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Lee Hall at Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina

“Sustainable Environment” is one of the University’s six innovation clusters and is notable because of the University’s academic strength in the field and a related industry presence in the state. Clemson students may choose from dozens of sustainability-related courses in various majors and minors, including the newly established interdisciplinary sustainability minor. By including it as an innovation cluster and being a signatory of the Presidents’ Climate Commitment, Clemson has been committed to making sustainability an integral part of the curriculum and other educational experiences for all students.

To ensure that sustainability is both addressed specifically and is integrated across the curriculum, the Sustainability Plan education action items were implemented:

  • Implement a series of major-specific courses that address sustainability concepts within the context of Clemson’s fields of study
  • Include sustainability as a theme in Science, Technology and Society courses
  • Expand and highlight opportunities to integrate sustainability into other courses or to develop new sustainability-focused courses, concentrating on first and second-year courses that reach a broad audience
  • Support faculty who incorporate sustainability in their courses
    • Offer incentive funding for revising courses to include sustainability
    • Continue and expand Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation workshops in “teaching sustainability across the disciplines”
    • Offer a faculty support network through a new or rechartered center or institute that will focus on sustainable education.

Sustainability Minor

The sustainability minor, which is open to all majors, is one of the first of its kind. The program is designed to familiarize students with the core values of sustainability, and gain an in-depth knowledge of why and how sustainability is approached.

If you are interested in minoring in sustainability, speak with your advisor or contact Jennifer Goree.

If you need to discuss a course substitution, please contact Caye Drapcho.

Minor Catalog

Below is a document that provides an overview of classes that could apply to the sustainability minor. It also denotes when classes are most frequently offered.

Minor Catalog

Student Learning Outcomes

Scales of sustainability:

  • Define sustainability in 3 dimensions (environmental, social, economic)
  • Apply sustainability concepts on local and global scales
  • Integrate sustainability study and practice into the surrounding community
  • Evaluate the history of development through mercantilism, imperialism, capitalism
  • Assess the long term cultural and environmental impacts that shape our world today

Fundamental issues of sustainability:

  • Evaluate current and potential future impacts of sustainability issues including: Global climate and climate change; Food; Energy; Water; Environmental Degradation
  • Evaluate how sustainability impacts social and intergenerational justice

Systems thinking for sustainability:

  • Understand basic principles of systems thinking
  • Evaluate the role of their major in sustainability issues
  • Recognize interrelated systems

Evaluate tools for implementing/measuring sustainability:

  • Evaluate the costs and benefits of sustainability (see that it is not always more expensive)
  • Perform a Life cycle analysis and assessment
  • Measure impacts of point source pollution prevention; and cradle-to-cradle and lean manufacturing

Change agents for sustainability:

  • Practice change agent skills for sustainability
  • Practice group processes
  • Identify and address the root of problems, even when it seems to go against the status quo or social norms
  • Apply a new or changed mindset to your personal life

Sustainable Cities of Scandinavia

Summer Study Abroad in Sweden: An Interdisciplinary Program for Undergraduate and Graduate students

Undergraduate students will earn 6 credit hours at the 3000 level that count toward the Interdisciplinary Minor in Sustainability during the 5-week undergraduate program.

Graduate students will earn 3 hours of graduate credit during the 10-12 day graduate program.

Students will live in Kalmar, Sweden, an 800-year-old city by the Baltic Sea and will visit four of the greenest cities in the world.

Cities visited will include: Kalmar, Vaxjo, Oland, Smaland, Stockholm, and Copenhagen

Contact Lori Dickes at for more information.