What is the Sustainability Dual Major?
UNH is proud to be a national leader in sustainability and we view sustainability as a collective commitment to human dignity for all people and ecological integrity in all places. From our four 3-star Green Restaurant dining halls to our low-carbon campus and diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives, UNH and our Sustainability Dual Major (SDM) will help you develop the critical knowledge, skills and experience to build a better, more sustainable world today and in the future.
The SDM enables you to understand and act on the environmental and social challenges and solutions needed to create a more sustainable world – it's a powerful and unique experience to better understand your chosen field of study through the complex lens of sustainability. By combining your major with broader perspectives, you’ll have the opportunity to explore sustainability challenges such as poverty, inequity, climate change, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace, and racial justice.
All UNH students can pair the Sustainability Dual Major with their primary major.
Be a part of a vibrant, committed and diverse community that will help you:
- Build your UNH community and professional networks
- Explore the complexity of sustainability in small, engaging courses
- Learn how to collaborate with peers and faculty across majors
- Develop career skills needed to create sustainability solutions in any profession
- Hone your leadership skills to help create a better world
As an interdisciplinary field of study and practice, you’ll make connections across issues of science and ethics, policy and technology, and culture and history to better understand and take action on the pressing issues of our time. You might explore:
- How can we transition to resilient and socially just coastal communities as sea levels rise?
- How do we transform regional food systems, so they are sustainable, just, and resilient?
- How can corporations drive sustainability solutions?
- How can communities and businesses come together to expand renewable energy production, reduce pollution, create living-wage jobs, and alleviate energy deserts?
- How can we transition to a zero-waste society?
- How can we develop new models of sustainability education?
To enroll in the Sustainability Dual Major you must have:
- a GPA of 2.5 or greater.
- declared your primary major (Not sure what your major will be? Everyone is invited to explore the first course in the Sustainability Dual Major: SUST 401.)
- a desire to more about sustainability and solutions for a better world!
Sustainability Dual Major requirements
- A dual major is NOT a double major and has fewer requirements
- 3 SUST courses and 5 electives (Discovery classes/major electives can double count):
1. Course Requirements and Approved Electives
2. Petition form to count a course towards the SDM that is not on the pre-approved elective course list.
We are now at a critical juncture in human history during which we will determine the future of planetary and human conditions. Current grand challenges in sustainability include poverty, inequity, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace, and justice as embodied in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. There is growing interest in finding solutions that simultaneously ensure social, economic, and environmental well-being at local to global scales, now and for generations to come. To help address these sustainability challenges, a set of sustainability education goals detailed below have been developed for the University of New Hampshire.[d1] These are aspirational for all UNH students and will be pursued through formal and informal educational opportunities. These goals are also inter-related and must be integrated; together they will inspire our students to create and sustain resilient communities at UNH and around the world.
Comprehend grand challenges
Students gain knowledge of the fundamental aspects of complex sustainability challenges.
Think in systems
Students have an ability to analyze and synthesize the interconnections among environmental, social, and economic aspects of complex systems, as well as how problems manifest at different scales (local to global) and at different times (connections between past, present, and future).
Advocate for values
Students can identify, assess, respect, and navigate the diverse values, interests, and types of knowledge inherent in sustainability challenges, while simultaneously addressing power imbalances and promoting social justice.
Apply knowledge to a lifetime of action
Personal practice: Students understand how sustainability impacts their lives and can assess how their actions impact sustainability at personal, institutional, and societal levels.
Professional practice: All students, regardless of major, understand how their professional work contributes to sustainable communities, can apply disciplinary and other forms of knowledge and skills to contribute to sustainable solutions.
Collaborative practice: Students learn how to collaborate across disciplines and across sectors to jointly determine project goals, create knowledge, and develop innovative and effective solutions to sustainability challenges.
Other foundational learning objectives (e.g., ability to communicate effectively, ability to think critically) are addressed elsewhere in UNH curriculum.
 Background document on how the UNH Sustainable Education Goals were developed is available from the UNH Sustainability Dual Major - Program Chair: Cameron.firstname.lastname@example.org