The concentration in sustainability introduces students to the problems of sustainability and enables them to understand what it is that determines the sustainability of human institutions, organizations, cultures and technologies in different environments at the local, national and international level. The 18-credit concentration allows students from many areas of study to explore the challenges of sustainability and how it may be used to develop solutions to pressing issues at local and global levels. Students must take two core sustainability courses and choose two of the following four themes and take two courses from each of the two themes selected.

Coupled Human-Environment Systems
Earth Systems
Human Transformation of the Earth
Social, Political, and Economic Treatment of Natural Resources and Environment


  • Students must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours including 12 of upper division (300-400 level) hours for this concentration.
  • All courses must be completed with a grade of “C” (2.00) or higher.
  • When selecting courses within the thematic areas students should consult with an academic advisor in the School of Sustainability in order to create a cohesive and comprehensive program of study.
  • GLG 110 & 111 can also be used in the Coupled Human-Environment Systems Theme, but are not listed in this theme area in DARS. Consult with an advisor in the School of Sustainability for an RM exception to that group.

Core 6 Hours Required

SOS 100 Introduction to Sustainability, G (3)*

SOS 300 Advanced Concepts and Integrated Approaches in Sustainability (3) (Prerequisites: SOS 100 with C or better; 6 hours from two Sustainability themes)

* If taken already, SOS 110 or SOS 111/PUP 190 may substitute for SOS 100. If SOS 110 and SOS 111/PUP 190 have both been taken, one course may substitute for SOS 100 and the other course may be used as a “theme” course.

Thematic Studies 12 Hours Required - 9 hours must be upper division
Select two courses from two themes in consultation with an advisor.
Coupled Human-Environment Systems

ALA 102 Landscapes and Sustainability, HU & G (3)

ASB 222 Buried cities and Lost Tribes (HU or SB) & G & H (3)

ASB 326 Human Impacts on Ancient Environments, SB & H (3)

CHM 107 AND CHM 108 Chemistry and Society & Laboratory, SQ (3)

GCU 350 The Geography of World Crises, SB & G (3)

GPH 210 Society and Environment, G (3)

CRD 301

OR NLM 301 Sustainable Communities (3) (Pre/Co-requisite: NLM 160 or PRM 120 (with C or better if completed); Credit is allowed for only NLM 301, TDM 301 or PRM 301)

OR PRM 301 Sustainable Communities (3) (Pre-or Co-requisite: NLM 160 or PRM 120 with C or better if completed; Credit is allowed for only CRD, NLM, PRM or TDM 301)

OR TDM 301 Sustainable Communities (3) (Pre-or co-requisites: PRM 120 (or REC 120) with a C or better if completed)

STS 250 Science, Society, and Global Warming (3) (Prerequisite: Students who have credit for STS 294 (Society and Global Warming) may not enroll in STS 250)

SOS 320 Society and Sustainability, L or SB (3) (Prerequisites: SOS 110; SOS 111 (or PUP 190) with C or better)

SOS 322 International Development and Sustainability (3) (Prerequisites: SOS 110; SOS 111 (or PUP 190) with C or better)

SOS 327 Sustainable Food and Farms (3) (Prerequisites: SOS 110; SOS 111 (or PUP 190) with C or better)

Earth Systems

ABS 225 Soils, SQ (3) (Prerequisites: CHM 101 or CHM 113)

ABS 270 Sustainable Biological Systems (3)

ABS 370 Ecology (3) (Prerequisites: BIO 181)

ABS 380 Restoration and Wildlife Plants (3) (Prerequisites: ABS 207 or ABS 260)

ABS 430 Watershed management (3) (Prerequisites: ABS 225)

BIO 100 The Living World, SQ (4)

BIO 182 General Biology I, SQ (4)

BIO 320 Fundamentals of Ecology (3) (Prerequisites: BIO 181 (or BIO 188) and BIO 182 (or BIO 187 or PLB 200 and PLB 201) with C or better; CHM 113 and 116 with C or better)

BIO 322 Conservation Biology and Ecological Sustainability (3) (Prerequisites: A grade of C or better: BIO 181 (or BIO 188) and BIO 182 (or BIO 187 or both PLB 200 and PLB 201))

GLG 101 Introduction to Geology I (Physical), SQ & G (3) (Students must complete GLG 101 & GLG 103 to secure SQ general studies credit)

AND GLG 103 Introduction to Geology I-Laboratory (1)

GPH 211 Landform Processes, SQ (4)

SES 106 OR GLG 106 Habitable Worlds, SQ (4)

GLG 108 Water Planet, SQ (4)

GLG 110 Dangerous World, SG & G (3) (Both GLG 110 & 111 must be taken to secure SG General Studies credit.)

AND GLG 111 Dangerous World Laboratory, SG (1)

GLG 310 Structural Geology (3) (Prerequisites: GLG 101 or SES 101 with C or better; MAT 170, 210 or 251 with C or better; Credit is allowed for only GLG 305 or 310)

GLG 325 Oceanography (3) (Prerequisites: CHM 101 or CHM 113 with C or better; BIO 100, BIO 182 or GLG 101 with C or better; Credit for only BIO 325 or GLG 325)

GPH 314 Global Change, HU & G (3) (Prerequisites: 45 credit hours with C or better)

GPH 381 Geography of Natural Resources, G (3)

SOS 326 Sustainable Ecosystems (3) (Prerequisites: SOS 110 with C or better; SOS 111 (or PUP 190) with C or better)

Human Transformation of the Earth

ALA 100 OR PUP 100 Introduction to Environmental Design, HU & H & G (3)

CEE 400 Earth Systems Engineering and Management, (L or HU) & H (3) (Prerequisites: students with junior or senior status)

CON 101 Construction and Culture: a Built Environment, HU & H & G (3)

SOS/CEE/FSE 181 Technological, Social, and sustainable Systems, HU (3) (Credit is allowed for only SOS, FSE or CEE 181)

OR ERM 301 Environmental Management (3)

GCU 361 Urban Geography, SB (3)

IND 243 Design for Ecology and Social Equity (3)

PUP 301 Introduction to Urban Planning, L (3)

SOS 111 OR PUP 190 Sustainable Cities, (HU or SB) & G (3) (Credit is allowed for only PUP 190 or SOS 111)

SOS 323 Sustainable Urban Dynamics (3) (Prerequisites: SOS 110; SOS 111 (or PUP 190) with C or better)

SOS 324 Sustainable Energy, Materials, & Technology (3) (Prerequisites: SOS 110; SOS 111 (or PUP 190) with C or better)

SOS 465 OR PUP 465 Sustainable Urbanism (3) (Prerequisites: Min 45 earned hours. SOS 110; SOS 111(or PUP 190) with C or better. Credit allowed for SOS 465, PUP 465 or PUP 565 only.)

Social, Political and Economic Treatment of Natural Resources and Environment :

ASB 100 OR SSH 100 Introduction to Global Health, SB & G (3) (Credit is allowed for only ASB or SSH 100)

ASB 416 Economic Anthropology, L or SB (3)

ECN 212 Microeconomic Principles, SB (3)

GCU 441 Economic Geography, SB (3)

POS 486 International Political Economy, SB & G (3)

SGS 103 OR SGS 203 Contemporary Global Trends, SB & G (3)

SOS 110 Sustainable World (3)

SOS 321 Policy and Governance in Sustainable Systems (3) (Prerequisites: SOS 110, and SOS 111 (or PUP 190), with C or better)

SOS 325 The Economics of Sustainability (3) (Prerequisites: SOS 110, and SOS 111 (or PUP 190), with a grade of C or better)

STS 101 Introduction to Sciences, Technology, and Society, SB (3) OR STS 304 Science, Technology and Society

STS 110 Global Technology and Development, SB & G (3) OR STS 317 Science, Technology and Global Engagement




All Interdisciplinary Studies students are required to complete a 12 credit hour core.

BIS 301, BIS 302 and BIS 402 courses require:

  • A meeting with your academic advisor to:
    Ensure both of your concentration areas have been declared
    Are working towards completing (or have completed) 1-2 courses in each declared concentration

  • One course meeting general studies MA requirement
  • ENG 102 or ENG 105 or ENG 108 or First Year Composition Completed
  • Minimum 2.00 GPA

Required Courses (12 credit hours):

BIS 301 Foundations of Interdisciplinary Studies, L (3)

BIS 302 Interdisciplinary Inquiry (3)
     Prerequisite(s): BIS 301 with C or better

BIS 401 Applied Interdisciplinary Studies (3) (requires application)
     Prerequisites: BIS 301 with C or better; BIS 302 with C or better; Minimum of two courses completed in each concentration area

BIS 402 Senior Seminar, L (3)
     Prerequisite(s): BIS 301 with C or better; BIS 302 with C or better

For important information, additional major requirements, course descriptions, and application deadlines: Interdisciplinary Studies Core Courses

For assistance in selecting your concentration areas of study complete the Interdisciplinary Studies concentration workshop: Interdisciplinary Studies Pre-Advising Workshop

Transfer to ASU

Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) transfer students

  • Courses may fulfill Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC) or Associate’s degree requirements, consult with your community college academic advisor for details.
  • MCCCD course transfer equivalencies are listed here; they may be applied toward this concentration (maximum of six credits or two courses).
  • Information listed was current for this catalog year at the time of printing, consult for verification.









Interdisciplinary Studies Advising
All appointments:

Downtown Phoenix
Arizona Center, Suite 380

Santa Catalina Hall

Urban Systems Engineering



DARs Code

DARs Code




School of Sustainability

Concentration Contact

Concentration Contact

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