The Sustainable Development (BA) - Environmental Studies degree at Appalachian State University introduces students to innovative modes of interdisciplinary scholarship in this field; fosters leadership in sustainability and effective environmental citizenship; promotes ecological literacy; and provides students with the opportunity to self-design a concentration that matches their interests and career goals.
The BA degree has self-designed focus and skills areas. It requires foreign language courses and a minor. This is one of four degree options in the Department of Sustainable Development at Appalachian State University. The others are Sustainable Development (BS) - Environmental Studies, Sustainable Development (BS) - Community, Regional and Global Development, Sustainable Development (BS) - Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture.
Employment: Graduates work across a broad spectrum of sustainability-oriented careers, including environmental public policy, sustainability education, watershed conservation, agritourism, park service, and non-profits. See a list of employers in the right column.
Graduate school: Other students pursue graduate study in a variety of programs, including international development, political science, history, environmental law, food systems, sustainable tourism, wildlife management, urban planning, and the ministry.
9 semester hours of a minor are required. The selection must be approved by the student’s advisor.
Engagement Outside the Classroom
SDSA (Sustainable Development Student Alliance) — Supports a variety of student-led community-building and sustainability-oriented projects on campus and in the local community.
Sustainable Development Teaching and Research Farm — 35 acres of pasture, 130 acres woodlot and woodlands, a large greenhouse, late 19th-century barn, and a student residence where five or six agroecology students live and work.
Blue Ridge Conservancy Appalachian State University Campus Chapter — Works to permanently protect land and water resources with agricultural, ecological, cultural, recreational and scenic value in the Northwest North Carolina. Activities include trail clean-ups, hikes, guest speakers and more.
App State is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
The Department of Sustainable Department offers occasional faculty-led study abroad programs, through which students learn about rural livelihood strategies and conservation issues related to sustainable development.
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- Appalachian’s Sustainable Development program is the oldest program in the country, and its interdisciplinary focus sets it apart from other schools.
- All students get to study and work on Appalachian’s Teaching and Research Farm, one of the largest sustainable agriculture teaching-research farms in the country.
- Internships are highly encouraged. Host sites include: Environmental Protection Agency, Blue Ridge Conservancy, organic and sustainable farms, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, Appalachian Voices, and other green organizations across the U.S.
- The Department of Sustainable Development works with a number of community outreach projects, from the Civic Gardening Project to its Sustainable Farming Resource Center and a farm-to-school support network.
On campus only
- Consumer Researcher
- Environmental Impact Analyst
- Environmental Quality Specialist
- Ethnic Groups Special Concerns Advocate
- Fund raiser
- Grant writer
- Health Services Organization Manager
- Housing Development Specialist
- Natural Resources Specialist
- Park Ranger
- Public Health Worker
- Rural Development Worker
- Urban Planner
- Community Organizer
- Grassroots Organizer Neighborhood Planner
- NGO Director Historic Preservationist
- International Relief Representative Museum Curator/Researcher
- National Natural Landmarks Officer
- Environmental Researcher
Recent graduates have been hired by:
- New River Organic Growers
- Grass to Greens
- Organic Growers School
- Green Opportunities
- Cedar International School
- Belk Inc.
- County governments
- Peace Corps
Dr. Jennifer Westerman