Chatham University

Sustainability (BA/BS) Curriculum

The Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability and Bachelor of Science in Sustainability advance the mission of the Falk School of Sustainability and Environment by immersing students in sustainability, integrating knowledge, implementation, and creation across the curriculum. The program includes an intellectual and experiential core in sustainability, individual and team projects, and the ability to specialize in one of four defined tracks of study (Natural Resource Management, Sustainable Technology, Sustainable Business, Policy and Communications) or to build one's own track through the program. All students have extensive experiential coursework at the Eden Hall campus, including aquaculture/aquatic biology, agriculture and food, landscape ecology, policy and decision making, and sustainability assessment. In addition, they have coursework in environmental health, global change, systems, economics, social justice, and earth systems science.

Program Requirements

+BA in Sustainability

52 credits

Common to BS and BA:
SUS100 Sustainability Science

Through the lens of the natural and cultural history of Eden Hall and its surroundings, students learn about cultural, social, economic, natural and other systems. The course will focus on land use over time, the economic and social drivers and impacts of those land uses, and the implications for environmental wellbeing.

3
SUS102 Sustainability and Society

Students examine core concepts of sustainability, and explore its origins, history, and achievements across the globe at multiple scales. Students gain a foundation for more in-depth study of sustainability. Students also focus on their personal conception of sustainability and engage in a sustainability group project linked to community partners.

3
SUS203 Global Environmental Health

To be determined

3
SUS302 Social Justice and Sustainability

This course focuses on social justice and sustainability. We examine environmental risks and benefits as they are unequally distributed in society. We look especially at environmental problems in relation to social constructs such as gender, race, ethnicity, and class. We will also focus on solutions and responses to these problems.

3
SUS350
OR
IND350W Scientific Research Methods

This course serves as an introduction to research literature and research methodology in the sciences. Topics include professional writing, experimental design, presentation techniques, and professional and research ethics. Credit is not given for both IND350W and EXS301W.

2
SUS406 Environmental Policy

This course addresses water policy, management, and sustainability. We will consider water resources with specific attention to the challenges that come with managing a resource that crosses a range of boundaries and scales. Topics include U.S. water policy, water privatization, water resources in the global south, infrastructure and climate change.

3
SUS490 Integrative Capstone

The integrative capstone, undertaken by the student during the senior year, is an extended project that helps the student complete their transition from an undergraduate student to a world-ready professional.  The study usually centers on the student’s major and may be conducted, at least in part, in the context of a group experience.  Such programs are crafted to meet the unique needs of each major, and could include, for example, fieldwork, theatre production, creative work in the arts, independent research, or independent readings. The integrative capstone in an interdisciplinary major must have the approval of both academic programs.  

3
FST420 Basic Agroecology

Through working on Chatham's Eden Hall Farm as well as neighboring farms, students will integrate best practices for sustainable agriculture with theory encountered in class. Topics will include basic principles of soil fertility, biodiversity, agriculture history, effects of both conventional and organic agriculture, and the politics surrounding the issues.

3
FST420L Growing Sustainably Lab

Through working with Chatham's Eden Hall Farm as well as visiting neighboring farms, students will integrate best practices for sustainable agriculture with theory encountered in classes. Topics will include basic principles of soil fertilitiy, biodiversity, greenhouse production, agriculture history, effects of both conventional and organic agriculture, and the politics surrounding the issues.

1
ECN102 Principles of Microeconomics

Microeconomics is the study of how households and firms make decisions and how they interact in specific markets. Students are introduced to the basic concepts and tools that economists use to understand how the economy works. This course is designed to increase economic literacy through acquiring core knowledge about economics.

3
SUS380
SUS352
COM106 Media and Society

The effects of mass communication on individuals and society, particularly as they relate to values and ethics, are examined. The course emphasizes the history and structure of the mass media.

3
SUS201 Integrative Biology

This course will introduce traditional biological concepts from molecules to organisms within an integrative and applied framework. Students will learn the interdisciplinary nature and common approaches of biology through applied topics relevant to sustainability such as human and ecological health, freshwater and marine fisheries, energy sources, and climate dynamics.

3
SUS419
Specific to all BA tracks:
BUS110 Business Statistics

This course introduces essential research tools in business. Topics include descriptive statistics of central tendency and variability and hypotheses testing statistical analysis using correlation, analysis of variance, and regression. Problems use applications from business cases, marketing research, and economic policy.

3
POL101 American Government and Public Policy

This course provides an introduction to the principles and practices of government, federalism, with special attention to the policy process, political participation and selected political issues in the United States.

3
BUS462

+BS in Sustainability

53 credits

Common to BS and BA
SUS100 Sustainability Science

Through the lens of the natural and cultural history of Eden Hall and its surroundings, students learn about cultural, social, economic, natural and other systems. The course will focus on land use over time, the economic and social drivers and impacts of those land uses, and the implications for environmental wellbeing.

3
SUS102 Sustainability and Society

Students examine core concepts of sustainability, and explore its origins, history, and achievements across the globe at multiple scales. Students gain a foundation for more in-depth study of sustainability. Students also focus on their personal conception of sustainability and engage in a sustainability group project linked to community partners.

3
SUS203 Global Environmental Health

To be determined

3
SUS302 Social Justice and Sustainability

This course focuses on social justice and sustainability. We examine environmental risks and benefits as they are unequally distributed in society. We look especially at environmental problems in relation to social constructs such as gender, race, ethnicity, and class. We will also focus on solutions and responses to these problems.

3
SUS350
OR
IND350W Scientific Research Methods

This course serves as an introduction to research literature and research methodology in the sciences. Topics include professional writing, experimental design, presentation techniques, and professional and research ethics. Credit is not given for both IND350W and EXS301W.

2
SUS406 Environmental Policy

This course addresses water policy, management, and sustainability. We will consider water resources with specific attention to the challenges that come with managing a resource that crosses a range of boundaries and scales. Topics include U.S. water policy, water privatization, water resources in the global south, infrastructure and climate change.

3
SUS490 Integrative Capstone

The integrative capstone, undertaken by the student during the senior year, is an extended project that helps the student complete their transition from an undergraduate student to a world-ready professional.  The study usually centers on the student’s major and may be conducted, at least in part, in the context of a group experience.  Such programs are crafted to meet the unique needs of each major, and could include, for example, fieldwork, theatre production, creative work in the arts, independent research, or independent readings. The integrative capstone in an interdisciplinary major must have the approval of both academic programs.  

3
FST420 Basic Agroecology

Through working on Chatham's Eden Hall Farm as well as neighboring farms, students will integrate best practices for sustainable agriculture with theory encountered in class. Topics will include basic principles of soil fertility, biodiversity, agriculture history, effects of both conventional and organic agriculture, and the politics surrounding the issues.

3
FST420L Growing Sustainably Lab

Through working with Chatham's Eden Hall Farm as well as visiting neighboring farms, students will integrate best practices for sustainable agriculture with theory encountered in classes. Topics will include basic principles of soil fertilitiy, biodiversity, greenhouse production, agriculture history, effects of both conventional and organic agriculture, and the politics surrounding the issues.

1
ECN102 Principles of Microeconomics

Microeconomics is the study of how households and firms make decisions and how they interact in specific markets. Students are introduced to the basic concepts and tools that economists use to understand how the economy works. This course is designed to increase economic literacy through acquiring core knowledge about economics.

3
SUS380
SUS352
COM106 Media and Society

The effects of mass communication on individuals and society, particularly as they relate to values and ethics, are examined. The course emphasizes the history and structure of the mass media.

3
SUS201 Integrative Biology

This course will introduce traditional biological concepts from molecules to organisms within an integrative and applied framework. Students will learn the interdisciplinary nature and common approaches of biology through applied topics relevant to sustainability such as human and ecological health, freshwater and marine fisheries, energy sources, and climate dynamics.

3
SUS419
Specific to all BS tracks
CHM102 Chemistry in Context

One semester lecture course with selected topics in inorganic and organic chemistry. Emphasis is on relevance to biological and environmental issues. Topics include matter, energy, atomic and molecular structure, bonding, reaction chemistry, and radioactivity. Three hours of lecture per week. Not open to majors in biology or chemistry.

3
MTH110 Elementary Statistics

Topics include statistical measures and distributions, decision making under uncertainty, application of probability to statistical inference, linear correlation, introduction to nonparametric statistical methods, and application to problems drawn from the natural and social sciences. Three hours of class per week. Three hours of class per week.

3
BUS171 Information Systems and Operations

This course explores basic concepts of communication networks (e.g., the Internet), hardware, software, databases, and systems. Students apply information systems to decision making, communication, collaboration and coordination in the operations of contemporary organizations. Students gain skills in word processing, presentation software, data visualization, spreadsheets, and relational databases.

3

+Natural Resource Management BS Track

19 credits
The natural resources management track provides students with a broad-based understanding of the interconnectedness of ecological, economic, social and political, systems. The track introduces students to a wide range of renewable natural resources, their use and management. It combines professional competency in management skills with a strong foundation in the biophysical, social and economic fields.

SUS322
SUS455
SUS418
OR
SUS430
SUS202 Dynamic Earth Systems

The earth is a dynamic, evolving system. This course provides an introduction to earth's formation, its materials composition and distribution, and the processes of the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere that interact to shape surface and subsurface features and conditions. The complex adaptive systems framework will be applied.

3
SUS301 Global Change Science

The climate system of Earth is rapidly changing due to complex and interacting phenomena. This course offers an in-depth investigation of the science behind climate change, including a survey of model forecasts. Emphasis will also include the current and projected consequences of climate change on natural resources.

3
SUS404 Quantitative Ecology

Drawing from case studies in landscape design and natural resource management, this course will apply quantitative methods to ecological data analysis. Students will work with the software program R to apply statistical inference and mathematical modeling using previously collected data sets on single species, species interactions, communities, and food webs.

3
SUS404L Quantitative Ecology Laboratory

Laboratory exercises from this course will complement material covered in SUS 404. Activities will primarily involve data collection and retrieval in ecosystems surrounding Eden Hall and in the Laurel Highlands. Additional fees: $50 laboratory fee.

1

+Sustainable Technology BS track

19 credits
The sustainable technology track provides students with a broad-based understanding of the interconnectedness of social, ecological and technological systems. The track introduces students to a wide range of renewable energy technologies and systems, and explores the relationship between technological, social and policy change, particularly in the context of the sustainable cities of the future.

SUS210
SUS210L
SUS327
SUS335
SUS460
SUS416 Sustainable Decision Analysis

The class contributes to a foundation for sustainability management by exploring different quantitative approaches to sustainable decision-making including: Life Cycle Analysis, Ecosystem Services Valuation, Carbon and Water Footprinting, and DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts and Responses) Society-Environment interaction framework. Finally, the class explores how quantitative decision-making is shaped by various stakeholders.

3
IAR231 Green & Sustainable Design

Global issues of energy use, resource depletion, and indoor air quality have promoted design professionals to re-evaluate design and construction processes. This course provides students with the knowledge of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system to promote environmentally responsible design.

3

+Sustainable Business BA Track

18 credits
The sustainable business and management track helps students to understand how business can help solve sustainability problems. The track exposes students to analytical concepts and tools for decision making. At the same time students are encouraged to think broadly about the impacts of business decisions. The track includes traditional business classes, an introduction sustainable technology, approaches to decision analysis and corporate social responsibility.

SUS416 Sustainable Decision Analysis

The class contributes to a foundation for sustainability management by exploring different quantitative approaches to sustainable decision-making including: Life Cycle Analysis, Ecosystem Services Valuation, Carbon and Water Footprinting, and DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts and Responses) Society-Environment interaction framework. Finally, the class explores how quantitative decision-making is shaped by various stakeholders.

3
SUS325
OR
SUS337
BUS243 Principles of Marketing

This course introduces students to the basic concepts of marketing strategy and management. Basic marketing concepts such as strategic segmentation, targeting, positioning, product design, pricing, promotions and distribution are covered. Environmental sustainability is analyzed from the consumer perspective.

3
SUS470
CMP283 Database Management Systems

This course is a study of database management systems and their applications to a wide range of information processing needs. Students design and implement database management systems while being introduced to a conceptual model of a database environment comprised of five basic components: databases, database management systems, data dictionary/directory systems, database administration, and user-system interfaces.

Prerequisite(s): CMP 202 or permission of the instructor.

3
BUS105 Foundations of Business

The course combines the theory and practice of business and fosters analytical thinking. Students build a foundation for learning by gaining an understanding of business organizations, their structure and functions, the global setting in which they compete, environmental components and the challenges of an increasingly dynamic, complex work environment.

3

+Policy and Communications BA Track

15 credits
The Policy and Communications track provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the way in which policy is created and used, along with the history, content and consequences of key US and global environmental and sustainability policies. The track introduces students to the political and technical process that produces and uses policy and regulation. Students will also develop their communication skills and explore the role traditional and social media play in policy creation.

POL202
COM260W Practical Public Relations

Students learn the theories, processes, and techniques involved in planning and implementing programs designed to influence public opinion and behavior through socially responsible performance and mutually satisfactory communication. The course emphasizes research, design, production, and writing public relations media, including news releases, features, pamphlets, brochures, financial statements, management reports, scripts, scenarios, and publicity. Students will analyze case histories presented by professional practitioners; appraise success and failure factors; and explore new concepts and developing trends.

3
COM351 Advanced News Writing and Editing

This course emphasizes the "how to" of interviewing, researching, writing, and placing professional quality articles for a full range of magazines and newspapers, including women’s, sports, ethnic, local, and national publications. Analyses of the skills and background needed to report on the various topics. The following topics may be covered, depending on student interest: science, medicine, and environment writing; sports news and feature coverage, including social and economic factors influencing sports in America; business, including economics and finance; entertainment and arts, including television, film, theatre, music, graphic arts, architecture, and design; and government, covering local, state, and federal goverment. Students also concentrate on Reporting Pittsburgh, where they will focus on Pittsburgh and be required to do intensive field work in the neighborhoods, ethnic communities, and local institutions such as City Council, hospitals, police departments, and social work agencies. Prerequisite(s): COM 251

3
SUS460
SUS322

+BSUS - Minor in Sustainability

Students pursuing a minor in sustainability will explore society’s sustainability challenges and focus on data driven and entrepreneurial solutions.

The sustainability minor consists of 18 credit hours (6 courses). Students must take the following courses to fulfill the minor degree requirements:

Required

SUS100 Sustainability Science

Through the lens of the natural and cultural history of Eden Hall and its surroundings, students learn about cultural, social, economic, natural and other systems. The course will focus on land use over time, the economic and social drivers and impacts of those land uses, and the implications for environmental wellbeing.

3
SUS102 Sustainability and Society

Students examine core concepts of sustainability, and explore its origins, history, and achievements across the globe at multiple scales. Students gain a foundation for more in-depth study of sustainability. Students also focus on their personal conception of sustainability and engage in a sustainability group project linked to community partners.

3
SUS203 Global Environmental Health

To be determined

3
SUS302 Social Justice and Sustainability

This course focuses on social justice and sustainability. We examine environmental risks and benefits as they are unequally distributed in society. We look especially at environmental problems in relation to social constructs such as gender, race, ethnicity, and class. We will also focus on solutions and responses to these problems.

3
SUS416 Sustainable Decision Analysis

The class contributes to a foundation for sustainability management by exploring different quantitative approaches to sustainable decision-making including: Life Cycle Analysis, Ecosystem Services Valuation, Carbon and Water Footprinting, and DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts and Responses) Society-Environment interaction framework. Finally, the class explores how quantitative decision-making is shaped by various stakeholders.

3

Elective

Choose 1 course from among the following courses:
SUS305 Environmental Toxicology

To be determined

3
SUS403 Sustainable Food Systems

This course explores the sustainability of food and agricultural systems from the local to the global level, focusing on economic, social, ethical, and environmental factors. It also explores the roles of food access and culture, sustainable production at various scales, and the development of resources to support sustainable food systems.

3
SUS406 Environmental Policy

This course addresses water policy, management, and sustainability. We will consider water resources with specific attention to the challenges that come with managing a resource that crosses a range of boundaries and scales. Topics include U.S. water policy, water privatization, water resources in the global south, infrastructure and climate change.

3
SUS562 Economics of the Environment

This course is designed to introduce you to how economists think about the environment. The theory of externalities and market failure provide the basis for applying microeconomic concepts to the study of environmental issues. Analytical tools, particularly cost-benefit analysis, are explained and applied to problems with environmental dimensions.

3
FST420 Basic Agroecology

Through working on Chatham's Eden Hall Farm as well as neighboring farms, students will integrate best practices for sustainable agriculture with theory encountered in class. Topics will include basic principles of soil fertility, biodiversity, agriculture history, effects of both conventional and organic agriculture, and the politics surrounding the issues.

3
AND
FST420L Growing Sustainably Lab

Through working with Chatham's Eden Hall Farm as well as visiting neighboring farms, students will integrate best practices for sustainable agriculture with theory encountered in classes. Topics will include basic principles of soil fertilitiy, biodiversity, greenhouse production, agriculture history, effects of both conventional and organic agriculture, and the politics surrounding the issues.

1

+BSUS - Interdisciplinary Major

Students pursuing an interdisciplinary major in sustainability, twinned with any other related major offering a similar interdisciplinary option, will explore society’s sustainability challenges and focus on data driven and entrepreneurial solutions, through a range of environmental, social, business and food system courses.

The interdisciplinary major consists of 24 credit hours (8 courses), exclusive of the integrated senior capstone. The capstone must integrate the subject matter of the two majors. A student perusing an interdisciplinary major must obtain the specific supported by a full-time faculty member who has agreed to advise the student and direct their program, particularly in the interrelations of the subjects to be studied. At least 50% of the credits toward the major must be completed at Chatham. A student must earn a G.P.A. of 2.0 or above within their major. Courses within the major with a recorded grade below C- must be repeated. Students must take the following courses to fulfill the integrated degree requirement for Sustainability:

SUS100 Sustainability Science

Through the lens of the natural and cultural history of Eden Hall and its surroundings, students learn about cultural, social, economic, natural and other systems. The course will focus on land use over time, the economic and social drivers and impacts of those land uses, and the implications for environmental wellbeing.

3
SUS102 Sustainability and Society

Students examine core concepts of sustainability, and explore its origins, history, and achievements across the globe at multiple scales. Students gain a foundation for more in-depth study of sustainability. Students also focus on their personal conception of sustainability and engage in a sustainability group project linked to community partners.

3
SUS202 Dynamic Earth Systems

The earth is a dynamic, evolving system. This course provides an introduction to earth's formation, its materials composition and distribution, and the processes of the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere that interact to shape surface and subsurface features and conditions. The complex adaptive systems framework will be applied.

3
SUS203 Global Environmental Health

To be determined

3
SUS302 Social Justice and Sustainability

This course focuses on social justice and sustainability. We examine environmental risks and benefits as they are unequally distributed in society. We look especially at environmental problems in relation to social constructs such as gender, race, ethnicity, and class. We will also focus on solutions and responses to these problems.

3
SUS406 Environmental Policy

This course addresses water policy, management, and sustainability. We will consider water resources with specific attention to the challenges that come with managing a resource that crosses a range of boundaries and scales. Topics include U.S. water policy, water privatization, water resources in the global south, infrastructure and climate change.

3
SUS403 Sustainable Food Systems

This course explores the sustainability of food and agricultural systems from the local to the global level, focusing on economic, social, ethical, and environmental factors. It also explores the roles of food access and culture, sustainable production at various scales, and the development of resources to support sustainable food systems.

3
SUS416 Sustainable Decision Analysis

The class contributes to a foundation for sustainability management by exploring different quantitative approaches to sustainable decision-making including: Life Cycle Analysis, Ecosystem Services Valuation, Carbon and Water Footprinting, and DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts and Responses) Society-Environment interaction framework. Finally, the class explores how quantitative decision-making is shaped by various stakeholders.

3