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Top 14 Bachelors in Sustainability Degree Programs in 2021

September 10, 2021 | Staff Writers

Sustainability Degree
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A bachelor’s in Sustainability degree can open many doors and is a great platform for students seeking lucrative, meaningful, and rewarding careers. There are also many good choices for pursuing an online degree in sustainability, and finding the right school and program is where it starts.

To help students seeking a bachelor’s in Sustainability we have composed a list of the leading programs based on variables like cost and retention rates. Tuition is important to everyone and one of the biggest issues students encounter is the inability to complete their degrees. We ranked the top bachelor’s in sustainability degree programs based on these key factors, and to help students find the right school in pursuit of their bachelor’s in sustainability degrees.

Top 14 Bachelors in Sustainability Degree Programs  

1. University of South Dakota (93 points)

Leading off the list, we head to Vermillion, South Dakota, where students can earn either a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability at the University of South Dakota.  Within the sustainability degree, students can choose from the environmental science or human and natural systems specializations.  The intermediate size of USD provides unique opportunities for students to form close relationships with the faculty and have access to a wide range of research and internship opportunities.  Students can continue their studies at USD as they also offer Master’s and PhD degrees in sustainability, including an accelerated Master’s degree.

Tuition: $12,807 per year

Retention rate: 78%

2. Western Michigan University (92 points)

At Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, students have the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Environmental and Sustainability Studies or a Bachelor in Freshwater Science and Sustainability. For students seeking a sustainability degree with a strong focus on water issues then the latter is an ideal program. Students should also be encouraged by strong retention numbers at this respected university. They also offer a Sustainable Brewing program.

Tuition: $16,041 per year

Retention rate: 78%

2. Stony Brook University (92 points)

A bachelor of Arts in Sustainability Studies is available at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. Students enrolled at this acclaimed institution will get experiential learning opportunities, and Stony Brook also has an impressive near 90% retention rate which is a good sign for new students.

Tuition: $27,845 per year

Retention rate: 89%

4. Alaska Pacific University (89 points)

To find the right program for a bachelor in Sustainability degree students might be advised to look north, as in Anchorage, Alaska-north. There, students will find another great choice for pursuing a bachelors of Arts in Sustainability Studies at Alaska Pacific University. This program also offers plus 70% retention numbers which also help it to earn a solid showing on our list of the top programs.

Tuition: $20,760 per year

Retention rate: 72%

5. University of Northern Colorado (88 points)

Another option for students seeking a sustainability degree that falls outside the strict business realms is the Environmental and Sustainability Studies B.A. at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. This respected institution also can proudly claim a retention rate for first-year students that is greater than 70%.

The other great benefits of the program for students interested in Environmental Sustainability include a full GIS lab, a research capstone course, and a full fleet of drones for students to use (with proper training, of course!). Also of note is the inter-disciplinary focus of the program. Courses are taught by professors across the natural and social sciences.

Tuition: $22,245 per year

Retention rate: 72%

5. University of Illinois (88 points)

The University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois offers students the opportunity to pursue an Earth, Society, and Environmental Sustainability degree. This University, a space-sea-land grant institution, also touts eye-popping retention rates which help it to earn a place on our list too.

Tuition: $32,264 per year

Retention rate: 93%

5. Northern Arizona University (88 points)

Students can earn either a BS or BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. This comprehensive program invites students to consider issues on both local and global levels, and provides hands-on coursework. New students will be happy to discover that this solid program has equally solid retention numbers too.

Tuition: $26,516 per year

Retention rate: 78%

8. Lesley University (87 points)

This Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies program is built on core coursework that includes topics like humanities and business management. This program at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusets, earns a strong showing based on the strength of impressive retention rates and should earn a second look from students seeking a good bachelor’s in Sustainability program too.

Tuition: $28,875 per year

Retention rate: 81%

9. Toccoa Falls College (86 points)

The Sustainable Community Development program at Toccoa Falls College is an interdisciplinary degree that integrates biblical principles with sustainable economic and environmental practices. Students not only learn practical skills in urban gardening, aquaponics, and animal husbandry, but they are also equipped to plan and carry out sustainable development for community leaders in a wide range of environments. As an extension of TFC’s Global Ministries department, this program produces graduates who are able to meet the needs of people groups across the world and can help leaders identify needs and create sustainable solutions for their communities.

Tuition: $23,184 per year

Retention rate: 64%

9. The University of Texas at Austin (86 points)

Along with a list-leading retention rate, which bodes well for incoming students, the University of Texas at Austin offers a B.A. in Sustainability Studies. Only larger tuition rates kept this respected University from climbing higher on our list of the top bachelor’s in Sustainability degree programs. They also offer B.A.s in Geography and Urban Studies, but the curricula and requirements are different from Sustainability Studies.

Tuition: $38,326 per year

Retention rate: 96%

11. Oregon State University (85 points)

One of the top schools for pursuing a sustainability degree is the BS in Environmental Sciences track at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. Students at Oregon State can choose from several different areas of study, and have internship opportunities as part of the curriculum. Strong retention numbers also help this program to earn a solid showing on our list.

Tuition: $31,215 per year

Retention rate: 85%

11. Pennsylvania State University – World Campus (85 points)

The ESP program at Penn State is one of the few online programs in the country that focuses specifically on policy within the realm of energy and sustainability. Our program is all-inclusive, covering all forms of energy with policy serving as the program’s nexus.

Tuition: $590/$632 per credit

Retention rate for first-time students: 88%

13. Roosevelt University (84 points)

One of the lesser-known institutions on our list, Roosevelt University offers students the opportunity to earn an excellent Bachelors in Sustainability Studies degree. This Program can boast of having solid retention numbers which also help it to find a place on our list of the top sustainability degree programs.

Tuition: $30,876 per year

Retention rate: 73%

14. University of Indianapolis (83 points)

Another University offering students the option of pursuing either a BS or BA is the sustainability degree program at the University of Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana. Students can earn a Bachelor of Arts or Science in Environmental Studies at this respected school, and build a foundation for a successful career. Plus 70% retention rates also help U of I to find a place on our list of the top programs.

Tuition: $30,976 per year

Retention rate: 73%

14. George Mason University (83 points)

Rounding out our list of the top sustainability degree programs is George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. This well-recognized University offers students the opportunity to earn a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies, and the choice of several different concentrations of study. Stout tuition rates were the only thing that prevented this solid program from a better showing.

Tuition: $36,024 per year

Retention rate: 86%

How the Schools and Programs Were Ranked

The sustainability degree programs on our list were ranked using a point system that awarded points based on two factors. Each school was ranked using the same two factors (Tuition: Retention rate), with the total of both factors resulting in each school’s total score. The programs were then ranked according to their total point values. Feel free to check out our masters in sustainability programs which are ranked the same way.

Questions, Corrections, Concerns, or Errors

We hope that the information we provide is helpful and offers guidance in your educational pursuits. It is important, however, that readers should be aware that the information regarding these programs can only be perceived as approximations as this data is in a state of constant change and is always being updated.

If you notice an error or information that needs to be updated, feel free to let us know so we can keep our information as relevant, accurate, and timely as possible. If you have questions regarding any of the schools or programs on our list, contact us for more help or information, and good luck with your educational pursuits.

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