Stephen F. Austin State University

Sustainable Community Development


Stephen F. Austin State University students now have the option to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Sustainable Community Development. The degree is designed to prepare students for a career assisting communities and corporations in the adoption of sustainable practices. An introductory course, SUS 101, Environment and Culture, is available for enrollment in the fall semester.

Sustainable development involves balancing economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and social well-being, also referred to as the "triple bottom line." While many university programs in sustainability focus on application of new technologies or design standards, SFA's program will emphasize sustainability through the humanities and social sciences. The program's curriculum covers a broad range of courses offered by various departments within the College of Liberal and Applied Arts, while also providing valuable hands-on experience through junior or senior year internships.

The interdisciplinary and internship aspects of the program are unique from most other majors and will help students become adaptable and employable citizens.

A recent study found that, from 1995-2010,

For more information, please contact Dr. William Forbes at or SFA's Center for a Livable World at

BA in Sustainable Community Development program outline


SUS 101 Environment and Culture: 3
GEO 220 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems: 3
GEO 230 Cultural Geography: 3
GEO 434 Conservation Geography: 3
HIS 437 American Environmental History: 3 (or, if not offered, one of Major Electives below)
PHI 390 Environmental Ethics: 3
SOC 351 Globalization: 3
SOC 446 Environmental Sociology: 3
SOC 357 U.S. and World Population Change: 3
SOC 378 Research Methods: 3
SWK 340 Organizations and Communities: 3 (or, if not offered, one of Major Electives below)
SUS 450 Sustainable Community Development Capstone: 3 (or SUS 495 Internship in Sust. Comm. Development)

Hours in Major Core: 36

MAJOR ELECTIVES: 12 hours from the following courses, no more than six from any one discipline.

ANT 231 Cultural Anthropology; COM 408 Principles of Leadership; COM 435 Intercultural Communication; GEO 305 Biogeography; GEO 320 GIS Applications; GEO 439 Urban Geography; PBA 300 Introduction to Public Administration; PBA 400 Management of Public Organizations; PBA 415 Public Budgeting and Financial Administration; PSC 337 Theories of Democracy; PSC 449 Urban Affairs; SOC 379 Data Analysis; SWK 210 Introduction to Social Welfare; SWK 225 Human Behavior and Social Environments; SUS 495 Internship in Sustainable Community Development


ENG 131: 3
ENG 132: 3
LANG 131: 4
LANG 132: 4
Math Core: 3
ENV 110: 4
Science Core: 4
Visual/Performing Arts Core: 3
PHI 153/PHI 223: 3
HIS 133: 3
HIS 134: 3
PSC 141: 3
PSC 142: 3
Social/Behavioral Science Core: 3

Hours in BA Core: 46

College of Liberal and Applied Arts Requirements

LANG 231: 3
LANG 232: 3
ENG 200-230: 3
COM 111: 3

Hours in College BA Requirements: 12

Hours in Major Core: 36
Hours in Major Electives: 12
Hours in BA Core: 46
Hours in College of Liberal Arts BA requirements: 12
Additional Elective Hours Needed to Equal 120: 14
Total Required Hours: 120

Degree description is also on page 388 of the Stephen F. Austin State University 2012-2013 Bulletin