Sustainability Studies

Are you concerned about the environment? Do you believe in an equitable society? The sustainability studies program provides interdisciplinary training in the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability. These dimensions reflect the traditional pillars of sustainability and align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Coursework and integrative and applied learning opportunities offer the flexibility to prepare for careers and graduate studies.


campus e-garden

wind turbine

Program Highlights

  • Customize learning by taking courses from nearly two dozen programs and departments.
  • Develop interpersonal and career skills through research, study abroad, or internships.
  • Engage in a campus community committed to sustainability. Geneseo has a President’s Commission on Sustainability and an Office of Sustainability.
  • Engage in the broader community through numerous off-campus partnerships and locations.
  • Learn about rural, agricultural, and environmental issues, as well as urban issues in nearby Rochester, NY. 

Recent Internships/ Field Experiences                

  • Genesee Valley Conservancy        
  • Tanglewood Nature Center            
  • Heartstone Organic Farm        
  • Livingston County Planning Department                 
  • NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
  • NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation
  • City of Rochester    

Example Careers       

  • Climate Change Policy Analyst    
  • Conservation Scientist
  • Environmental Economist        
  • Environmental Restoration Planner
  • Environmental Scientist        
  • Environmental Specialist
  • Geoscientist
  • Logistics Analyst    
  • Marketing Manager                
  • Public Relations Specialist            
  • Soil and Plant Scientist                
  • Sustainability Specialist    
  • Urban and Regional Planner
  • Water Resource Specialist

Career Outlook

  • Demand for sustainability professionals is growing across a broad range of fields, including conservation, planning, renewable energy, food production, resource management, sustainable business practices, finances, human resources, and others.
  • Many sustainability careers are showing growth, such as Urban/Regional Planner (11% growth, much faster than average) and Environmental Scientist/Specialist (8% growth, faster than average) (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020).
  • Skills such as communication, problem solving, flexibility, consensus building, innovation, and influencing change are inherent to a Geneseo education, and are “of extremely high importance” in sustainability careers (International Society of Sustainability Professionals, 2010). 

Program Options

  • BA in Sustainability Studies
  • Minor in Sustainability Studies
  • Possible Certifications

Microcredential in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Required Courses

  • Contemporary Biology or General Biology
  • Introductory Microeconomics
  • Environmental Issues
  • Physical Geography or Our Geologic Environment
  • The Developing World

Program Director 

Sustainability Studies Coordinator
James Kernan, Associate Professor of Geography
Office: Bailey Hall 234
Phone: 585-245-6194