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Sustainability Leadership Requirements

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Minor Requirements

Sustainability Leadership is designed for students who want to promote environmental, social, and economic sustainability in their personal and professional lives.

The minor provides an opportunity for students in any academic major to develop key competencies that will be the foundation for their growth as sustainability leaders in their civic and professional endeavors.

Coursework in Sustainability Leadership requires a core course in Environmental Problems and Policy that will provide students with a foundation for considering what "sustainability" means. Courses in communication, diverse perspectives and ethical issues, and the interconnectedness of systems build on that core.

All students  also participate in a co-curricular leadership skills series of workshops and undertake a community-engaged learning project that will provide practical experience in leadership and immersive experience in sustainability (that is, an opportunity to engage, observe, and learn in depth about sustainability challenges and solutions related to the student's chosen theme).

Students have options in each set of requirements and in an additional elective for how they choose to define further their understanding of sustainability and leadership in the areas of communication, ethics, human interactions, environmental issues, and more.

  • Program Type: Undergraduate free-standing minor
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Required credits in this minor: 20 to 24


On all levels, students explore the implications and intersections of sustainability and leadership within and across disciplines. The Sustainability Leadership minor works well with any major to prepare students for graduate study as well as various internship or career opportunities.

UMN Morris students and staff in Saerbeck, Germany

Program Student Learning Outcomes

In the core courses for the Sustainability Leadership minor, students will:

  • Describe human-environment interactions and related problems and policies
  • Communicate about issues of sustainability to the public and diverse audiences
  • Analyze and interpret multiple perspectives related to decision-making and leadership
  • Reflect on personal and social contexts that lead to construction of belief, culture, and knowledge.

Students complete a significant amount of coursework in Sustainability Leadership at UMN Morris and also are strongly encouraged to study abroad or on other campuses. In order to count study abroad toward the minor, all students must procure formal approval of coursework from the Sustainability Minor steering committee prior to departure. (Typically, no more than 6 credits from study abroad may count toward the minor.) Sustainability Leadership is by nature interdisciplinary.

No grades below C- may count toward the Sustainability Leadership minor. No courses may be taken S-N unless offered S-N only. A minimum GPA of 2.00 is required in the major to graduate. The GPA includes all, and only, University of Minnesota coursework. Grades of F are included in GPA calculation until they are replaced.

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Required Courses

A minimum of 20 credit is required for the minor. Some courses may require completion of prerequisites. Students should review the prerequisites listed in the catalog or class schedule.

  • ENST 1101 - Environmental Problems and Policy [ENVT] (4.0 cr) 

Take 2 or more credit(s) from the following:

  • CMR 1062 - Introduction to Interpersonal and Group Communication [HUM] (4.0 cr)
  • CMR 2102 - Communication and the Environment: Analysis and Criticism [HUM] (2.0 cr)
  • CMR 3311 - Social Uses of the Media [E/CR] (4.0 cr)
Ethics and Interactions

Take 2 or more credit(s) from the following:

  • ENST 3112 - Climate Change and Moral Responsibility [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
  • IS 3253H - Honors: Honoring Native Treaties: Human Rights and Civic Responsibilities [E/CR] (2.0 cr)
  • POL 2354 - Political Ethics [E/CR] (4.0 cr)
  • POL 3272 - Making Environmental Public Policy [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
  • PSY 3542 - Multicultural Psychology [HDIV] (4.0 cr)
Community Engagement

A discipline/adviser approved 3000-level directed study or internship based on a real-world sustainability need, issue, topic that includes a community engagement attribute, paper, and public presentation and/or publication may be used to fulfill the community engagement requirement.

Take at most 4 credit(s) from the following:

  • IS 3104 - Sustaining Community: Stewardship, Leadership, and Social Change [E/CR] (4.0 cr) 

(exploring components, connections, perspectives, and boundaries)

Take 2 or more credit(s) from the following:

  • BIOL 3131 - Ecology [SCI-L] (4.0 cr)
  • ECON 3007 - Environmental and Natural Resource Economics I [ENVT] (2.0 cr)
  • ECON 3008 - Environmental and Natural Resource Economics II [ENVT] (2.0 cr)
  • ENST 3101 - Industrial Ecology (4.0 cr)
  • MGMT 3221 - Management and Organization Theory (4.0 cr)
  • MGMT 3701 - Organizational Behavior [SS] (4.0 cr)
  • PSY 3701 - Organizational Behavior [SS] (4.0 cr)
  • SOC 2101 - Systems of Oppression [HDIV] (4.0 cr)
  • SSA 3172 - Leadership in Sport Organizations [SS] (2.0 cr)
Morris Leadership Education and Development Program (MLEAD)
  • The MLEAD program consists of six workshops designed to increase leadership capacity and competency. Taught by Office of Student Activities, Conferences and Special Events.
Additional Elective

One additional course (exclusive of any used to complete other areas in the minor) in ESci, EnSt, or with an ENVT general education designation to strengthen students' understanding of sustainability in relation to environmental issues. Possibilities are offered in a variety of disciplines and include CFAN 3520. Germany: Leading the Renewables Revolution (J-term study abroad, competitive admission; 3 credits).

Take 2 or more credit(s) from the following:

  • ANTH 3204 - Culture, Food, and Agriculture [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
  • ANTH 3251 - Health and Human Ecology [ENVT] (2.0 cr)
  • ECON 3007 - Environmental and Natural Resource Economics I [ENVT] (2.0 cr)
  • ECON 3008 - Environmental and Natural Resource Economics II [ENVT] (2.0 cr)
  • ECON 3136 - Economics of the Green Power Transition: New Business Models and Regulatory Strategies [ENVT] (2.0 cr)
  • ENGL 3062 - Carbon Energy Literatures: The Politics of Energy, Climate, and Crisis in the 20th and 21st Century [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
  • ENST 3001 - Water Resources Policy [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
  • ENST 3112 - Climate Change and Moral Responsibility [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
  • ENST 3xxx
  • ESCI 3xxx
  • FREN 3507 - Modern Studies: French for Sustainability [ENVT] (2.0 cr)
  • GEOG 3501 - Geographic Information Systems [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
  • GEOL 3011 - Earth Resources [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
  • GEOL 3502 - Groundwater [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
  • HIST 3361 - An Environmental and Geographic History of the United States [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
  • IS 3053 - Irish Texts and Contexts [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
  • IS 3204H - Honors: Ecological Health and the Sustainability of Common-Property Resources [ENVT] (2.0 cr)
  • IS 3209H - Honors: Apocalypse Now? The Science and Policy of Preparing for a Catastrophe [ENVT] (2.0 cr)
  • IS 3215H - Honors: Sagas before the Fall: Culture, Climate, and Collapse in Medieval Iceland [ENVT] (2.0 cr)
  • IS 3237H - Honors: The Power of Place: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Where We Live [ENVT] (2.0 cr)
  • IS 3254H - Honors: The Prairie: What It Was, What It Is, What It Can Be [ENVT] (2.0 cr)
  • PHYS 3004 - Atmospheric Physics [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
  • POL 3272 - Making Environmental Public Policy [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
  • POL 3355 - Environmental Political Theory [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
  • SOC 3112 - Sociology of the Environment and Social Development [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
  • SOC 3131 - World Population [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
Recommended Electives

Although not required, additional coursework in written and oral communication is highly recommended. Several possibilities are listed below.
Take 0 or more credit(s) from the following:

  • CMR 1042 - Public Speaking and Analysis [E/CR] (4.0 cr)
  • CMR 2321 - Digital Media Production [HUM] (4.0 cr)

Sustainability Leadership is an interdisciplinary minor. The program is administered on a rotating basis by 2-3 affiliated faculty and staff with oversight by the Dean.