The minor in sustainability at Pacific University allows students to craft their own course of study within the environmental studies field in order to build their understanding of the components of sustainability, including people, planet, profit and civic engagement. Students gain the core knowledge that allows them to enhance their primary field of study with environmental knowledge. They may use their understanding of sustainability in the corporate world, in nonprofits, in building design, in art, or in education.

Program Highlights

  • Study the three interconnected viewpoints of the sustainability development triangle: people, planet and profit
  • Transform knowledge into action with a civic engagement project
  • Complement any major or career plan with an understanding of sustainability practices
  • Build knowledge in natural and social sciences, humanities and arts, all from an environmental or sustainability perspective


Students in the sustainability minor choose from a broad selection of courses. All students build a foundation with courses in permaculture design, environmental science and sustainability. Students then enhance the application of their foundational skills with courses that fall into the realms of civic engagement (social work, eco-theatre or service learning), people/culture/values (environmental literature, history, politics), planet/ecoliteracy (biology, chemistry, restoration) and profit (international business, environmental economics).


Students who complete a minor in sustainability are prepared to put their knowledge to work in any field. They may aspire to government jobs, as urban planners or consultants. Or, they may find a place for their understanding of sustainability in a nonprofit position or in a corporation looking to account for its “green” initiatives. Our graduates work in education, business, healthcare, art and policymaking.

Department of Environmental Studies

The Department of Environmental Studies also offers majors in environmental biologyenvironmental chemistry and toxicology and sustainable design, as well as minors in environmental science and environmental policy. Students interested in social sciences may choose a major in environmental studies: policy, culture and society.