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Sustainability Studies

Overview

Are you are committed to protecting and preserving the planet's natural resources? Are you passionate about environmental health, economic equity and social justice? Do you want to help future generations tackle real-world challenges like climate change, pollution, waste management, poverty and hunger, economic development, urban planning and renewable energy?

Then a degree in Sustainability Studies at Hofstra University is the way to combine those interests and turn them into a rewarding career in a wide range of careers, from science and technology to public policy, law, architecture and business.

Career opportunities for sustainability studies majors vary, depending on the industry and your role. In the New York region, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in sustainability studies earned an average annual salary of $57,751, and job growth for this major is projected to increase 12.2 percent by 2026, according to New York area labor market data retrieved in July 2018 by Burning Glass Technologies.

Sustainability Studies combines ideas and methods from many disciplines to understand the complex, evolving relationship between humans and their environment. At Hofstra, you can tailor your degree depending on whether you want focus on natural science and math, or would rather emphasize the social sciences and humanities. Specific areas of interest include but are not limited to sustainability management and benchmarking, green entrepreneurialism, suburban and urban environments, agriculture, international development, and community development and planning.

The University's lab facilities, including a flexible set of research labs and teaching spaces called The Collaboratorium, are designed to encourage students and faculty to work together on research projects across scientific disciplines, engaging with each other in creative, new ways that advance discovery.

Hofstra's location just 25 miles from New York City also makes for an excellent real-world laboratory to learn about the dynamic connection between cities and suburbs, and how development patterns affect ecological systems, health and future economic growth.

Sustainability Studies students develop independent research projects and participate in off-campus community-based field work on Long Island and the Greater New York area.  There are also ample opportunities to study abroad in The Galapagos and Costa Rica, and for independent studies in places such as New Zealand and Australia.

Our program also benefits from the resources of Hofstra's National Center for Suburban Studies, which supports sustainability-related research and conferences, as well as Hofstra's student gardens, which train students in suburban agriculture.

Curriculum

Sustainability Studies students can work towards a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts degree. There is also a minor in Sustainability Studies, and a Master of Science program.

The general curriculum includes courses in renewable energy, mineralogy, climate change, natural hazards, geospatial statistics, sustainable agriculture, waste management, urban planning, and other areas of sustainability including economics, policy, equity, entrepreneurship and ethics.

The BS program is for the student who wants to take an engineering, technological or scientific approach to sustainability and environmental issues. Students in this program are required to take at least 23 credits of science and math.

The BA program looks at sustainability through a liberal arts lens. This degree includes more electives than the BS program, since there is less science and math required. It is designed for students who aspire to work in public policy, law, urban planning, community development or business.

Up-to-date information about required classes and more is available in the Hofstra Bulletin.

BS in Sustainability Studies Requirements BA in Sustainability Studies Requirements

Recent Alumni Outcomes

Graduates in Sustainability Studies are in demand in a wide range of industries, including renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, waste management, the food and water industries, and urban planning. Sustainability graduates also work in law and engineering, or in green construction. They work for non-profit organizations and in the C-suite of major corporations that are increasingly conscious of sustainability issues.

Post-graduation, our students are working at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), North Shore Land Alliance, the city of Long Beach, NY and SolarCity Corporation. They are pursuing advanced degrees at institutions like Columbia University, University of Texas, Austin, Gemological Institute of America, University of Georgia, Syracuse University, Clark University and Bard College.

100% are employed, grad school or both
92% accept a position within six months
$42K median salary
Get More Info on Program Outcomes

Experience

Hofstra Garden

When Sustainability Studies majors reach their senior year, they participate in Sustainability Studio, in which they select a research topic of interest and dive into an in-depth project. These have ranged from mapping whale movements along the New York coastline, to incorporating environmental policies on campus via behavioral science experiments.

Students also dedicate their interest and energy to projects such as the Will Allen Student Garden, the Sustainability Studies Club, the campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity and the Alternative Spring Break Program, which has provided opportunities for important community service work in such places as New Orleans, El Paso and Puerto Rico.

Internships also are a big part of the hands-on learning process for sustainability studies majors. For instance, a student recently completed an internship with Gotham Whale, a not-for-profit Citizen Science organization that conducts research and advocacy for whales and marine mammals in New York City. Other places that students have interned include the United States Geological Survey, the state Department of Environmental Protection, Green Streets Initiative, North Shore Land Alliance, Friends of the Bay, Great Smoky Mountains Initiative at Tremont, Young Leaders in Climate Change (National Park Service).

Meet Jakob Sacket

 
 

Jakob spent two years as a research assistant in the Sustainability Office of Hofstra’s National Center for Suburban Studies. During his time at Hofstra, he also spent several summers working for the National Park Service in the area of environmental education. He now teaches at a pre-school that specializes in nature, environmental and outdoor education.