The sustainability minor is open to students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, and the Villanova School of Business.

Sustainability is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations. With approximately 6.7 billion people on Earth now, and 9 billion projected by mid-century, we must find ways of reducing resource consumption if we are to avoid dramatic environmental degradation and the potential collapse of the global ecosystem. This is a particularly important challenge for Americans who consume more per person than any other people on the planet.  We have the knowledge and technology to change, but we also require the will to make it happen.

Sustainability does not just consider the environmental dimension; but also, the social and economic dimensions, which, when combined, make up the sustainability model—a standard of ethical responsibility many corporations, institutions and governments have adopted as set of guiding principles. The fact is, if we want future generations to enjoy a healthy, equitable and prosperous Earth, then we must modify behaviors and policies now to re-cast the way we live.

As a Catholic institution of higher learning, Villanova University has an obligation and commitment to exercise leadership in promoting and reinforcing environmental responsibility by integrating ethical, social, economic, and ecological values of environmentally sustainable development into its curriculum, research and institutional policy and practice.


  1. Describe the technical and social aspects of a commitment to sustainability.
  2. Describe the ethical and philosophical underpinnings of a commitment to sustainability.
  3. Evaluate environmental processes and their nexus with human activity to examine sustainable (or unsustainable) practices.
  4. Examine and describe the human dimension of global environmental change.
  5. Describe the links between the global economic environment, resource availability and distribution, and their effects on sustainable practices.
  6. Define the linkages between non-sustainable practices, resource shortages, and regional conflict.

Course Attribute Application

Applications for a Sustainability Minor Attribute are due on the first Friday of the fall semester.

You may apply to have your course approved for the minor, with the appropriate attribute, by accessing the link given at the bottom of this page and completing the application form. The form is self-explanatory, but please note that you must upload your course syllabus at the time of application. The link will automatically direct your application to the Advisory Committee for their review. You will hear back from the committee by the end of September.

The application requires you to submit your course as a Sustainability-Focused or Sustainability-Inclusive course.

Sustainability-Focused Course: title and/or description must indicate a primary and explicit focus on sustainability. Course title or description does not have to use the term “sustainability” if the primary and explicit focus of the course is on the interdependence of ecological and social/economic systems or a major sustainability challenge such as climate change.

Sustainability-Inclusive Course: title and description do not unequivocally indicate such a focus, but it is evident from the course description or syllabus that the course prominently incorporates sustainability challenges, issues, and concepts. For this designation, sustainability themes are clearly intertwined with at least one quarter of the overall course content.

You will also be asked to designate your course for the appropriate stem: i.e., Science and Technology, Policy and Management, or Humanities. Please note that you may select only one.

In the event that you have questions, please contact Frank Galgano, the Program Director for the minor.


Application Form

Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or the Villanova School of Business should contact:

Francis A. Galgano, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment

Students in the College of Engineering should contact:

Virginia Smith, PhD
Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Department of Geography and the Environment
Suite G67, Mendel Science Center
Villanova University

Dr. Nathaniel B. Weston

Undergraduate Program Directors:
Dr. Peleg Kremer (Environmental Studies)

Dr. Kabindra Shakya (Environmental Science)

Dr. Stephen Strader (Geography)