Online Sustainability Studies Degree (B.A.)

Sustainability studies is quickly becoming one of the most important fields as the global population faces increasingly pressing environmental challenges. As a student in the BA in Sustainability Studies, you study climate, energy, geography, history, sociology, and economics to understand the complex environmental problems of today. You learn modern conservation methods and techniques and adopt a transformative mindset so that you can become an effective agent of change.

When you complete the program, you will be able to:

  • Identify fundamental environmental, social, and economic concepts associated with sustainability.
  • Synthesize historical and contemporary and scientific and ethical arguments to develop a systems approach to sustainable practices.
  • Use skills of persuasion, audience analysis, and aesthetic expression to advance rhetoric and argument, media communications, public relations, and political/community organizing related to sustainability.
  • Apply quantitative and qualitative tools and metrics to design innovative sustainable practices and assess their impact.
  • Demonstrate professional skills of leadership and collaboration through experiential learning (civic engagement, service learning, research, or internship) in order to apply sustainable solutions in real-life settings.

Your IU Online BA in Sustainability Studies prepares you for such careers as:

  • Sustainability policy consultant
  • Environmental advocate
  • Environmental engineer
  • Natural sciences manager
  • Environmental specialist
  • Sustainability program coordinator
  • Energy manager
  • Ecotourism guide
  • Energy auditor

This 100 percent online, consortial program is taught by IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, and IU Southeast. This consortial model allows you to take coursework from several campuses and learn froma wide range offaculty.

Degree Requirements

To earn the BA in Sustainability Studies, you must complete 120 credit hours. You complete the standard degree requirements (including general education requirements) of your campus and school of enrollment, plus the 42 hours of the BA in Sustainability Studies major requirements.

Major requirements (42 credit hours) are broken down into the categories below. You have numerous courses within each category to choose from.

  • Introduction to Sustainability (3 credit hours)
  • Scientific Foundations of Sustainability (3 credit hours)
  • Sustainability Science (6 credit hours)
  • Social and Behavioral Foundations of Sustainability (6 credit hours)
  • Sustainability in the Arts and Humanities (3 credit hours)
  • Methods and Techniques for Sustainability (6 credit hours)
  • Written Communication (3 credit hours)
  • Business and Economics of Sustainability (3 credit hours)
  • Sustainability Capstone (3 credit hours)
  • Sustainability Electives (6 credit hours)

Admission Requirements

Students who meet the admission standards of their home campus will be admitted directly into the BA in Sustainability Studies major.

Student Services

IU Online provides quick and easy access to tools, tips, and IU resources to help you succeed, including: 

  • Admissions: Personalized application support for the program that is right for you
  • Onboarding: An interactive orientation to online learning and all things IU
  • Student Financial Services: Tailored resources for financial aid and money management
  • Success Coaching: One-on-one support to reach your academic and personal goals
  • Math and Writing Support: Direct access to IU-trained math mentors and writing consultants
  • Career Services: Interactive tools and coaching to accelerate your career
  • Libraries and Research: Online access to IU library resources and research librarians
  • Technology: A full suite of software, collaboration tools, cloud storage, and training
  • 24/7 Contact Center: Real-time chat, email, and phone support direct from IU


Samples of Major Requirement Courses

Course Credit hours
SUST-S 201 Foundations of Sustainability 3 Credits
GEOG-G 107 Physical Systems of the Environment 3 Credits
GEOG-G 114 Global Environmental Changes 3 Credits
AHLT-H 331 Environmental Health 3 Credits
SUST-C 330 Scientific Foundations in Sustainability 3 Credits
GEOG-G 320 Population Geography 3 Credits
GEOG-G 337 Computer Cartography and Graphics 3 Credits
ENGL-W 270 Argumentative Writing 3 Credits
GEOG-G 478 Global Change, Food, and Farming Systems 3 Credits
SUST-C 490 Capstone in Sustainability 3 Credits
SUST-S 491 Internship in Sustainability 3 Credits


  • In-state: $250 per credit hour
  • Out of State: $350 per credit hour

Contact Information

Indiana University East
Office of Admissions
Whitewater Hall 116
2325 Chester Boulevard
Richmond, IN 47374-1289

Phone: 765-973-8208 or toll free 800-959-EAST
Fax: 765-973-8209
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Request Information

Thank you so much for your interest in IU East! Please feel free to contact us with any questions at or (765) 973-8208.
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