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May 6, 2022

SVSU adds new degree program in environmental studies and sustainability

The Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control approved adding a degree program in environmental studies and sustainability Friday, May 6. The new Bachelor of Arts program will be available beginning with the fall 2022 semester. 

“We’re excited to offer this new degree program because it will satisfy employer demand and student interest,” said Marty Arford, professor of geography and chair of the new department. “The environmental studies and sustainability major is based in social sciences and will complement SVSU’s environmental science program, which was approved by the Board of Control in 2020.”

The interdisciplinary environmental studies and sustainability major covers a broad range of knowledge and skills. Students in the program will take courses in the departments of biology, chemistry, communications, economics, history, mathematics, philosophy, political science, rhetorical and professional writing and sociology. No new courses are needed to support this major.

Arford explained that the environmental studies and sustainability program provides a pathway to environmental careers for students who are oriented toward the social sciences more than the physical sciences.

“This program links social sciences and natural sciences, which is the very nature of geography,” he said.

SVSU students who earn a degree in environmental studies and sustainability will be prepared for careers in the environmental field, such as planning, policy, geospatial analysis and conservation in the governmental, nonprofit and private sectors.

Many students in the new program and the existing environmental science major will have opportunities through the Saginaw Bay Environmental Science Institute at SVSU. Both programs will collaborate on research projects and share resources, especially those involving water quality in the Saginaw Bay.

For more information on the environmental studies and sustainability program at SVSU, visit