaborative development of strategic sustainability plans for businesses, organizations and local government institutions, and more.
To register for an internship, please sign up with Fox and use the SUS 410 course for credits. You will need to fill out appropriate pre- and post- internship paperwork, as well as generating a 5-8 page report on sustainability or a project which you will discuss beforehand with Fox.
To register for a research experience, please sign up with Fox or another approved instructor and use the SUS 401 course for credits. Departmental approval is needed.
Sustainabilty "playlist" created by the Bacc Core (note, does not feature SUS core yet)