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Undergraduate Sustainability Degree Programs

Students can earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Sustainability through Interdisciplinary Studies. The Interdisciplinary Studies Sustainability program allows students to harness the true cross-disciplinary nature of issues relating to sustainability by taking classes from multiple departments across campus, where classes focus on the interconnectivity of human and natural systems. Through this program, students will develop skills to understand social and environmental implications of sustainability in the context of contemporary local, regional, and global challenges. Students can tailor their program around a particular focus of interest, including Environmental Justice and Ethics, Sustainable Island Ecosystems, Environmental Policy and Management, and Globalization and Sustainable Development. This program includes a capstone, which can be completed through an internship or research experience in partnership with local sustainability-focused organizations.

For further information, contact sustain@hawaii.edu. Refer to these links for more details about the course of study: Sustainability Program Sheet and the 4-year Outline.

The Bachelor of Science (BS) degree program in Global Environmental Science (GES) is administered by the Oceanography Department in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. Students in the GES program take a scientific and quantitative approach to sustainability concepts and issues, study Earth systems holistically, and complete a faculty-mentored research experience. Recent student research experience locations include Antarctica, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, the Hawaiian Islands, the mainland U.S., and oceanographic cruises around the world. Students can select their own environmentally-related curricular area of focus or take advantage of the following GES tracks: Environmental Anthropology, Environmental Health Sciences, Environmental Planning, Sustainability Science, and Sustainable Tourism. The GES program also has two Bachelor’s-and-Master’s combined pathways that allow students to get a GES BS and an accredited MS (in either Planning or Public Health-Epidemiology Focus) within a total of five years. Half of GES graduates go to graduate/professional school and the other half goes into private and government environmental sectors of the workforce.

The College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources offers a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Management (NREM). NREM focuses on preparing students to be natural resources managers and professionals by: developing their understanding of the biophysical aspects of natural resources within a tropical island context; using the latest information, tools, and models to effectively manage resources; teaching students the real economic value of these resources and evaluating the costs and benefits of different management options; and working with the community and stakeholders to implement practical solutions to their resource management challenges and concerns. Additionally, numerous NREM courses are cross-listed as SUST courses.

The College of Engineering offers a Sustainability and Innovation track for students majoring in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Students who want to pursue a specialty track should refer to the curriculum checksheet for alternative senior year course work in consultation with their curriculum advisor.

Graduate Sustainability Certificate Programs

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa offers a Graduate Certificate in Renewable Energy and Island Sustainability (REIS). The REIS certificate program provides students with an opportunity to get both breadth and depth in energy and sustainability curriculum. Students will take classes in different colleges to get a broad perspective on energy sustainability.

Graduate students interested in an academic course of study aimed at building disaster risk reduction competence and professionalism can opt to enroll in the Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (DMHA) Graduate Certificate Program.

The Department of Curriculum Studies in the College of Education offers a graduate certificate in Sustainability and Resilience Education (SRE). The certificate is a 15-credit program that prepares school and community-based educators to integrate real world, place-based knowledge, sustainability research, and multiple literacies into their curricula.

The Marine Option Program (MOP) is a certificate program open to University of Hawaiʻi students from any field of study who have an interest in the ocean. Students in the MOP certificate program have the opportunity to take marine-related coursework, and to conduct an independent research project or participate in an internship in a marine-related field. The MOP certificate program provides students with experiential education, research opportunities, networking, job opportunities, field trips, and the opportunity to pursue their passion for marine studies.

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