Balance Environmental Studies with Green Business Practices

Put your passion for protecting the environment on a sound green 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 combine and balance environmental studies, ecological economics, social, and financial concepts as we work together to create a more sustainable world.

8

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

The Princeton Review (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024)

Why UNE for Your Bachelor of Science Degree in Sustainability and Business

“Innovation for a Healthier Planet” is more than just a tagline at the University of New England.

Our commitment to the environment and our dedication to out-of-the-box thinking makes UNE the ideal place to earn your Bachelor of Science 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 business practices. In your Bachelor of Science degree at UNE, you’ll experience courses like environmental studies and ecological economics first-hand with an innovative education that includes:

  • Green Learning Community for first-year students
  • Marine Science Center with aquaponics, aquaculture, and fisheries lab
  • Kelp farming research
  • Makerspace for innovative ideation and prototyping
Headshot of U N E sustainability and business student Ariana Walker

Ariana Walker ’23

Sustainability and Business
Why UNE

UNE is great because you can create strong relationships with your professors. At a big school where there are huge classes, you aren’t going to get the time with your professors, so you aren’t going to get the same education that you can get at UNE. That face-to-face time with professors is so valuable. It’s never a fight for time. My professors always make time to answer questions and chat with me one-on-one. They’re all like mentors to me. I look up to them.

Sustainability and business at UNE is helping me to see the connections between business and the environment. It allows me to explore how businesses can have the smallest impact on the planet but still reach their profit goals. Seeing how I play into that is exciting. I want the expertise to be able to help people and businesses live sustainably in cohesion.

Experiential Education

I was part of the [Green Learning Community] during my first year. We took a lot of off-campus trips, like to different parks or conservation areas. It was very hands-on, which was one of the reasons I was so excited to take part in it. We did a lot of fieldwork, and that was a great learning experience. You can’t learn from a book like that. It was a matter of learning through doing — of learning by being in a specific type of environment. That was the whole point of it. It was exciting and a nice break from the classroom.

Global Opportunities 

I’ll be studying abroad in Morocco in the spring. I’m so excited. UNE helps you with everything. It’s really no extra cost to spend the semester on that campus except any extra traveling you may want to do while there…It’d be insane to pass up the opportunity to go. I was able to work with my advisor to set up my class schedule to make it easy to go, so I don’t have anything to worry about. It’s great how much support I’ve gotten. 

Sustainability and business is helping me see the connections between business and the environment. It allows me to explore how businesses can have the smallest impact on the planet but still reach their profit goals.

Sustainability and Business

What Will You Study? Sustainability and Business Degree Curriculum Overview

There are many ways you can navigate this major. The following are some examples of the exciting courses that the Bachelor of Science degree in Sustainability and Business 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

Curriculum

CAS Core RequirementsCredits
Total Credits42
Program Required CoursesCredits
BIO 105/105L – Biology I: Ecology/Evolution w/LabCredits Fulfilled by Core Requirements
BUAC 201 – Financial Accounting3
BUEC 104/105 or BUEC 106 – Economics in ContextCredits Fulfilled by Core Requirements
BUEC 204 – Microeconomics3
BUEC 390 – Environmental Economics3
BUMG 200 – Management3
BUMK 200 – Marketing3
ENV 100/101 or ENV 104 – Introduction to Environmental IssuesCredits Fulfilled by Core Requirements
ENV 200 – Environment and SocietyCredits Fulfilled by Core Requirements
ENV 208 – Climate Change: Causes, Consequences, SolutionsCredits Fulfilled by Core Requirements
ENV 240 – Environmental Sustainability Lab2
ENV 250 – Environmental Policy in Comparative Perspective3
ENV 295 – Internship or BUMG 295 – Internship3
ENV 344 – Environmental Ethics or BUMG 311 – Business and Society Relations3
ENV 495 – Advanced Internship or BUMG 495A – Advanced Internship3–12
ENV 499 – Senior Capstone3
LIT 121/122 or LIT 124 – Literature, Nature & the EnvironmentCredits Fulfilled by Core Requirements
MAT 151 – Statistics for Environmental SciencesCredits Fulfilled by Core Requirements
Two (2) Environmental Studies Electives (see below)6
Two (2) Business Electives (see below)6
Total Credits44–53
Open Elective Courses (as needed to reach 120 credits)Variable
Minimum Total Required Credits120

Program Specific Electives

Environmental Studies ElectivesCredits
ENV 204 – Urban Forestry3
ENV 309 – Sustainability and Ecological Restoration3
ENV 313 – Wetland Restoration: Science and Policy3
ENV 316/316L – Land Conservation Practicum w/Lab4
ENV 321 – Environmental Communication: Expert Practices for Ecosystem Management3
ENV 328 – Environmental Pollution: Ecosystems, Wildlife and Human Health3
ENV 340 – Environmental Movements and Social Change3
ENV 341 – Indigenous Ecology, Conservation Biology, and the Politics of Knowledge3
ENV 348 – Environment, Health & Community Development in East Africa4
ENV 357 – Sustaining Water: Social and Global Perspectives3
MAF 200 – Introduction to Marine Pollution3
MAF 210 – Introduction to US Ocean Governance3
MAR 316 – Science in Society3
Business ElectivesCredits
BUEC 395 – Ecological Economics3
BUMG 303 – Management of Nonprofits3
BUMG 307 – Operations Management3
BUMG 312 – Entrepreneurship/Sm Bus Management3
BUMG 315 – Triple Bottom Line Reporting3
BUMG 325 – Legal Environment of Business3
BUMG 410 – Creating Social Enterprises through Design Thinking & Innovation4
OBI 350 – Outdoor Entrepreneurship (Makerspace) (formerly ORM 250)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 (1) 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.

For more information see 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

Career Paths for Sustainability and Business Degree Grads

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 for Sustainability and Business Majors

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.

Innovative Makerspace Facilities for Sustainability and Business Degree Seekers

The P.D. Merrill Makerspace is a fully equipped laboratory for creating and building, turning ideas into reality, and developing sustainable solutions to real-world problems. Whether you come to the Makerspace as part of an environmental studies or ecological economics class, as a student researcher or innovator, or just for fun, the Makerspace has something to offer every student — regardless of program or major.

Watch: UNE Students in the Makerspace

Using Drones in Research through the University of New England Makerspace

Makerspace Helps Students Get Maine Lighthouse Off the Grid

Solving real-world problems in UNE’s Makerspace

Experiential Learning in Sustainability and Business

The Sustainability and Business degree 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.

  • 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 shiitake mushrooms

2022 Student Innovation Showcase

Beyond the Classroom

  • 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

Global Education in Sustainability and Business

Aside from UNE's opportunities to spend a semester abroad, you find travel courses taught by School of Marine and Environmental Programs faculty. 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.

Kenya

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

Apply today

Ready to begin your future in UNE’s Bachelor of Science degree in Sustainability and Business?

B.S. in Sustainability and Business FAQ

What is a business sustainability degree?

A business sustainability degree program considers and applies environmental, social, and financial concerns to create a more sustainable world. By studying business sustainability, students gain the knowledge, experience, and ethical grounding to play a leadership role within a public or private company, nonprofit organization, or an entrepreneur.

UNE in Maine offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Sustainability and Business, a collaboration between the School of Marine and Environmental Programs and the College of Business. Our B.S. in Sustainability and Business program is interdisciplinary, encouraging collaboration and hands-on learning in real-world settings. The first year includes a Green Learning Community where you’ll examine environmental issues by considering biology, literature, environmental studies, and economics.

Learn more about UNE’s Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Sustainability and Business

What can you do with a business sustainability degree?

A business sustainability degree readies you for ethical and socially responsible roles in the fields of sustainability and business. It hones your problem-solving skills with a focus on human connections with nature. This degree sets you on a path to meet your personal and career objectives and to pursue entry-level positions in both public and private sectors, or further studies at the graduate level.

Whether you're aiming to be a green entrepreneur or want to oversee corporate sustainability, UNE’s business sustainability degree program in Maine equips you with the knowledge, practical experience, analytical abilities, and ethical foundation needed for a successful career in the intersection of business and sustainability.

UNE students that have graduated with a B.S. in Sustainability and Business have gone on to hold roles as chief sustainability officer, green business manager, LEED certified construction manager, sustainable entrepreneur, sustainability program developer, environmental public affairs officer, and community economic development manager. Students can benefit from the Academic and Career Advising Center, whether they have specific career goals or general field interests.

Learn more about Career Advising at UNE

What skills do sustainable business majors learn while in school?

Sustainable business courses blend traditional business topics like accounting, marketing, economics, and strategic management with a curriculum focused on systems thinking, ecology, natural resource management, and environmental science and policy.

At UNE, students learn the basics of business and ecology and use them in sustainability projects for various organizations. They integrate environmental, social, and economic factors to solve real-world problems. They also discover how to assess the risks and rewards (including economic, social, and environmental) of sustainable ventures, comparing short-term gains with long-term benefits.

Examples of exciting courses that the Sustainability and Business degree at UNE in Maine offers include:

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

In addition to classes, first-year Sustainability and Business students, along with other environmental students, engage in a year-long learning community centered on core environmental study topics. This interdisciplinary method helps students grasp the intricacies of environmental issues and enhances their critical thinking, writing, speaking, research, and computer skills.

Learn more about UNE’s B.S. in Sustainability and Business curriculum

Is a degree in business sustainability worth it?

Many students find a business sustainability degree valuable because of the high demand for sustainability jobs. As sustainability becomes more important, various industries will rely on sustainability managers to tackle complex challenges. According to Zippia, as of September 2023, the average sustainability major makes about $55,980 a year, and if you are in the top 10 percent of earners in this field, you will make over $108,000.

Choosing to major in sustainability and business at UNE in Maine showcases your dedication to devising innovative solutions that support business growth while prioritizing sustainability. This enhances your attractiveness in today’s job market. Employment opportunities include Corporate or Municipal Sustainability Officer, Green Business Manager, Community Economic Development Manager, Environmental Affairs Officer, Green Entrepreneur, and Sustainability Program Developer.

What is the best sustainability and business degree for me?

Interested in studying sustainability and business? This list can help you decide which is the best sustainability and business program for you:

Faculty

Decide if faculty expertise aligns with your specific interests and career goals. Also consider reviewing faculty research and professional backgrounds to determine the best fit for your educational journey.

The faculty at UNE's College of Business in Maine are experienced, skilled, and supportive. They provide pertinent coursework that equips students to excel and confront the evolving challenges of our dynamic world. Through highly collaborative and interdisciplinary study, UNE faculty will teach you how to bring together environmental, social, and financial concepts to help create a more sustainable world.

Meet faculty and professional staff in UNE’s College of Business

Meet faculty and professional staff in UNE’s School of Marine and Environmental Programs

Curriculum

Take a look at an undergraduate business school’s curriculum and see if it includes rigorous courses in sustainability along with a core business curriculum.

UNE’s Business and Sustainability Curriculum is interdisciplinary and designed to offer students numerous opportunities for collaboration and experiential learning, and for applying their skills in real-world settings. Examples of courses you can take include:

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

First-year students majoring in Sustainability and Business at UNE in Maine can join the competitive Green Learning Community (GLC). This community, composed of professors and first-year students, focuses on exploring the relationship between humans and the environment from various perspectives. You'll examine environmental issues by considering biology, literature, environmental studies, and economics.

Learn more about UNE’s B.S. in Sustainability and Business curriculum

Career goals

Choose a sustainability and business program that aligns with your career aspirations and goals, including internships. Explore the available resources to help you plan your path forward.

As a sustainability and business student at UNE in Maine, you’ll be well prepared for entry-level positions in either the private or public sector and/or coursework at the graduate level.

Our program provides hands-on learning, both in and out of the classroom, to give real real-world experiences and the confidence to make a difference including:

  • Using the latest technologies in the Makerspace, such as 3D printers and CNC routers.
  • Applying learning to actual environmental problems as part of the first-year Green Learning Community.
  • Conducting research on sustainable products, such as aquaponically grown vegetables and farmed shiitake mushrooms.
  • Participating in UNE’s Student Innovation Challenge, a University-wide idea-stage competition.
  • Interning on campus at UNE’s Office of Sustainability or off campus at various aquaculture farms and fisheries or other institutions.

UNE Students can benefit from the support of the Academic and Career Advising Center, whether they have a clear career goal or a general interest in a particular field.

Learn more about Career Advising at UNE

Learning environment

Consider the location and environment that best supports your undergraduate journey as a sustainability and business major.

Discover and educate yourself on our distinctive coastal Maine campus, encompassing 540 acres of coastline, riverbanks, woodlands, wetlands, dunes, and vernal pools. This backdrop provides the perfect place to study sustainability and business.

Learn more about UNE’s campuses and how you can visit us

Our dedication to the environment and innovative thinking make UNE the perfect place for your Sustainability and Business degree. With electric car charging stations, sustainable landscaping, a green living wall, Edible Campus Initiative, and a Green Revolving Fund, we emphasize a university-wide commitment to eco-friendly practices.

Learn more about sustainability at UNE

We also encourage sustainability and business students to study abroad and learn about environmental concerns and — possible solutions — in other geographic areas. UNE's Global Education program offers semester-long study abroad options in Spain, France, Iceland, or our Morocco campus. You can also select shorter travel courses to places such as Ireland, Mexico, Kenya, Italy, Cuba, and more.

Learn more about study abroad opportunities at UNE

Financial aid

Consider whether the school you're interested in provides financial aid or scholarships to support your education.

A UNE undergraduate education is affordable. Our tuition is 16% below the average tuition for private universities in New England. Plus, all incoming full-time undergraduate students at UNE will receive Merit Scholarships in amounts from $5,000 to $22,000 per year.

Learn more about grants and scholarships available to students at UNE