New bachelor of science in sustainability offered through University College

Certificate in sustainable communities and development also available

A new degree, the bachelor of science in sustainability, that provides an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and resolving today’s most pressing and complex environmental, economic and social challenges, has been developed at University College, the adult, evening and continuing education division in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

The program, which will be offered beginning with the start of the semester Aug. 31, treats sustainable living from multiple perspectives — scientific, political, economic, social, historical, philosophical, anthropological and literary.

Students choose one of three concentrations for greater in-depth study: 1) sustainable environment and science; 2) sustainable management and organizations; and 3) sustainable communities and development.

The goal of the program is to provide students with knowledge of both concepts and methods of sustainability, local to global, and to help improve the quality of individual lives, the productivity of institutions and the security of the environment.

“The challenge of climate change is one of the great issues facing our generation, locally and globally, and that challenge can only be met successfully through the development of sustainable values and practices. University College is poised to work across disciplines and bring together perspectives from around the university to address these complex issues, and to prepare students for jobs and careers in these new fields,” says Robert E. Wiltenburg, PhD, dean of University College.

A certificate in sustainable communities and development also will be offered for the first time this fall semester. The certificate program provides students with an accepted credential that verifies competence and skill acquisition through a group of courses that specifically focus on sustainability in communities and sustainable design.

Course work is offered through the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts’ architecture program and the School of Engineering & Applied Science.

“This program will draw on a number of experienced practitioners who have been leaders in sustainable design and development in the St. Louis region. The old adage says that you cannot predict the future but you can make it, and our future will require that development be sustainable, otherwise there won’t be one,” says Bruce Lindsey, dean of architecture and the E. Desmond Lee Professor for Community Collaboration.

“With the nationally renowned and distinguished faculty at Washington University in St. Louis and the talented adjunct instructors from the St Louis professional community, the new bachelor of science in sustainability and certificate in sustainable communities and development will prepare students to help businesses develop sustainable practices for a global marketplace, while helping to preserve natural resources and strengthen community,” says Wiltenburg.

For more information about the bachelor of science in sustainability or certificate in sustainable communities and development in University College, visit or call (314) 935-6700.

About University College:
Originally founded in 1853 to serve the diverse educational needs of the St. Louis area, Washington University continues to grow and thrive more than 150 years later. The first educational step of the fledgling university, on Oct. 22, 1854, was to establish an evening program. Washington University Extension, addressing the needs of local teachers, was begun in 1908, and, after much expansion and diversification, became University College in 1931. Then and since, people of all ages attend Washington University through University College, earning associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, or certificates, or taking courses for personal enrichment.