Bachelor of Science in Sustainability


Sustainability seeks a way for human and natural systems to work together so that all species can survive and thrive over the long-term, both locally and globally. The Bachelor in Science in Sustainability provides the broad fundamental knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to drive sustainable outcomes that address today’s urgent environmental, economic, and social challenges. This degree can be applied across a wide range of fields, from management, design, and planning, to environmental services in business, non-profit, and public institutions.

Required core courses provide a foundation in sustainability principles and strategies, applications in practice, environmental science, environmental law and policy, sustainability businesses, and systems thinking, culminating in an independent capstone project. Electives are drawn from a range of courses across disciplines that reflect the breadth of sustainability applications. Faculty are educators and practitioners with deep knowledge of and experience in applying sustainability. The program addresses the collaborative and integrative nature of sustainability with an emphasis on applied learning, which takes these lessons from the classroom into St. Louis.

In addition to core requirements, students complete their degree with 18 additional units and may choose from three concentrations or select electives tailored to their interests. The concentrations include:

  1. Sustainable Environment and Science: a focus on the environmental aspects of sustainability.
  2. Sustainable Management and Organizations: a focus on understanding and applying sustainability in corporate and institutional management.
  3. Urban Sustainability: A focus on urban-scale sustainability policies and programs.
Admission Requirements
6 Units Of Transferable College-level Course Work
  • At least six units of transferable college-level course work; or 
  • at least six units of course work taken at CAPS and proof of high school completion, General Educational Development (GED) or High School Equivalency (HSE).
2.7 Minimum GPA

Note: CAPS is designed for students with adult responsibilities who may require part-time and flexible course schedules. Current high school students and recent graduates seeking a traditional WashU college experience should apply through the undergraduate admissions office:

Application Requirements

Below is a list of requirements for an application to the undergraduate degree in Sustainability. Applications will be reviewed once all requirements are received.

Application Deadlines

Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis and typically take four to six weeks. An application is incomplete and will not be reviewed until all of the application requirements have been received or processed. Applicants are encouraged to submit all materials by the following dates:

  • Summer 2023: April 30, 2023
  • Fall 2023: July 31, 2023
  • Spring 2024: Dec. 31, 2023
Completed Application Form

The online application is available on our Apply page. Applications are ready for review when all fields on the application form are completed and the required documents have been received.


Official (issued directly from the college or WashU) or unofficial (student-issued) copies of transcripts from the three most recent years of college-level work. If you have fewer than six units of transferable credit or CAPS course work, then proof of high school completion, General Educational Development (GED) or High School Equivalency (HSE) must be submitted. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the registrar to the WashU School of Continuing & Professional Studies. Electronic transcripts should be forwarded to For transcript questions, please contact our Admissions Coordinator, Patricia Agnew, at

Non-United States course work transcript verification
If the transcript you submit for consideration is from a college or university outside the United States, a course by course transcript evaluation is also required. Evaluations will be accepted from World Education Services (WES), Spantran or another member institution of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). For Spantran evaluations, you must use this form

Personal Essay

Tell us about yourself in a brief essay (about 250 words). Why are you applying to WashU School of Continuing & Professional Studies? What are your goals, both academic and professional? Is there additional information we should know about you when considering your application?

TOEFL/IELTS Scores (if applicable)

All international students are required to submit TOEFL iBT or IELTS scores at the time of application. The TOEFL iBT and IELTS may be waived for applicants who, immediately prior to their application for admission, have done both of the following:

  • Lived for three years or longer in the United States or another country where English is the primary language of daily life (e.g. Canada or United Kingdom).
  • Completed three or more years of study at a college or university which is located in that country and where the language of instruction is English.

This policy applies to all international students, even those who have earned a degree from a United States college or university.

If an applicant moves away from an English-speaking country after living and studying there for three years or more, TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo scores are then required for admission. 

Changes to the English Language Proficiency Requirements (2022–23)
Effective March 23, 2022, if an applicant is unable to take the TOEFL iBT or the IELTS, they may document their efforts to take the tests, contact the CAPS Admissions, and request the Duolingo, TOEFL ITP Plus for China, or TOEFL iBT Home Edition as exceptions. 

International student application deadlines & fees

Additional TOEFL and IELTS information for international students adversely affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on the CAPS International Student Information webpage.

US Citizenship or Eligible Noncitizen

International students interested in undergraduate programs must hold a visa that permits part-time study (including F-2 and J-2 visas).  Students holding  F-1 visas are not eligible for these programs.  Students holding a B-2 visa may be eligible if the coursework is recreational or avocational in nature.

Enrolling in WashU School of Continuing & Professional Studies (CAPS)

We are here for you every step. Getting started at CAPS is easy.

1. Meet with an Advisor
2. Start Your Application
  • Applying is easy, and our advisors are here to help you find the path that fits your needs. Apply Today!
3. Plan Ahead

Take a course today. Apply later.

At CAPS, students can take courses without applying to a degree program. If you are interested in taking a class to get to know CAPS, to fulfill credits, for professional development, or to follow a passion, the non-degree option is for you. Learn more.

Course Work

All CAPS undergraduate students must satisfy the same general-education requirements.

Requirements specific to the BS in Sustainability include:


  • Foundations and Practice of Sustainability (U19 205)
  • Environmental Science: Regional and Global Perspectives (U19 413)
  • Strategic Planning (U44 364)
  • Translating Sustainable Business Practices (U19 306) or Sustainability as a Transformative Agent in Business and Public Policy (U19 368)
  • Environmental Law: Applications towards Sustainability (U19 328)
  • Sustainability Capstone (U19 450)


A concentration in sustainable environment and science is a good foundation for careers in environmental fields such as environmental manager, landscape manager or waste manager. It is also useful for those wanting to pursue an advanced degree in a related field of interest.

Students will select among electives based on approved available course offerings in consultation with their advisor. Examples of those include:

  • Ecology (U29 419)
  • Introduction to GIS (U90 200) or Digital Cartography (U90 303)
  • Environmental and Energy Issues (U25 3312)
  • Sustainable Food Systems Thinking (U19 337)
  • Anthropology and Climate Change: Past, Present, and Future (U69 3795)
  • Urban Agriculture & Sustainable Food Systems (U29 4631)


A concentration in sustainable management and organizations is a good foundation for careers in the business or institutional applications of sustainability such as sustainable project manager, facilities manager or materials manager. It is also useful for those wanting to pursue an advanced degree in a related field of interest.

Students will select among electives based on approved available course offerings in consultation with their advisor. Examples of those include:

  • Principles of Management (U44 339)
  • Introduction to Supply Chain Management (U44 303)
  • Principles of Project Management (U44 324)
  • Design Thinking: Human-Centered Approaches to Making the World (U44 290)
  • Sustainable Food Systems Thinking (U19 337)
  • Environmental Economics (U07 355)


A concentration in urban sustainability is a good foundation for careers in urban-scale public policy and programs such as community manager, planning consultant or nonprofit manager. It is also useful for those wanting to pursue an advanced degree in a related field of interest.

Students will select among electives based on approved available course offerings in consultation with their advisor. Examples of those include:

  • Planning Sustainable & Racially Equitable Urban Communities (U19 319)
  • Urban Ecology: Principles and Practice (U19 317)
  • Introduction to GIS or U90 303 Digital Cartography (U90 200)
  • Introduction to Resilience (U19 325)
  • Sustainable Food Systems Thinking (U19 337)


Students will select among Sustainability electives, including all courses offered in the concentrations.

Student Advising

Our CAPS advisors go the extra mile to help you navigate your path and needs. We will provide you with the tools to make each moment spent on your education as valuable as possible. Students will receive:

  • individual appointments with an experienced advisor;
  • career planning services to prepare you for opportunities after graduation;
  • a partner throughout your journey to ensure success.

Student advising is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.

Still have questions?

Academic Advisors: 
Rebecca O’Laughlin 

Lily M. Dollan

Elisa Wang