Sustainability Studies

Program Overview

Environmental sustainability is clearly a defining issue of the 21st century. Alarming patterns of environmental degradation have emerged since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Creating social, systematic, and commercial structures that reverse this trend by explicitly acknowledging and nurturing the interconnectedness of the natural and human environment is the main challenge facing Rider's graduates. Educators, entrepreneurs, chemists, journalists, psychologists and analysts will all need to understand the ways that our economic, natural and social systems work together to sustain the collective human enterprise.

Concentrating on the interdependence of natural, economic and human systems, the sustainability studies minor program helps students explore the complex task of protecting the earth while generating economic welfare and ensuring social justice. Because the program draws on a network of approaches (social, scientific, practical), students completing the minor will be equipped to take on increasingly pressing challenges in areas ranging from education and energy, communications and design to ecosystems management, business and government.

The program also provides students with opportunities to get under the hood, exploring what “going green” really means. Coursework is application-intensive. The introductory course will expose students to a wide range of issues, from food to packaging, from natural lands preservation to building sustainable communities. Other coursework complements students exploration of these issues. A broad range of internship and independent study opportunities are available for interested students. The capstone course brings together a team of students to address a real problem on the Rider campus, hopefully making significant changes along the way.

Students in the sustainability studies minor will take seven courses (23-24 credits) in environmental and social sciences, ethics and business. Sustainability-related courses that contribute to the minor are offered within many majors. The introductory course is deeply interdisciplinary, drawing on expertise from across the University in the social sciences, business, history, philosophy, ecology, physics and marketing. After this introduction, students are expected to complete an independent study or internship project on or off campus that provides hands-on experience with the complex tasks required to make systems more sustainable. The capstone course draws on the interests and expertise of the enrolled students who together will identify a specific sustainability challenge on the Rider campus and devise, implement, and measure the effects of a plan to address it.

Minor Offered

  • Minor in Sustainability Studies


Dan Druckenbrod, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director of Sustainability
SCI 323 F

Program Website:
Associated Department: Geological, Environmental, & Marine Sciences 

Related Programs 

Sustainability Studies Minor Requirements

(23-24 credits)

Foundation Courses 111
Intro to Sustainability Studie
Introduction to Environmental Sciences
Social Philosophy
Economics and Business3
Select one of the following:
Special Topics
Economics of the Public Sector 2
Introduction to Global Supply Chain Mgt.
Experiential Learning 33
Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression
Internship in Sustainability
Disciplinary Explorations3-4
Select one of the following:
America and the Future
Technology and Science in America
Honors Sem: Natural Adventures
Honors Seminar: Science and Politics of the Jersey Shoreline
Honors Seminar: The Environment: a Conflict of Interest
General Ecology
Food Writing
Grant Proposals, Fundraising and Development
Statistical and Computer Applications in the Natural Sciences
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Weather and Climate Change
American Environmental History
Business Ethics
Philosophy of Science
Global Politics
Environmental Policy
Comparative Environmntl Policy
Population Study
Power and Politics
Social Policy
Capstone Course3
Sustainability Studies Seminar
Total Credits23-24

Courses and Descriptions

SUS 100 Introduction to Sustainability Studies 4 Credits

Sustainability is an idea that will shape the lives of all in the 21st century. Students will explore how we arrived at our current precarious environmental situation and investigate cutting-edge methods that support human development and protect the natural ecosystems on which we will depend. By exploring principles of sustainability (whole-systems approaches, resource limitations, stewardship) through many different lenses, students will appreciate the interdisciplinarity of the sustainability enterprise. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Disciplinary Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

Corequisite(s): SUS 100L.

SUS 100L Intro to Sustainability Lab 0 Credits

For students concurrently taking SUS 100. Field trips, visiting speakers, and films to complement topics covered in the introductory course. One three-hour laboratory per week.

Corequisite(s): SUS 100.

SUS 400 Sustainability Studies Seminar 3 Credits

To synthesize sustainability studies coursework and internship experiences, students will collaboratively develop and implement a sustainability project on the Rider campus, aiming to simultaneously reduce both depletable resource use and environmental impact. Seminar sessions will explore the historical development of current systems and innovative thinking related to sustainability planning related to the focal issue. Specific topic at discretion of the instructor. Prerequisite(s): SUS 100, SUS 100L.

Corequisite(s): SUS 400 or as prerequisite or permission of instructor.

SUS 490 Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression 1-4 Credits

Immerses the student in applying sustainability principles in a field setting. Students are expected to assess the outcomes of their projects and communicate their results verbally and in writing to interested audiences.

SUS 491 Internship in Sustainability 1-4 Credits

A supervised work/service experience in an approved organization where students gain understanding and experience with applying sustainability principles. Placements may be in private, public, educational, non-profit or governmental organizations. Students are expected to include measurement and documentation of the environmental, social, and economic impact of their work. A minimum of 50 hours of work is required for one credit. At least 150 hours are required to earn 3 credits.