Are you 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? A BA/BS in Sustainability Studies combines those interests and offers paths to a wide range of careers, from science and technology to public policy, law, architecture, and business.
Majors and Programs
The sustainability curriculum includes an introduction to sustainability history, planning, and policy, and capstone studio, research, and internship experiences. Elective courses can be chosen that address climate change, natural hazards, geospatial analysis, sustainable agriculture, waste management, urban planning, and other subjects relevant to sustainability, including economics, public policy, social equity, entrepreneurship, and ethics.
BA in Sustainability
The BA program looks at sustainability through a liberal arts lens. This degree has more freedom to choose electives than the BS program since there are less science and math courses required. It is designed for students who aspire to work in public policy, law, urban planning, community development or business.
In the Classroom
Learn from the Experts
Our program director uses virtual reality (VR) technology to study hurricane preparedness and teach community resiliency in the face of weather hazards. The department chair accompanies a group of students to the Galápagos Islands every other year to learn about sustainable ecotourism. Our geological hazard expert travels with students to Greece to monitor volcanic activity. Our climate change specialist applied for (and won!) scholarships so her oceanography class could attend the 2020 National Coastal and Estuarine Virtual Summit.
Through varied course offerings, field trips, research projects, and internships, students learn through experience in many ways – both in and outside of the classroom. All our major and introductory classes involve experiential learning, research reports, and oral presentations.
All sustainability studies students complete an internship and carry out an authentic research project in sustainability to qualify for graduation.
Will Allen Garden
Students may dedicate their interest and energy to projects such as the Will Allen Student Garden, the LEAF (Leaders in Environmental Activism and Fellowship) 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.
When sustainability studies majors reach their senior year, they participate in a two-semester Sustainability Studio, in which they select a research topic and carry out an authentic research project. These have ranged from studying whale movements along the New York coastline to mapping food deserts in communities on Long Island.
All sustainability studies students must complete an internship to graduate. Recent internships include work with the Town of Hempstead Energy Park, Suez Water, Green Streets Initiative, North Shore Land Alliance, Friends of the Bay, Great Smoky Mountains Initiative at Tremont, and Young Leaders in Climate Change (National Park Service).
A degree in Sustainability Studies may be applied to a wide range of rewarding 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% by 2026, according to New York area labor market data retrieved in July 2018 by Burning Glass Technologies. More on alumni outcomes
In a survey of recent graduates from the sustainability studies program:
reported they were either employed or attending or planning to attend graduate school
of those who reported employment, responded that they had landed their position within three months of graduation from Hofstra
was the mean annual salary of survey respondents their first year out of college
J Bret Bennington
Room 141 Gittleson Hall
Department of Geology, Environment and Sustainability
Room 143 Gittleson Hall
Hempstead, NY 11549-1140
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.