Program overview

Put your passion for protecting the environment on a sound business foundation as you prepare for a career in the new green economy. Explore and learn on our unique coastal campus, situated on 540 acres, including coastline, riverbanks, woodlands, wetlands, dunes, and vernal pools. Through highly collaborative and interdisciplinary study, you’ll discover how to bring together environmental, social, and financial concepts as we work together to create a more sustainable world.

Why UNE for Sustainability and Business

Our tagline says it all: “Innovation for a Healthier Planet.” Our commitment to the environment and our dedication to out-of-the-box thinking makes UNE the ideal place to earn your degree in Sustainability and Business. With our electric car charging stations, sustainable landscaping, green living wall, Edible Campus Initiative, and Green Revolving Fund, we celebrate a University-wide commitment to green practices.

  • Green Learning Community for first-year students
  • Marine Science Center with aquaponics, aquaculture, and fisheries labs
  • Kelp farming research
  • Makerspace for innovative ideation and prototyping

number of times UNE was ranked among the most environmentally responsible colleges

The Princeton Review
Portrait of Abbie Anderson

What’s nice about my environmental classes is that they are so applied. I get a broad understanding of environmental problems but also how to apply them in a business sense.

Sustainability and Business


Examples of Available Courses

There are many ways you can navigate this major. The following are some examples of the exciting courses that the Sustainability and Business major offers:

  • Sustainability and Ecological Restoration
  • Climate Change Adaptation: Planning and Policy
  • Environmental Movements and Social Change
  • Ecological Economics
  • Management of Nonprofits
  • Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship


CAS Core Requirements Credits
Total 42–46
Required Courses Credits
BIO 105 and 105L – Biology I: Ecology/Evolution/Lab with Lab Credits Fulfilled by Core Requirements
BUAC 201 – Financial Accounting 3
BUEC 104 and 105 or BUEC 106 – Economics in Context Credits Fulfilled by Core Requirements
BUEC 204 – Microeconomics 3
BUEC 390 – Environmental Economics 3
BUMG 200 – Management 3
BUMK 200 – Marketing 3
ENV 100 and 101 or ENV 104 – Introduction to Environmental Issues Credits Fulfilled by Core Requirements
ENV 200 – Environment and Society Credits Fulfilled by Core Requirements
ENV 208 – Climate Change: Causes, Consequences, Solutions Credits Fulfilled by Core Requirements
ENV 240 – Environmental Sustainability Lab 2
ENV 250 – Environmental Policy in Comparative Perspective 3
ENV 295 – Internship or BUMG 295 – Internship 3
ENV 344 – Environmental Ethics or BUMG 311 – Business and Society Relations 3
ENV 495 – Advanced Internship or BUMG 495A – Advanced Internship 3–12
ENV 499 – Senior Capstone 3
LIT 121 and 122 or LIT 124 – Literature, Nature & the Environment Credits Fulfilled by Core Requirements
MAT 151 – Statistics for Environmental Sciences Credits Fulfilled by Core Requirements
Two (2) Environmental Studies Electives Courses (see below) 6
Two (2) Business Elective Courses (see below) 6
Total 44–52
Open Elective Courses (as needed to reach 120 credits) Variable
Minimum Total Required Credits 120

Elective Suggestions

Environmental Elective Suggestions Credits
ENV 204 – Urban Forestry 3
ENV 309 – Sustainability and Ecological Restoration 3
ENV 313 – Wetland Restoration: Science and Policy 3
ENV 316/316L - Land Conservation Practicum with Lab 4
ENV 321 – Environmental Communication: Expert Practices for Ecosystem Management 3
ENV 328 – Environmental Pollution: Ecosystems, Wildlife and Human Health 3
ENV 340 – Environmental Movements and Social Change 3
ENV 341 – Indigenous Ecology, Conservation Biology, and the Politics of Knowledge 3
ENV 348 – Environment, Health & Community Development in East Africa 4
ENV 357 – Sustaining Water: Social and Global Perspectives 3
MAF 200 – Introduction to Marine Pollution 3
MAF 210 – Introduction to US Ocean Governance 3
MAR 316 – Science in Society 3
Business Elective Suggestions Credits
BUEC 395 – Ecological Economics 3
BUMG 303 – Management of Nonprofits 3
BUMG 307 – Operations Management 3
BUMG 312 – Entrepreneurship/Sm Bus Management 3
BUMG 315 – Triple Bottom Line Reporting 3
BUMG 325 – Legal Environment of Business 3
BUMG 410 – Creating Social Enterprises through Design Thinking & Innovation 4
ORM 250 – Outdoor Entrepreneurship (Makerspace) 3

Additional Information

  • Students may choose to tailor the last two (2) years of course selections to their specific interests. For example, in close consultation with their academic advisor, they may select upper-level business and environmental studies electives that would result in an informal concentration in one or more areas including Non-Profit Sector, Corporate/Public Sector Sustainability, Small Business/Entrepreneurship.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to participate in study abroad. Academic advisors will help tailor a student’s program to create opportunities for study abroad.

Students in this major can participate in the pre-health graduate school preparation tracks.

For more information view the Academic Catalog.

Green Learning Community

First-year School of Marine and Environmental Program majors are able to participate in the Green Learning Community (GLC). GLC is an intentional community of professors and first-year students dedicated to studying human relations to the environment. The year-long experience integrates courses in biology, environmental issues, literature, and economics.

In classes, you will find the same topic presented from different perspectives. You learn about the environment in an atmosphere where your opinions are welcomed and valued by supportive professors who foster a sense of community.

Much of the learning you do through the GLC takes place outside the classroom. The community-building experiences begin early in the fall with a retreat to Bryant Pond where you explore your individual goals for learning while collaborating in outdoor activities like hiking, paddling, and working through a ropes course. Additional field trips throughout the year take you to places like the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, Wildlife Conservation Lands, and the Portland Trail System.

The small class sizes in the GLC allow you to receive individual attention and instruction that help develop your academic, research, and communication skills.

Internship Story: Sustainability and Business in Action


Perhaps you’re an aspiring green entrepreneur, or maybe you’re interested in the management of corporate sustainability practices. Wherever your aspirations take you, you’ll graduate with the knowledge, internship experiences, analytical skills, and ethical grounding you need to have a successful career combining business and sustainability. Relevant professions include:

  • Chief Sustainability Officer
  • Green Business and Corporate Manager
  • LEED Certified Construction Manager
  • Green or Sustainable Entrepreneur
  • Sustainability Program Developer
  • Environmental Public Affairs Officer
  • Community Economic Development Manager

Career Advising

Whether you have a specific career goal in mind or a vague idea of the field that interests you, Career Advising is here to help you plan your next step.

Global Opportunities

Aside from UNE's opportunities to spend a semester abroad, you find two travel courses — a fall semester course in Dominica and a spring semester course in Kenya. To enroll in these courses, you must submit an application to the Global Education Program. You are encouraged to apply for a Global Education scholarship when applying to these courses.


ENV 348: Adv. Environment, Health, and Community Dev. in East Africa

Dr. Richard Peterson

This is a Spring semester course offered every other year with a two- to three-week field experience trip to Kenya in late May/June. Semester studies focus on environmental, health, and community development issues facing the country today, set within East Africa’s political, cultural, and historical contexts. The trip features visits to leading universities, museums, and national parks, an overland journey from Nairobi to Kisumu through the Great Rift Valley, home-stays with Kenyan families, hiking in the Kakamega Rainforest, hands-on experience working with local partner organizations, and working with community-based conservation researchers at a Maasai-owned wildlife conservancy.

Watch Conservation in Kenya: A UNE Travel Course


ENV 376: Caribbean Sustainable Development and CIT 420: Global Citizenship

Dr. Thomas Klak

This is a Fall semester course that includes spending 13 days in early January in Dominica. You experience first-hand the challenges of — and progress toward — sustainable development in the self-proclaimed “Nature Island.” The class fulfills both UNE’s Advanced Studies and Citizenship requirements by engaging with Dominican partners who are working to achieve sustainable development, and by participating in hands-on development projects. Other experiences in Dominica include working on a fair trade banana farm to learn about Dominica’s economic mainstay crop; visiting a beach where sea turtles lay their eggs; hiking to the world’s only Boiling Lake; and bird-watching for the beautiful Imperial Parrot, Dominica’s national bird and an endangered species. You also instruct students about environmental protection at a local primary school.

a student poses in front of a mountain in the dominican republic

Experiential Learning

The Sustainability and Business major at UNE provides hands-on learning, both in and out of the classroom, to give you real-world experiences and the confidence to make a difference.

In Class

  • Use the latest technologies in the Makerspace, such as 3D printers and CNC routers
  • Apply learning to actual environmental problems as part of the first-year Green Learning Community
  • Conduct research on sustainable products, such as aquaponically grown vegetables and farmed shitake mushrooms

2022 Student Innovation Showcase

Beyond Class

  • Participate in UNE’s Student Innovation Challenge, a University-wide idea-stage competition
  • Intern on campus at UNE’s Office of Sustainability or off campus at various aquaculture farms and fisheries or other institutions, including:
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    • Gulf of Maine Research Institute
    • Manomet U360: Economic System
    • New England Aquarium
    • Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
    • Wells National Estuarine Reserve