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BA in Sustainability

The low-lesidency BA in Sustainability (BAS) program supports you in gaining the knowledge, skills, and vision essential to understanding our place in the ecosystem, navigating the transition to a sustainable society, and creating resilient lives and livelihoods in partnership with nature. You will explore the root causes of the local and global stresses to our ecological, economic and social systems and design and implement strategies for solutions that build sustainability.


Each semester begins with an eight-day residency on the Goddard campus in central Vermont where students work with faculty advisors and other students to create an individualized study plan for the semester and participate in a wide range of residency activities, including workshops on sustainability topics and academic skills, and may include visits to local Vermont sites, farms, and businesses to see sustainability in action. After the residency, students work independently from home through regular one-on-one exchanges with a faculty advisor. Program faculty are actively engaged in their fields. They mentor students in both the theoretical and practical aspects of the study areas that students choose.

BAS students address the same degree requirements, and engage in the same residency, semester work, and progress review processes as those in the BA in Individualized (IBA) Studies program, along with BAS-specific degree criteria.

Graduates of the BA in Sustainability have an unparalleled opportunity to design and implement a degree plan that will help them pursue their interests in sustainability while preparing for future vocational goals, graduate study and/ or volunteer activities.


BAS students apply their learning in experiential settings. This type of learning provides an opportunity for students to try out a practice, test an idea or gain valuable practical experience by applying their sustainability learning in a real life setting.

Students Living in the U.S. and/or working internationally have studied topics such as:

  • Local food systems
  • Impacts of the privatization of drinking water
  • Indigenous approaches to conservation
  • Starting a community garden
  • Sustainable maple sugaring
  • Wind energy politics & installation
  • Waste & water management
  • Urban gardening
  • Soil science & restoration
  • Permaculture design principles
  • Shaping public policy through individual action & community based groups
  • Peak oil, food security & economic resilience
  • Strategies for building a local economy
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Renewable energy sources
  • Place-based approaches to sustainability
  • Global lesson in sustainable practices
  • Strengths & limitations of localist movements
  • Spiritual dimensions of sustainable societies
  • Green building
  • Mycoremediation
  • Ethical dimensions of global trade and legislation
  • Starting a Time Bank
  • Principles and practices of socially responsible businesses 


The BA in Sustainability (BAS) program is open to upper division undergraduate students and requires 120 credits to be awarded the degree. Students are eligible for admission after they have completed 60 credits in the liberal arts. No more than 75 transferable semester-hour transfer credits can be applied to the 120 required for the degree. A minimum of three semesters of enrollment in the BAS is required. Prior studies in sustainability may be applied to program requirements, and students may address general undergraduate degree requirements concurrently while enrolled in the BAS program. A student’s required period of enrollment is determined during the admissions process and is based upon a review of transcripts relative to program and degree criteria.


Locations Offered: 
Plainfield, VT