Online Bachelor’s in Sustainability

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Learn to create a more sustainable future

Across industries and in almost every field, sustainability is a growing focus. The benefits to businesses and communities are clear, and they extend well beyond ethical considerations: Sustainable practices can lead to a cleaner environment, a healthier population, lower operational costs, higher profits, and increased political and social goodwill. As interest in topics like renewable energy, sustainability, and social advocacy take hold, we have a unique opportunity to innovate new solutions and promote stewardship of our environment.

It starts with people like you making the brave decision to work toward a more sustainable future. Earn your online Bachelor of Science in Sustainability from Maryville, and you can study sustainability through interdisciplinary, experiential learning with expert faculty. Prepare for a rewarding career by building your knowledge base in areas like conservation, ecology, environmental science, economics, social and cultural issues, urban planning, environmental law, and sustainable agriculture.

Are you ready to become a leader for a better, more sustainable future? Start here.

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Explore financial aid and transfer credit friendly admission

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Access coursework 100% online

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Learn from experienced faculty who are passionate about sustainability and environmental stewardship

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Choose from 3 tracks and tailor your education to your career goals

Why earn your Bachelor of Science in Sustainability online?

Sustainability and environmental issues affect our society at all scales, from local to global. When you earn your online bachelor’s in sustainability from Maryville, you can learn how the issues relevant to your life and your environment interact with and relate to the issues we face worldwide. In our program, you can benefit from the convenience and flexibility of online, on-demand learning — from anywhere.

With your sustainability degree from Maryville Online, you can gain an understanding of the world through the lens of a comprehensive, practical, cross-functional educational experience. Our program is designed in collaboration with international leaders in sustainability and taught by passionate experts in the field, so you’ll have the chance to learn the most vital skills for your career in sustainability. Study theory, ethics, and stewardship in our online classroom environment, then put your knowledge to work with unique real-world projects and experiences — like experiential work, case studies, other hands-on learning opportunities.

You can also build experience and see your sustainability knowledge in action through your choice of a comprehensive capstone project or an internship in the field. As you participate in one of these experiences, you’ll have the chance to gain firsthand understanding about the implementation of sustainable practices, processes, and values in real-world settings.

Flexible, affordable, and highly personalized.

Study on your schedule with 100% online coursework, and apply with no fees or entrance exams.

Benefit from transfer credit friendly admission and explore financial aid opportunities.

Choose from three tracks : Environmental Science, Business, or Policy.

Learn about real-world scenarios in environmental stewardship and sustainability from passionate, experienced faculty.

Use innovative 360-degree video and immersive learning to help deepen your understanding of materials, techniques, and settings.

Get real-world experience through practical learning, internship opportunities, projects, case studies, and more.

What can you do with your online Bachelor of Science in Sustainability?

Sustainability isn’t only an ethical and environmental consideration. It’s also good business.

Over the next few years and decades, the worldwide economic benefit of environmental responsibility and sustainability could measure in the trillions of dollars: $26 trillion by 2030 for low-carbon initiatives, $17 trillion by 2050 for compact and connected city planning, $2 trillion each year for sustainable agriculture and forest protection practices. The list goes on.*

More and more companies are focusing on reducing their environmental impact, effecting social change, and advocating for social justice and human rights. They’re also discovering the profitability of enhanced sustainability measures like utilizing renewable energy, reducing size and volume of packaging materials, promoting healthier conditions, decreasing total shipping miles and tonnage, enacting sustainable investing practices, and lowering energy use and emissions output.

As businesses, organizations, nonprofits, and governments recognize the importance of sustainability and environmental issues, you can benefit. With your online bachelor’s in sustainability from Maryville, you can use your knowledge, skills, and passion to turn these opportunities into a fulfilling — and financially rewarding — career.

*According to The New Climate Economy’s “The 2018 Report of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate”

What types of careers can I pursue?

As a sustainability professional, your career may take you to any number of settings in traditional office environments or out in the field. Depending on your career choice, you may find yourself speaking to your organization’s stakeholders on sustainability initiatives, helping build policy, surveying your workplace, participating in off-site visits, managing high-level environmental projects, advising on urban planning, or even traveling abroad with non-profits.

In some cases, you might survey landscapes and waterways, study wildlife, analyze samples in a lab setting, or examine supply chain and distribution routes.

You can get started in most sustainability careers with your bachelor’s degree. At Maryville, we designed our degree with a focus on emerging trends and issues in the environmental and sustainability fields, so you can prepare today for the opportunities you’ll face throughout your career.

Your bachelor’s in sustainability can act as a stepping-stone toward high-level positions, promotions, or professional certifications. Wherever your career takes you, the work you do stands to be meaningful and rewarding.

Put your degree to work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Architectural engineering firms
  • Civil engineering, chemical, and life sciences firms
  • Colleges, universities, and professional schools
  • Federal government
  • Local and state governments
  • Management consulting services
  • National and state parks
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Business environments
  • Regulatory agencies
  • Research and development firms
  • Social advocacy organizations
  • Testing laboratories
  • Zoos and wildlife preserves

Career opportunities for sustainability grads include:

  • Conservation scientist/forester
  • Corporate stewardship consultant
  • Director of corporate responsibility
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental attorney*
  • Environmental compliance specialist
  • Environmental planner
  • Environmental protection technician
  • Environmental scientist/specialist
  • Geoscientist*
  • Hydrologist*
  • Recycling coordinator
  • Sustainability specialist
  • Sustainability manager
  • Urban planner
  • Zoologist/wildlife biologist*

*Some careers may require further education or professional certification beyond your bachelor’s degree.

What’s the outlook for Bachelor of Science in Sustainability graduates?

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Join a growing field.

A recent report by the sustainability-focused nonprofit Ceres found that more than 600 of the top publicly traded companies in the United States have made institutional, formal commitments related to sustainability. According to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, about a quarter of the capital under professional management — $12 trillion in sum — is invested in businesses that employ ethical environmental and social practices.

There’s room for you in this exciting and growing field, where you can use your passion to help organizations achieve their goals in sustainability. With your online sustainability degree, you can find opportunity to thrive in careers like urban/regional planner (11% projected growth between 2018 and 2028) and environmental protection technician (9%).* These and several other possible careers are projected to grow at or above the national average of 5% across all careers.*

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Discover competitive opportunities.

Businesses and organizations everywhere are focusing on lowering their environmental impact — and possibly improving their bottom line — through sustainability initiatives. According to Conserve Energy Future, high-profile companies like Google, Apple, HP, and Starbucks are among the leading organizations that have committed to sustainable business practices. U.S.-based automobile manufacturers like Ford, Tesla, and General Motors also have sustainability initiatives in place, according to Newsweek.

Clean energy is one of the biggest areas of sustainable growth. According to a recent report by BloombergNEF for the UN Environment Programme, global investment in renewable energy topped $2.5 trillion between 2010 and 2019. BloombergNEF also projects that renewable sources like wind, solar, and hydroelectric will see an average $322 billion investment annually through 2025, nearly tripling the annual investment in fossil fuel plans.

With such a strong environmental focus, businesses are ready to pay top dollar for qualified experts in sustainability. Salaries vary based on factors like location, experience, and credentials, but your sustainability degree can help you qualify for jobs with attractive annual pay. These include sustainability manager ($73,387)**, environmental scientist/specialist ($71,120)*, conservation scientist ($61,340)*, sustainability analyst ($58,679)**, and environmental compliance specialist ($57,804)**. While advanced degrees or further certification may help increase your salary outlook, entry-level positions in these fields are often open to qualified candidates with a bachelor’s degree.*

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Enjoy a satisfying career.

If making a difference in the world or advancing a cause is what drives you, then sustainability is a great choice to have an impact. As a professional in the field, you’ll have a say in how your organization approaches operations and innovation surrounding environmental, social, and health-related issues — and you can help ensure positive, conscientious outcomes. What you do as an sustainability expert matters.

Professionals in this field often report feeling high satisfaction and meaningfulness from their career — including environmental scientists/specialists, protection technicians, and zoologists/wildlife biologists, among others.** Times Higher Education also lists career areas like environmental biology and environmental health and safety among the most meaningful careers that also pay well.

*Median salary and growth data collected by the BLS.
**Salary and survey data collected by

Why choose Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Sustainability?

You’re passionate about sustainability and environmental science. So are we. When you earn your Bachelor of Science in Sustainability from Maryville, you join a program designed to prepare you for the future of the industry. We’ll help you develop the skills to understand people’s interactions with and impact on the environment, navigate complex social and economic issues, develop sustainable solutions, and drive innovation — to help bring about innovation for better stewardship of our Earth.

We designed our program with a multidisciplinary focus to help prepare you for the future of the field — and your future. Start shaping your career in sustainability by choosing from three tracks designed to accommodate your broad interests and career goals: Environmental Science, Business, or Policy. Round out your education with a host of practical, career-oriented electives, and prepare for the challenges and opportunities in this rewarding field.

Why Maryville?

Go beyond theory — learn by doing.

The sustainability field has applications all around the world, from your own backyard to the farthest reaches of our planet. We designed our online bachelor’s program to help you build expertise sustainability through real-world experience and action.

When you earn your bachelor’s in sustainability from Maryville, you join a community of like-minded students and expert faculty who are passionate about sustainability. You can participate in practical activities like projects, case studies, simulations, field exercises, and potential study abroad opportunities. You can also take part in an industry-relevant internship, or synthesize all you’ve learned into a valuable project or portfolio through a capstone experience.

Specialize your education with our interdisciplinary approach.

To practice effective environmental stewardship and maximize your positive impact, you need to build your base of interdisciplinary knowledge about the issues and challenges surrounding sustainability. It takes cross-functional expertise to build a sustainable world and address the issues facing our planet. To solve them, we need cooperation and innovation in areas like business, economics, politics, and policy.

We want to empower you to take action, so we designed our program to help bolster your skills across disciplines. You can specialize your skill set by choosing one of three tracks — Environmental Science, Business, or Policy — and then enhance your knowledge through a robust list of electives that approach sustainability from unique points of view.

Put our reputation to work.

Maryville University was founded in 1872 and has been helping brave, motivated professionals launch or enhance their careers with industry expertise ever since. Ninety percent of our full-time faculty holds a doctorate or terminal degree, and our experienced, certified sustainability faculty can give you the practical, real-world knowledge to thrive in your career.

We’re proud of our reputation for quality academics, accelerated growth, and affordability, because it demonstrates our commitment to excellence.

We’re recognized for excellence. So you can be, too.

Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Forbes America's Top Colleges
Kiplinger Best College Values
Money's Best Colleges

Bachelor of Science in Sustainability faculty spotlight

Dr. Kyra N. Krakos, Sustainability Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of Biology

Dr. Kyra N. Krakos

Sustainability Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of Biology

When you earn your bachelor’s in sustainability from Maryville, you get the chance to study with passionate, experienced, award-winning experts in the field like Dr. Kyra N. Krakos. In our program, you can benefit from her extensive experience in research, practice, and education.

Since joining Maryville as an associate professor of biology in 2011, Dr. Krakos has broadened her focus and established herself as a leader in education. She was named Educator of the Year by the STL Academy of Science in 2016, and she has been a guest speaker at a number of academic and scientific institutions. In 2015, she delivered a TEDx Talk titled “Plants, People and Pollinators: A Love Story.”

Dr. Krakos is a St. Louis Biodiversity Fellow in the Living Earth Collaborative. She also serves as a research associate at Missouri Botanical Garden.

With more than a decade of experience in biology and sustainability, Dr. Krakos has conducted research in areas involving topics like invasive species, ecology, and the evolution of plant reproductive biology. She’s a member of American Women in Science and the Botanical Society for America, and she served for four years as the co-director for the Missouri Junior Science, Engineering and Humanities Symposium.

At Maryville, Dr. Krakos teaches courses in ecology, plants and people, conservation, sustainability, and botany. Her lab focuses on building an understanding of the dynamic relationship between the natural world and our changing environment.

Online Bachelor of Science in Sustainability curriculum

Our online bachelor’s in sustainability is focused on the biggest challenges we face today — and the issues that will drive conversation, business, and policy in the years to come. It’s a cross-disciplinary program meant to help you develop vital skills and knowledge to enhance your understanding of important topics like the complex environmental questions facing humanity; the links between human choices and environmental effects; and innovative, evidence-based solutions that can help build a more sustainable future.

When you earn your degree at Maryville, you learn from expert practitioners with years of experience across a variety of settings in sustainability. We help you build the specialized theoretical knowledge and practical, real-world skills to pursue a career you love, so your work can have a positive local or global impact.

Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Sustainability program comprises degree-focused coursework plus general education classes. This includes sustainability major core courses, professional track courses, and sustainability electives.

Build your foundation in sustainability.

Through a combination of general electives and core major courses, you’ll have the opportunity to establish your knowledge base in subjects like sustainability, environmental science and health, business, policy, earth systems, and environmental ethics.

Specialize your sustainability knowledge.

In addition to your core courses, you can customize your degree to fit your professional ambitions. Establish your expertise by choosing from three tracks — Environmental Science, Business, or Policy — and further broaden your knowledge with your choice in electives.

Put your knowledge to work.

Sustainability is all about the real world, so experience is important. At Maryville, you can see the practical effects of what you learn by participating in experiential projects, case studies, simulations, and field tests. You can also deepen your real-world knowledge with an internship, or show off what you’ve learned through a capstone experience.

Take your education further with Early Access.

Want to take the next step in your sustainability education? Get a head start with our Early Access program.

With Early Access, you can earn up to 12 credits toward your master’s degree as you complete the requirements for your bachelor’s. That means you can begin graduate studies with as much as one-third of your master’s course requirements already completed — saving you time and money. Graduate-level courses take the place of undergraduate electives during the last phase of your bachelor’s degree.

If you’re a qualified undergraduate student and you have not yet completed your elective requirements, we invite you to explore Early Access as an option. To qualify, you must have earned at least 75 credits toward your undergraduate degree (with at least 20 credits completed at Maryville) and have at least a 3.25 GPA. You can learn more at our Early Access page, or contact an advisor if you have any questions.

Learn more about the online Bachelor of Science in Sustainability at Maryville University.