Courses with Sustainability

A group of students gather around outside to learn about sustainable practices first-hand.

Luther College offers both a major and a minor in environmental studies as well as many courses open to all students. From biology to philosophy, geology to sociology, environmental studies is a truly interdisciplinary and engaged course of study. Many of our courses utilize the local area for intensive study beyond the classroom, and all of our students are encouraged to broaden their horizons through off-campus studies.

The following is a list of courses identified through a faculty survey in which sustainability is relevant to the course objectives. This list includes sustainability focused/related courses in addition to courses where the relationship to sustainability is not as significant.

Sustainability-Focused and Sustainability-Inclusive Courses

A course is defined as sustainability-focused if the course title or description points to an explicit focus on sustainability. During the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years, Luther offered a total of 42 sustainability-focused courses. Sustainability-inclusive courses are those in which sustainability is clearly included in the course content.  Luther offered 397 sustainability-inclusive course during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years. During the two academic years, 37.14% of Luther's courses were sustainability courses. Music courses were not included in the scope of the calculation.

Luther Campus as a Living Laboratory

Students and faculty can better understand campus sustainability by using the campus as a living laboratory. Instead of just writing papers, or doing class projects about concepts, research could focus on the infrastructure and operations of the college. By applying their research to actual situations, researchers can better understand how to overcome sustainability challenges or make improvements. Areas such as energy, food, waste, construction, diversity, public engagement and wellbeing are possible focus areas for research using Luther College as a living laboratory.

 Click here for a list of all Luther's sustainability and living laboratory courses.


Study Away During J-Term!

Here are some examples of environmental studies-approved courses offered during J-Term:

  • Anthropology in East Africa: Culture Change Among the Maasai (blog)
  • Ecology of the Southwest (blog)
  • Ecology of Ecuador (blog)
  • Green Germany: Advanced Models of Sustainability (blog)
  • Impacts of Mining and Tourism on Indigenous Peoples and the Environment in northern Chile (blog)