Executives in large organizations are increasingly focusing on sustainability. McKinsey reported that 43 percent of executives wish to align their values and mission statements with sustainability. There is a huge need for experts in sustainability as the world moves to become greener. Sustainability can mean a lot of different things, and there are a wide variety of jobs in sustainability.
With a degree in sustainability, you can enter a position in management, marketing, community development, environmental scientists, and much more. A degree in sustainability can be combined with other interests and long-term goals to prepare you for a career that will truly make a difference.
Best College Reviews provides degree rankings, such as the Best Online Bachelor's in Sustainability Degrees, from carefully researched data sets published from government and non-profit organizations across the United States. Five primary factors affect how we rank degrees:
25% – Student Satisfaction
30% – Earning Potential
15% – Retention Data
20% – Affordability
10% – Acceptance Rates
For an in-depth breakdown of how we calculate each ranking, check out our Methodology page.
#10 Roosevelt University
Bachelor's in Sustainability Studies (BA)
Roosevelt University teaches its sustainability students to think critically, write clearly, and research deeply. The course combines expert learning with valuable hands-on experience. Roosevelt University offers various internship opportunities, as well as clubs and organizations to encourage student involvement. Students learn onsite at urban farms, nature centers, and museums. They learn the Three E's of sustainability: environment, economy, and equity. Expert faculty help students recognize the implications of sustainability, on a national and global level. They promote social justice as they explore factors of natural and social ecosystems. Students graduate with a basic knowledge of sustainability and an incredible portfolio of real-world experience.
#9 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus
University Park, Pennsylvania
Bachelor of Arts in Energy and Sustainability Policy
As we make the change toward more sustainable energy, there is an increasing demand for sustainability graduates. Penn State prepares its students to fill these new job openings. Students learn the global trends in energy policy, technology, and economics. They learn to collaborate well while building a global perspective. With this focus on sustainability policy, students will learn the social, cultural, and political dimensions of energy and sustainability. At the same time, they will improve their communication skills and their knowledge of humanities and global cultures in order to truly understand the impact of sustainability.
#8 Liberty University
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Green and Sustainable Management
Liberty University seeks to train leaders. The Bachelor’s Degree in Green and Sustainable Management at Liberty encourages students to study and understand God’s plan for a sustainable earth and his instructions to be good stewards of the earth. Students learn to analyze critical environmental factors and to explore models for restoring sustainability. Many courses are taught in a debate-style format which encourages communication and develops critical thinking skills. Liberty wants students to research and analyze environmental issues in order to discover creative solutions to the world’s sustainability needs. The school is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
#7 Bellevue University
Bachelor of Science in Sustainability Management
Bellevue University’s BS in Sustainability Management integrates hands-on, applied learning with the theories of sustainability. Students look at sustainability issues in water, energy, land, biofuels, bioenergy, solar, wind, and urban development. Courses touch on environmental science, energy technology, green technology, and natural resource conservation. Students learn to analyze, design, and manage a variety of sustainable projects. They learn to lead project implementation and to engage stakeholders in these projects. Graduates from Bellevue University are prepared to sit for the LEED Green Associate Exam. Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and was named #153 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by US News.
#6 University of Wisconsin-Stout
UW Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Management
The BS in Sustainable Management at UW-Stout is designed for working adults. With the flexibility of an online degree and the expertise of UW faculty, students can earn their degree while continuing with their professional, family, or community obligations. Students learn to plan and apply sustainable business practices despite rising costs and limited resources. They learn the importance of finding a balance between profitability and the needs of the environment in order to help companies align sustainability with their business goals, mission, and values. Courses include systems thinking, triple-bottom-line accounting, natural resource management, the economics of sustainability, and much more.
#5 Arizona State University
Online Bachelor of Arts in Business (Sustainability)
Arizona State University was ranked #4 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs and #1 in Most Innovative Schools by US News. The BA in Business Sustainability delivers an intuitive, high-quality online education. The program aims to meet the growing demand for leaders in sustainability. Graduates of the program have the skills to help create an improved social and environmental quality of life. They’ve learned the societal, scientific, and business aspects of sustainability, and know how to make decisions based on short and long-term goals. Courses in the program cover topics such as the economics of sustainability, global supply operations, global supply chain management, and more.
#4 University of Massachusetts Amherst
BA, Sustainability Studies Concentrations
UMass Amherst gives students control over their degree. Their BA in Sustainability Studies allows students to design their own program by taking classes from any department in order to focus on classes that will help them meet their goals. UMass Amherst celebrates life experience, so students can bring in or earn up to 105 credits for prior coursework or work and life experience. With outstanding one-on-one support, students can make sure they finish their degree quickly while studying exactly what they want to learn.
#3 Florida International University
Online Bachelor of Arts Sustainability and the Environment
Florida International University offers its students a multidisciplinary education with a focus on developing creative and adaptive solutions to real-world problems. Students in the BA in Sustainability and the Environment study the factors that determine sustainability, in institutions, organizations, cultures, technologies, and environments. They learn to analyze the connections between people and their environment, whether social, natural, or built. With a 100 percent online program, students can manage their schedules on their own time. The online course includes lectures and real-time feedback from instructors and gives students the chance to collaborate together on projects. Students also work with a personal success coach to help them make the most of their degree.
#2 Oregon State University
Oregon State University has received worldwide recognition for being a premier sustainability and natural resources university. It was ranked #6 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by US News. The Sustainability program is a double degree which can be added to any OSU degree program. This allows students to tailor their degree to fit exactly with their long-term career goals. OSU’s sustainability program encourages students to think differently and to come up with creative solutions to the world’s sustainability issues. Faculty at OSU are involved in basic and applied research, so students know their education is relevant and applicable. Students at OSU have access to vital resources such as success counseling, library services, and free online tutoring.
#1 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Online Bachelor of Science in Earth, Society & Environmental Sustainability
UIUC is the 2nd oldest university in Illinois and is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Students in the BS in Earth, Society, and Environmental Sustainability program can choose from two concentrations. Science in the Earth System is an excellent concentration for those with a background or interest in natural science. Society and Environment is a more flexible concentration for those with a more generalize background. Students can focus their education on environmental informatics, sustainable business, sustainability policy, and more. Both concentrations help students realize their full potential as citizens, professionals, and stewards of our planet.