Sustainability Studies Minor (AGNR)

Co-sponsored by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the School of Public Policy
1100 Thurgood Marshall Hall

Program Directors: Joanna Goger, J.D. and Thomas C. Hilde, Ph.D.

The study of sustainability examines each generation’s commitment to protect and preserve the quality of the natural environment for the benefit of succeeding generations. The stability of natural systems and the environment, economic progress, and promoting social justice are all important sustainability goals. Promoting these goals involves choices among competing ends.

The Sustainability Studies Minor at the University of Maryland provides students the opportunity to learn how human relationships, natural resources, and diverse environments can be understood and used to address creatively and positively the global challenges that will affect future human populations and cultures. It will complement any major on campus and provide both intellectual breadth and depth in a challenging area of inquiry that is gaining a high level of interest in businesses, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations. This minor will provide students with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for them as citizens, employees, or graduate students.

To apply please: 1) complete the application form (electronically) and email it to and 2) schedule a mandatory advising appointment during advising hours. For more information, please visit our page at or email  

15 approved credits, at least 9 of which are 300- or 400-level. All courses taken for a minor must be completed with a minimum grade of "C-". A minimum C (2.00) cumulative grade point average across all courses used to satisfy the minor is also required. Notes: No more than 6 credits may overlap between your major and Sustainability Studies, unless otherwise approved by your major. Additionally, courses completed in one minor may not be used to satisfy the requirements in another minor. Students must declare the minor a full academic year before their intended graduation.

Course Title Credits
AGNR/PLCY301Sustainability 13
Select one course from each of the following groups: 29
Science and Technology
Policy and Institutions
Social and Human Dimensions
Select an additional approved course from one of these categories or an approved, credit-bearing experiential learning option for which a grade is earned 33
Total Credits15

This course will introduce you to the normative concepts and new thinking surrounding sustainability. We will use readings, lectures, writing exercises, and small group exercises that address how environmental responsibility, economic health, social equity, and cultural vitality are defined and considered in the sustainability context. The roles of resilience and adaptive management will be examined as key pragmatic dimensions of sustainability and as challenging concepts shaping our environmental ethics today. Guest speakers from the Washington region with research and policy expertise will discuss current policy issues.


See web site for a list of approved courses


These experiences include internships, study abroad trips, and research projects. The experiential learning option must be linked to sustainability and approved in advance.