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

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.

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

Steven Goldsmith, PhD
Assistant 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. Steven Goldsmith (Environmental)
Dr. Stephen Strader (Geography)