Sustainability Minor

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The Sustainability minor is the first trans-disciplinary minor on the UW Tacoma campus, as sustainability requires an understanding of issues from social, environmental, and economic perspectives. Leaders of industry and today’s students believe sustainability will be an important part of our future and this minor provides students the skills and knowledge to be sustainability practitioners and leaders.

The sustainability minor gives students grounding in sustainability practice and theory, and creates a foundational understanding of local and global problems from a social, economic and environmental perspective. Solutions for many of the complex, large-scale sustainability issues, such as social injustice, economic inequity, environmental destruction and climate change, require and understanding of these issues from multiple perspectives. The minor in sustainability would be valuable for students form any major, as it provides and overlap of the multiple perspectives where sustainability solutions exist while enhancing student’s sustainability literacy.

Student Learning Outcomes

At the end of this minor, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a deep understanding of the local and global challenges to sustainability from economic, environmental and social perspectives.
  2. Apply the skills and knowledge to communicate and critically evaluate sustainability issues across disciplines.
  3. Link knowledge with action in order to promote sustainability and serve as leaders in their communities.
  4. Recognize how social, economic, and environmental equity issues are embedded within sustainability.

Requirements: 32-35 credits

  • All courses in the minor must be completed with a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Students select 15 credits from three areas; programs will advise students where to focus within the 3 areas to complement their majors.
  • 60% of the coursework applied to the minor must be taken outside of the student's major(s) requirements.
  • A capstone project is required. The culminating capstone must be different from the student's major(s) capstone.

Sustainability Foundation Courses: 15 credits

  • TESC 201 The Science of Environmental Sustainability
  • TEST 295 Valuing Ecosystems Services and Natural Capital
  • TSUD 222 Introduction to Sustainability

Additional Requirements: 15 credits

  • Programs will advise students where to focus within the three areas, to complement major.
  • See Sustainability minor web page for approved list.
  • Select 15 credits from the following areas:
    • Policy, Society, and Economics
    • Science, Environmental Issues, and Environmental Thought
    • Social Justice and Global Perspectives in Sustainability


  • Select One of the capstone course options. (cannot use the same capstone for major and minor). See Sustainability minor web page for approved list.