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Sustainability Studies Bachelor's Degree (B.A.)

Sustainability Studies Bachelor's Degree (B.A.)

Sustainability Studies at Messiah College

Are you interested in how sustainable practices affect people in communities? Are you ready to engage the future by being a part of Messiah's more than 40 year history of resource stewardship and creation care? 

Messiah College's interdepartmental Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in sustainability studies is built upon a holistic approach that emphasizes the social, ecological and economic aspects of sustainable human communities. From the cultivation of the Grantham Community Garden to internship opportunities with organizations such as Mennonite Central Committee and ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization) that can take you around the world, you won't just learn about sustainability, you'll live it.

As a sustainability studies major at Messiah College, you’ll:

  • Study in a program that is AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) stars accredited
  • Gain hands-on experience in ecological and urban restoration
  • Gain practical training in applied sustainable agriculture working in the campus garden or through work with an international aquaponics organization
  • Immerse yourself in planning for and achieving energy savings for the campus physical plant and for carbon management
  • Get involved in sourcing and resource recovery opportunities for local industries
  • Choose from many internship opportunities, including the Nature Conservancy, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), A Rocha International, ECHO, and local organic farms for produce and beef
  • Utilize a geographic information system (GIS) in the student computer lab
  • Choose from several student clubs/organizations including Earthkeepers, the Restoration House and the Collaboratory

As a graduate of the sustainability studies program, you will be equipped to secure positions in areas such as:

  • Urban renewal
  • Ecology
  • Environmental agencies 
  • Nonprofits
  • Public policy
  • Law
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Stream and landscape restoration
  • Wetland delineation
  • Wildlife management
  • Forestry
  • Parks and recreation management

For more information on career planning for the sustainability studies program, visit the Messiah College Career and Professional Development Center

Messiah’s nationally recognized internship program places students in a variety of sustainability studies internships. A few examples include:

  • Organic farms
  • Urban gardens
  • Aquaponics companies
  • Nonprofits
  • Economic development agencies
  • State or federal agencies
  • Legislative committees

This major is offered cooperatively through the Department of Sociology and the Department of Biological Sciences

Program emphasis

In the sustainability studies program, you will choose a concentration and take a selection of courses that successfully prepare you for a career in a related field. The concentration options include community development (housed in the Department of Sociology) and conservation and agriculture (housed in the Department of Biological Sciences).

Learning environments

In addition to learning intensive propagation techniques in the community garden, Messiah has an apiary, as well as a state-of-the-art greenhouse, and environmental labs which are home to projects in institutional composting, aquaponics, aquaculture, hydroponics and biodiesel production. Beyond the Grantham campus, you might choose to live or work in Harrisburg to become involved in community development projects within an urban environment.

You'll have the opportunity to work alongside Messiah faculty, conducting research in sustainable agriculture, urban food production, plant ecology, using forests as food production permacultures and more.

After graduation

As a graduate in sustainability studies, you'll be well-equipped to engage in political service, public policy, law, sustainable agriculture or Christian service. With today's global emphasis on sustainability in business, policy and education, indicators display that careers in the area of sustainability are projected to be in high demand over the next 20-30 years.