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20 Affordable Colleges Offering Degrees Online for Sustainability Jobs (Bachelor’s 2018)

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Gabrielle Kratsas
January 2018

Sustainability jobs and careers in sustainable development are new and  growing. Many top online colleges are meeting the demand by offering sustainability degree programs at the certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree levels.

Generally, a bachelor’s in sustainability is an interdisciplinary environmental science degree program. Subjects can range from economics, business and management, to engineering,  anthropology and cultural diversity. These subjects come together under one program with a goal of maintaining or enhancing the quality of life.

EnvironmentalScience.org also defines it as “the study to minimize and mitigate environmental impacts caused by human actions.” These environmental degrees can come in the form of:

    • Environmental Engineering
    • Environmental Science
    • Sustainability
    • Sustainable Architecture and Design
    • Sustainable Business
    • Sustainable Public Policy
    • Sustainable Technology

In 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that “Green Goods and Services” employment was present in 17 different public and private industries. These run from leisure and hospitality to construction and finance.

As of May 2016, environmental scientists and specialists made a median annual income of $68,910. The projected rise in employment from 2016 to 2026 is an impressive 11 percent. The BLS reports that “Heightened public interest in the hazards facing the environment, as well as increasing demands placed on the environment by population growth, are expected to spur demand for environmental scientists and specialists.”

To help students prepare for jobs in this growing field, we compiled a ranking of some of the top colleges offering online degrees in sustainability.

To create this ranking, we sourced information from the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator Database, the individual schools’ websites and other college resource websites listed at the end of this article. Because we want to highlight relative degree programs that are the best bang for your buck, we ranked our list by each school’s net cost, as defined by NCES.

20. Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, NH

Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, SNHU’s online degree program includes six 8-week terms each year, and students can transfer up to 90 credits.
Net Cost: $34,984

At Southern New Hampshire University, students can choose from over 200 career-focused online college degree programs. It’s free to apply. SNHU offers a BA in anthropology with a concentration in environmental sustainability. It also offers a BS in environmental science with online concentration options in natural resources and conservation or geospatial technologies.

The environmental sciences degree program provides students with a strong foundation in natural and physical sciences. The natural resources and conservation concentration focuses on the conservation and management of natural resources and correcting natural and human hazards.

The geospatial technologies concentration focuses on gathering and analyzing geospatial data, then applying it to a wide array of environmental issues.

Courses in these programs include Energy and Society, Conservation Biology and Global Climate Change. They feature instructor-led labs using custom lab kits. These kits are mailed to online students for hands-on learning at home.

In the online BA in anthropology, students study subjects like the complexities of biological change and adaptation and how these are related to modern and historical events. The program has a strong foundation in archaeology, ethics and conservation. Many of these courses include virtual experiences like role-playing and tourism plans. The program’s multidisciplinary approach prepares graduates to work in a variety of positions from global health advocacy to environmental and natural resources.

For those looking to continue their studies, similar online grad programs are available at SNHU like the MBA in sustainability and environmental compliance.

19. University of Denver in Denver, CO

At the University of Denver’s University College, graduates of the online environmental studies degree program will be prepared for sustainability jobs like environmental consultant, air pollution analyst, conservationist, water management specialist and more.
Net Cost: $32,940

The University of Denver is the oldest independent private university in the Rocky Mountain Region. It serves about 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The University College, College of Professional and Continuing Studies at DU has offered online education for more than 20 years. It’s accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

One of the six online bachelor’s degree completion programs, the BA in environmental studies offers four annual start dates, 10-week terms, and a per-credit cost of $619.

Required major courses include Sustainability Issues and Solutions, Environmental Decision-Making and Natural Resource Management. Courses are taught by a combination of practitioner faculty who are active in their respective fields, and full-time DU faculty. Average class size is fewer than 20 students. Classes are designed to teach students reporting, permitting, natural resource management, pollution control, energy sustainability and waste management.

In the UD’s dual degree program students can earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees simultaneously by substituting two graduate courses for two undergraduate courses. Online students can choose from six different online environmental policy and management master’s degree programs.

18. Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL

Students in the BASS program who live near Roosevelt University can take advantage of an onsite Biodiversity course where students conduct conservation research under the guidance of scientists at the Field Museum of Natural History.
Net Cost: $27,418

Roosevelt University is a smaller college and a self-proclaimed “national leader in educating socially conscious citizens for active and dedicated lives as leaders in their professions and their communities.” Launched in 2001, RUOnline offers 14 bachelor’s and master’s degrees and certificate programs. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The College of Arts and Sciences offers the online BA in sustainability studies for adult learners (BASS). It’s the first of its kind in the Chicago area. Courses are typically eight weeks long with five available start dates each year.

The curriculum uses analytic methods from science, policy and environmental justice to explore natural and social ecosystems. The goal is to teach students to recognize global implications of sustainability issues. Students in this adult education program must be 22 or older. They may double major within the College of Professional Studies. They can also minor/pursue a “functional area” in subjects throughout the university. These subjects include:

  • business
  • communications
  • criminal justice
  • hospitality
  • paralegal studies
  • environmental science and more

Specific program courses include:

  • Sustainable Future: Environment, Economy, Equity
  • Sprawl, Transportation and Planning
  • The Sustainable Campus

17. Prescott College in Prescott, AZ

Prescott College has a “generous transfer policy” and a accepts credit for work experience through its Prior Learning Assessment.
Net Cost: $25,280

Prescott College is a small, private liberal arts college with a focus on environment and social justice. It has offered distance learning since 1978. Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, Prescott opened the world’s first Ph.D. Program in Sustainability Education in 2005. The BA in sustainable community development is an online, hybrid, “limited residency program.” It requires an on-campus orientation and work within each student’s community. This program offers three start dates each year.  It requires 120 total credits with a minimum of 60 credits in environmental studies and sustainability. Within their curriculum, students can develop two “breadths” (similar to a minor), which are an elective and the liberal arts.

Students study the physical environment of their community and the value, practices and needs of its inhabitants. The program also includes studying the influences of the government and organizations that affect the community. Students will take specific courses like Sustainability, the Environment, and the Arts and Awakening Citizens to Community Engagement for Beneficial Change. Projects done throughout the program will be designed to address each student’s community needs.

Prescott also offers a BA in environmental studies limited residency program. It also has accelerated pathways into its online master’s degree in environmental studies and sustainability.

16. Everglades University in Boca Raton, FL

Students at Everglades University can choose from three different sustainability majors. Each requires 123 total credits and can be completed in 41 months.
Net Cost: $24,926

Everglades University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It’s private and non-profit with almost 2,500 students and a mission to provide quality education to adult learners. The online division offers all students free online tutoring in all subjects, including writing. Students looking for sustainability programs have the choice of three at Everglades:

  • a BS in environmental policy and management
  • land and energy management
  • alternative and renewable energy management

The alternative and renewable energy management major emphasizes alternative energy principles, regulations and business and management operations. It aims to provide students with a broad-based knowledge of the sustainable energies industry. Specific courses include Solar Energy and Photovoltaics, Construction Safety and Energy Policy.

The environmental policy and management major offers students a curriculum focused on:

  • business and management skills
  • environmental policy
  • specific technical and occupational subjects. These include industrialization’s impact on the environment and environmental technology.

Examples of courses are The Science of Persuasion and Negotiation, Global Environmental Politics and Environmental Impact Analysis.

Finally, the land and energy management major emphasizes:

  • communication skills
  • business and management skills
  • critical thinking
  • environmental policies, regulations and requirements

Graduates of this major will be prepared to enter careers involved in land and mineral rights acquisition for fossil fuel and renewable energy resource development.

15. Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA

Through Liberty University’s BS in business administration with a concentration in green and sustainable management, graduates can enter careers like construction project manager, parks and recreation management, professional consultant and sustainability analyst.
Net Cost: $24,794

Liberty University is a private, non-profit research university with over 75,000 students on campus and online. Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty offers 121 fully online bachelor’s degrees. It’s accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Liberty’s online BS in business administration can be earned with a concentration in green and sustainable management. As with all of Liberty’s degree programs, it integrates faith with learning.

Members of the military enjoy a $250-per-credit tuition and waived application fee for this 120-credit degree program. At least 30 credit hours must be taken through Liberty and up to 90 can be transferred. The courses run for eight weeks with eight different start dates each year and no set log-in times. Green and sustainable management is one of the three “cognate” options. The curriculum is designed to focus on the world of business while teaching an understanding of environmental sustainability. Students in the program focus on effective management and the integration of ethics surrounding environmental resources. Courses include:

  • Energy Resources and Efficiencies
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Environmental Science and Policy

14. Pennsylvania State University World Campus in University Park, PA

Penn State World Campus offers the Military Grant-in-Aid, an undergraduate program that lowers the tuition rate closer to the Department of Defense cap for military students and spouses.
Net Cost: $23,129

Penn State World Campus offers more than 150 fully online degrees and certificates. The school has received from U.S. News & World Report the most top-10 rankings of any institution in the country for online education.

The online energy and sustainability policy degree program is available as a BS or BA, each totaling 120 credits at $555/$596 per credit. According to the school, this program is one of the few in the nation to focus specifically on policy in energy and sustainability. It is “all-inclusive,” covering both conventional and renewable energy. It  integrates coursework in:

  • energy security
  • sustainability management
  • foreign and domestic energy
  • sustainability policy analysis

It also emphasizes communication skills, foreign language (BA), global cultures and humanities. In the BS program, students choose additional coursework closely related to the major, rather than learning a foreign language.

Specific courses include Energy in a Changing World, Oil: International Evolution, and Energy Industry Applications of GIS. Some courses in this program require students to maintain a web presence through blogging, creating a website, video sharing and more.

The Carnegie Foundation selected Penn State for its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. Students in this program are required to complete at least one outside-the-classroom engagement opportunity that impacts the community through an international study experience or domestic internship. An online undergraduate minor in energy business and finance is available. A graduate certificate in sustainability management and policy is also available.

Also offered is a master of professional studies in renewable energy and sustainability systems – sustainability management and policy.

13. University of Massachusetts Amherst in Amherst, MA

The online BA in sustainability studies program at UMass Amherst allows students to tailor their degrees to their interests, offering courses from various schools and departments within the university.
Net Cost: $20,093

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is the flagship campus of the UMass five-campus public research university system. It has more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Created in 2001, UMassOnline offers over 150 of the system’s degrees and certificates in fully-online formats. It’s accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Students looking to dive into the world of sustainability have a few choices at UMassOnline:

-an AS, certificate or BS in sustainable food and farming

-a certificate in sustainable business practice

-BA in sustainability studies.

Both baccalaureate degrees have flexible curriculum designs and require 120 credits.

The sustainable food and farming major is available through the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, which U.S. News & World Report ranked No. 8 for “Best Global Universities for Agricultural Science.” The curriculum allows students to focus on:

  • vegetable, fruit and animal systems
  • permaculture
  • whole farm production and marketing
  • agricultural education
  • public policy
  • advocacy and community development

Courses in this program include Sustainable Site Design Studio, Global Food Systems and Sustainable Agriculture.

The BA in sustainability studies offers a “broad green education.” Students can take classes in food and farming, business and entrepreneurship, policy and planning, green building, earth science, citizen advocacy, green economics, public health and more.

This curriculum allows more flexibility for students to study disciplines that align with their interests. Sustainability courses include Sustainable Building and LEED Certification, Political Economy of the Environment and Exploring Success with Sustainability: Creating Community Based Enterprises.

12. Green Mountain College in Poultney, VT

Every major at Green Mountain College has a foundation in sustainability. The online interdisciplinary degree completion programs allow students to take courses that match their interests.
Net Cost: $20,060

Green Mountain College is a small, private liberal arts institution focused on environmental, social and economic sustainability. Recognized for its leadership in sustainability more than any other college in the country, GMC is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It offers just two online degree completion programs: a BA in interdisciplinary studies or a BS in business administration.

These programs are interdisciplinary, allowing students to choose one primary (21 credits) and one secondary (15 credits) area of concentration, which can be any major or minor within the college. Major options include:

  • sustainable agriculture and food systems
  • environmental studies
  • sustainable business
  • renewable energy & ecological design (REED)
  • natural resources management
  • applied environmental science

GMC online classes consist of 20 or fewer students and include extensive advising, academic, and administrative support. Each course lasts six weeks. They must be taken one at a time (no more than eight within one year) Students must finish these completion programs by earning a minimum of 120 credits within six years of being accepted.

There are two admission deadlines each year, and applicants must have at least 12 credits from a higher education institution coming in.

11. Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR

By completing the double degree sustainability program at Oregon State, students can obtain sustainability jobs and careers in carbon and greenhouse gas management; sustainability operations for private companies, universities, and government entities; sustainability marketing and market research; sustainability and engineering management; or sustainability/environmental performance assessment and monitoring.
Net Cost: $19,484

Regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the Oregon State University Ecampus offers its 21,000+ distance learners more than 45 undergraduate and graduate degree programs online. These include 100+ different study subjects. Best Colleges ranked its online BS in sustainability No. 1 compared to similar programs in 2017. The school also offers a BS in environmental economics and policy and a BS in environmental sciences.

At just $288 per credit, OSU’s sustainability degree program is only available as a secondary double degree. It’s designed to complement all OSU degree programs, like the bachelor’s in business administration, making graduates more competitive job candidates. Students complete a total of 180 credits of baccalaureate core and primary major courses, plus 36 credits for the sustainability degree. Students are also required to complete an internship. They can add a minor from one of the 28 online options, including subjects like agricultural business management, natural resources and leadership.

The courses in this degree program are created by and offered through a variety of OSU colleges. Some example topics include:

  • Sustainable Communities
  • Environmental Economics
  • Policy and Social Dimensions of Sustainability

A minimum of 45 credits must be completed at Oregon State.

10. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Champaign, IL

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The online degree programs are different from those on campus only because of the method of instruction.
Net Cost: $16,683

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign enrolls over 45,000 students, but reaches about 2.7 million students digitally through its Massive Open Online Courses. Offering 75+ online degree, certificate and endorsement programs, Illinois Online and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a BS in earth, society & environmental sustainability. It has concentration options in society and environment or society in the Earth system.

Regardless of concentration, students have the opportunity to specialize in another area, like sustainable business, environmental informatics and sustainable societies. They can also take on a minor.

The society and environment concentration is for those wanting a natural science background or focus. It includes courses like Social Valuation of Environmental Systems, Environmental Policy and Perceptions of Environmental Risk.

The society in the Earth system concentration has a broad social sciences background, offering courses like Engineering and Management Practices, Green Chemistry and Biogeochemical Cycles.

Regardless of the focus, students are required to complete 120 credits to graduate. Transfer students could finish within two full-time academic years. The program was made possible through a partnership between the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences and the School of Earth, Society, and Environment.

9. Wilmington University in New Castle, DE

Students in Wilmington University’s online BS in environmental science and policy can take a blend of online and face-to-face courses if they live near one of the multiple campus locations.
Net Cost: $14,471

Wilmington University is a private non-profit university with locations across three states and an enrollment of more than 20,000. Allowing students to transfer up to 90 credits, Online Learning at WilmU offers over 90 career-focused certificate, undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

One program is the completely online BS in environmental science and policy. This STEM degree completion program is interdisciplinary, drawing courses from the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as the Colleges of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Technology and Business.

Students in this program will cover related concepts like oral communication and the delivery of professional presentations, scholarly writing, critical thinking strategies, the use of scientific and digital tools to solve problems and more.

Program graduates should be proficient in “hi-tech literacy, social responsibility, cellular structure and function, concepts of cell division and heredity to examine the evolutionary process, animal and plant structure and function, ecological interactions, and human impacts on the environment, basic laboratory skills, quantitative and qualitative analytical skills and knowledge of how science is both used and impacted by policy.”

Specific courses in this curriculum include Our Environment, Our Health, Climate Dynamics and Environmental Sociology.

8. Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ

At ASU Online, students interested in sustainability can continue their studies through online graduate degree programs like the master of sustainability leadership, master of sustainable tourism and the MS in sustainable engineering.
Net Cost: $13,007

Arizona State University Online enrolls more than 30,000 students and offers six start dates each year. It has been consistently ranked at the No. 1 university for innovation by U.S. News & World Report.

At ASU, students can choose from a BA or BS in sustainability, as well as BA in business with a concentration in sustainability. The latter is offered through 40 7.5-week classes (120 total credit hours). The AACSB-accredited W. P. Carey School of Business uniquely prepares its graduates for careers in:

  • agribusiness
  • supply chain management
  • corporate responsibility
  • compliance
  • operations
  • international development
  • policy and governance
  • urban dynamics

The BS in sustainability degree program consists of 40 classes, while the BA includes 39, with each totaling 120 credit hours. These programs are available through ASU’s School of Sustainability, where faculty members have been placed in the Popular Science “Brilliant 10.”  They are active members of the National Academy of Sciences and have earned the school recognition as a U.N. “Champion of the Earth”. Students in the BA program can choose from four concentration tracks:

  • international development and sustainability
  • policy and governance in sustainable systems
  • society and sustainability
  • sustainable urban dynamics

The BA includes perspectives and course subjects surrounding “anthropology, urban planning and design, environmental economics, ethics, geography, philosophy of science, political science, sociology and other disciplines relevant to the sustainability of environmental resources and social institutions.”

The online BS degree program offers three tracks:

  • economics of sustainability
  • sustainable ecosystems and sustainable energy
  • materials and technology

Course subjects include ecology, engineering, environmental economics, environmental science, conservation biology, hydrology, physical geography, earth-systems management and more.

7. Florida International University in Miami, FL

The BA in sustainability and the environment at FIU Online features interactive technology so students can watch lectures, get real-time instructor feedback and collaborate with classmates on projects.
Net Cost: $12,966

Florida International University is Miami’s public research university and Florida’s only public school of law and medicine. It enrolls more than 55,000 students. FIU Online opened classes in 1998, and currently offers 12 fully online bachelor’s degree programs, including the BA in sustainability and the environment.

This program is multidisciplinary and designed by the School of Environment, Arts and Society to focus on developing creative and adaptive solutions for the real world. The curriculum introduces students to factors that determine the sustainability of human institutions, organizations, cultures and technologies in a variety of environments. FIU Online’s faculty come from the department of Earth & Environment. They are well-respected scholars in environmental sciences and natural resource management issues.

Sixty of the 120 required course credits are focused on sustainability and the environment with courses like Earth Ethics, Sustainability in Action and Sustainable Resource Development.

The in-state per-credit cost is $212.71 while out-of-state is $329.77, and there are three start dates within each academic year.

This degree program can lead to career paths in:

  • sustainability
  • park management
  • transportation coordination
  • energy efficiency analytics
  • operations management

FIU Online provides its students with a personal success coach for one-on-one guidance throughout the program.

6. University of Maryland University College in Adelphi, MD

Through UMUC’s online BS in environmental management, students can learn how to identify and evaluate current and future air, water, land and energy resource needs to make recommendations for sustainable solutions and practices.
Net Cost: $12,483

Regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the University of Maryland University College has offered academic opportunities from a distance for over 65 years. It is easily one of the most military-friendly colleges with a presence in Asia and Europe and on military installations in 20+ countries and territories.

The online BS in environmental management requires 120 credits, but you can transfer up to 90 from prior learning or experience. The tuition per credit is $289 for in-state students, $499 for out-of-state students and $250 for military students. The program is also available as a minor. Designed with input from employers, industry experts and scholars, this program’s curriculum teaches students how to plan, implement and control all facets of environmental management. Students will use software tools and technologies related to risk management, geographic information systems and environmental economics.

The curriculum has an interdisciplinary approach and includes specific courses like:

  • Human Health and Disease
  • Global Environmental Management Issues
  • Environmental Technology

Minors are available in subjects like:

  • business administration
  • contract management & acquisition
  • emergency management
  • public safety administration

UMUC offers a unique financial aid opportunity to Maryland community college graduates through the Completion Scholarship, which reduces the in-state rate by $100 per credit.

5. University of Florida in Gainesville, FL

Graduates of the online BS in environmental management at UF will be prepared for sustainability jobs and careers in various fields and sectors within the area of natural sciences.
Net Cost: $11,976

The University of Florida is a large public research university. Thirty-four different academic departments offer at least one sustainability-focused or related course. Launched in 2014, UF Online has 19 different majors that lead to the same SACS-accredited degree you’d receive on campus.

UF’s online BS in environmental management with an emphasis on agriculture and natural resources is an interdisciplinary degree program designed by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. This program has a solid foundation in hydrology, soil science, pest management, water resources and agricultural ecology.

It prepares graduates for jobs with agricultural producers, consulting companies and government agencies involved in maintaining a sustainable environment. The program teaches students how to best use natural resources for social and economic benefits while protecting resource values, property rights and the environment.

This online sustainability degree program has a per-credit tuition of $129.18 and three start dates each year. Students will take courses like:

  • Natural Resource Policy and Economics
  • Environmental Nutrient Management
  • Environmental Biogeochemistry

Electives include Economics, The World of Water and Environmental Monitoring Techniques.

Students can choose a minor in something like business administration. The school also offers a variety of related, fully-online master’s programs.

4. American Public University System in Charles Town, WV

In addition to the online BS in environmental science, APU offers online undergraduate certificates in environmental technology, sustainability and fish and wildlife management.
Net Cost: $11,470

American Public University System is a private, for-profit online learning institution providing HLC-accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs to adult and military learners. About 88 percent of the colleges’ nearly 50,000 students are working adults. The tuition per credit hour is just $270 for undergrads.

Residing in the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, APU’s online BS in environmental science offers concentrations in:

  • environmental technology and management
  • regional and community environmental planning
  • sustainability
  • fish and wildlife management

The sustainability concentration focuses on principles of resource and energy sustainability, and how they apply to land use and development planning. Instruction covers topics like why social and economic barriers prevent acceptance and use of sustainable products, goods and services.

Regardless of concentration, 120 credits are required for graduation. Students can transfer up to 90 credits. The eight or 16-week courses have monthly start dates. They include subjects like:

  • Energy and Resource Sustainability
  • Green Infrastructure and Renewable Technologies
  • Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems
  • Land Use and Planning

APU works with industry advisory councils and industry certifying bodies to ensure that students graduate prepared for their careers. The curriculum includes some hands-on at-home lab exercises.

3. University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha, WI

UW-Extension created this sustainability degree completion program so students can complete their core prerequisites (associate’s degree) through the UW Colleges, the Wisconsin Technical Colleges (online or on-campus) or any of the UW System campuses.
Net Cost: $9,906

Six out of the 13 four-year institutions within the University of Wisconsin System pull their resources together to offer an online BS in sustainable management as a degree completion program. These include UW-Green Bay, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-River Falls, UW-Stout and UW-Superior.

According to NCES, the Parkside location has the lowest net cost. It offers four online degree completion programs for those who already have an associate’s degree or equivalent. There are also three online graduate degree programs, including the MS in sustainable management. Online certificates in sustainable enterprise management (15 credits) and sustainable management science (12 credits) are also available.

Housed in the College of Management, the online bachelor’s degree program requires 63 credits for completion through 21 different courses that focus on:

  • environmental studies
  • accounting
  • management
  • environmental policy
  • logistics
  • sustainability

Examples of these courses include:

  • Environmental and Sustainability Policy
  • Marketing for a Sustainable World
  • International Development and Sustainability

The program’s curriculum combines environmental preservation and conservation with business operations. It emphasizes a “triple bottom line” that integrates profit, people and planet. It takes the theories of sustainability and makes them tangible in the business setting. The curriculum was “crafted in close partnership” with global companies like Johnson Controls, Ford Motor Company, Eastman Kodak, Quad Graphics, FedEx, SC Johnson and more.

2. St. Petersburg College in Clearwater, FL

Program highlights for the BAS in sustainability management at SPC include energy and environmental management, sustainable business strategies, green construction, urban planning and legal aspects of sustainability.
Net Cost: $7,089

St. Petersburg College is a baccalaureate institution that offers primarily associate’s degree and certificate programs. It has multiple locations and over 30,000 students. Among the dozens of degrees available on SPC’s eCampus is the BAS in sustainability management. It offers a curriculum focused on developing and managing sustainability business practices. According to the school, students in this program are expected to learn:

  • energy, resource and environmental management
  • sustainable business strategies
  • sustainable enterprise planning and marketing
  • sustainability in the natural environment
  • green construction and urban planning
  • legal aspects of sustainability
  • alternate and renewable energy development and management
  • budgeting and finance
  • leadership
  • triple bottom line management

The eight-week courses were created by active advisory committee members who make sure skills match industry needs and trends. Examples include:

  • Energy & Environmental Techniques
  • Sustainable Enterprise Planning
  • Sustainability in the Natural Environment

A total of 120 credits are required to graduate with this degree. Since it’s a degree completion program, admission requires 60 college-level credits in a related discipline, including 15 credits of transferable general education courses.

Just a few career options for graduates include:

  • construction, project, facility or property manager
  • program coordinator
  • sustainable management consultant

Because of particular state authorization requirements for distance learning, residents of Massachusetts, Minnesota and Nevada cannot enroll in online classes at SPC.

1. Bellevue University in Bellevue, NB

Bellevue University’s online BS in sustainability management degree program focuses on water and energy resources, land management, biofuels and bioenergy, solar and wind technologies, as well as urban development.
Net Cost: $6,349

Bellevue University is a private, non-profit university focused on adult education and educational outreach. It offers career-relevant bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs to its almost 9,000 students. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Bellevue offers over 75 fully-online undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

The online BS in sustainability management program is designed to teach students how to evaluate “the sustainability of current technology innovations related to environment, energy and natural resource management.” It develops sustainable strategies for local and global water, energy, land and urban management. It also creates strategies for engaging stakeholders in sustainable projects. Students will investigate the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) U.S. Green Building Council rating system and the process for green certification.

The per-credit tuition for this program is $410. Students entering the program are required to have one year of work experience in a science or engineering technology field. They must have completed of at least two college level natural science courses or get permission from the program director.

Courses in the program include:

  • Current Trends in Energy Technology
  • Cost of Sustainability
  • Green Project Management

This degree also provides a foundation for Bellevue’s MBA, master in project management and master in public administration degree programs.

Sources

National Center for Education Statistics and College Navigator
Bureau of Labor Statistics
EnvironmentalScience.org
Sustainability Degrees
Best Colleges