University of South Florida Academic Offerings

Numerous courses at USF deal explicitly with sustainability issues. Such courses are represented across all colleges and academic units at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Many of these courses are highly interdisciplinary.

College of the Arts

ARC 5364 Advanced Design A (6) AR ARC
PR: ARC 5363. CP: ARC 5588, ARC 5467. Application of orderly design processes to building projects of moderate complexity and scale. Continued investigation of the relationship between human behavior and the environment. Analysis and integration of site relationships into the development of design solutions. Legal aspects of zoning, building codes, and regulations regarding access for accessibility, fire escape, etc.

ARC 5365 Advanced Design B (6) AR ARC
PR: ARC 5363. CP: ARC 5588, ARC 5467. Investigation of the interaction between user requirements, environmental determinants, site and urban context conditions, technological factors, and design intentions in the development of design solutions for projects of medium scale and complexity. The analysis, design, and coordination of the various resulting systems, including structural, circulation, service networks, space zoning and use, environmental control systems at the interface between interior and exterior of a building. Representation of these relationships and systems in diagrams and models, and their manifestation in design and construction details.

ARC 5366 Advanced Design C (6) AR ARC
PR: ARC 5363. CP: ARC 5588, ARC 5467. Design of multi-purpose buildings of medium to large scale and complexity. Issues of community and neighborhood design as they relate to the design of buildings. Restoration and adaptive re-use of existing historic buildings. Focus on thinking through as well as documenting the complete building system and process.

ARC 5467 Materials and Methods of Construction (3) AR ARC
PR: ARC 5470, CC. Overview of properties of primary construction materials and systems that make up building structures and enclosures. Emphasis on elements and assemblies relative to various climates, technologies, costs, building codes, and craftsmanship.

ARC 5470 Introduction to Technology (3) AR ARC
Introduction to architectural technology, including structures, materials and methods of construction, and environmental controls. Overview of building systems and components and their integration into architectural design projects.

ARC 5689 Environmental Technology (3) AR ARC
PR: ARC 5467 and ARC 5470. Comprehensive overview of mechanical systems for buildings including: water and waste: fire protection and suppression; heating, cooling and controls; electric power distribution and illumination; communications; transportation systems, and acoustics.

ARC 5789 Modern Architecture History (3) AR ARC
PR: CC, CI. Exploration of the philosophic, economic, aesthetic, social, historical and moral imperatives used by modern architects and historians in their attempt to design the appropriate physical environment for a new social order. The course will investigate the writings and works of the proponents of the modern style of architecture and study the “New Architecture” as defined by those who broke tradition and expressed the new era using modern construction materials and techniques.

ARC 5931.002 Sustainable Neighborhood Development (3)
Urban designers, architects, landscape architects, planners, real estate developers, environmental engineers, public officials and community advocates are all involved the integrated decision-making processes often referred to as urban and community design, or more specifically that of city building. Increasingly they are being asked to create healthy, sustainable, adaptive and resilient urban neighborhoods. This course will focus on understanding and evaluating sustainable neighborhood development strategies, using multiple concepts, practices and approaches.

College of Arts and Sciences

ANG 5937-005 - Climate Change, Sustainability, and Human Ecosystems
(Tue 2:00-4:45 PM) The concept of sustainability—the capacity to persist—has taken a central place in public and academic discourse on responsible human-environmental interactions. But this raises an important question, how do we know what is sustainable? How do we know that “reasonable” land-use approaches that appear sustainable over the near term are sustainable over the long term? With the uncertainties surrounding the local and regional impacts of global climate change, even if a particular practice appears sustainable now, how can we know that it will persist through global climate changes (or other social changes)? Our ability to adjudicate claims of sustainable natural resource management presupposes our ability to predict how socionatural systems respond to changing social and climatic conditions over time. Interdisciplinary historical sciences, including anthropological archaeology, historical ecology, geography, and paleoclimatology, provide the long-term perspectives necessary to evaluate sustainable human ecosystems in the past and inform contemporary policy and management. In this seminar we will focus on two approaches that allow interdisciplinary scientists to address these problems: Archaeological and historical perspectives on the long-term sustainability of particular social-ecological systems; and historical/long-term modeling of social-ecological systems as complex dynamical systems. Questions can be directed to the instructor, Dr. Christopher Roos.

AFS 3251 Environmental - Cultural Study in Africa SS FA AF (3) AS AFA
PR: AFS 2250 or CI. Study tour. A study of traditional African society and culture, the relationship between life and the environment, and the impact of modernization on the culture and the environment.

BSC 2030 Save the Planet: Environmental Sciences NS (3) AS BIO
Credit will be given for BSC 2030 or BSC 2050, but not both. An introduction to environmental sciences using mass communications and independent study. Emphasis will be placed on understanding basic principles of ecology relevant to problems and topics of the earth’s environment. May be taken by majors for free elective credit.

BSC 2050 Environment NS (3) AS BIO
Credit will be given for BSC 2030 or BSC 2050, but not both. The application of basic scientific principles to global environmental problems; how human activities impact the environment. May be taken by majors for free elective credit.

ENC 4311 Advanced Composition (3)
Instruction and practice in writing effective, lucid, and compelling prose, with special emphasis on style, logical argumentation, and critical thinking. During the semester, we will be reading and writing about issues of sustainability and climate change. Click Here for more information.

GPY 6209C. Global Sustainable Development
Analytic study of one or more topics from physical geography. Selected problems may include hydrology, physiography, meteorology, climatology, soils, vegetation, etc.

HIS 3474 Science and Civilization (4) AS HTY
A thematic study of the interrelationship of science and society in modern history emphasizing the institutional forms, value structures, and social relations in science as they have developed from the scientific revolution to the present.

IDH 3600-007 - People, Planet, Prosperity: Shrinking USF’s Environmental Footprint
(Thurs 2:00-4:45 PM) This course considers how social, environmental, and economic aspects of student life at the University of South Florida intersect on the university campus to frame problems in sustainability. After an introduction to the historical and contemporary context of sustainable development as well as research methods and ethics, students will design and carry out original, research-based, service-learning projects on campus. The greater goal of these efforts is to construct positive policies and action plans that advocate best practices for sustainability in the campus environment. Students will emerge from this course as USF citizen-scholar activists with the skills needed to think holistically about socionatural problems in creating sustainable, healthy communities in higher education. Questions can be directed to the instructor, Dr. Christian Wells.

PHI 3640 Environmental Ethics SS (3) AS PHI
A study of alternative theories of environmental ethics, including the application of these theories to contemporary environmental problems, such as pollution, resource depletion, species extinction, and land use.

POS 3657 Environmental Law (3)
Examines some of the major issues involving environmental law. Specially, the course provides a survey and analysis of statutes, both state and federal, regulating water, air, soil pollution, and resource conservation and recovery. It will also address questions pertaining to problems of implementation, interpretation, enforcement, and development of environmental laws.

POS 6933: Selected Topics in Political Science: Environmental Sustainability & Global Justice
What are the political and ethical problems posed by worldwide environmental issues such as global climate change and mass species extinctions? How do these problems emerge from and in turn affect human communities across the globe in unequal ways? How might we address these problems fairly? What obstacles stand in the way of moving towards both environmental sustainability and global justice? What resources, tools, and frameworks are available to aid in this process? This new course will address these and other questions about global justice and environmental sustainability. For more information, please contact the instructor, Dr. Cheryl Hall.

PSC 2515 Energy and Humanity NS (3) AS PHY
Social, economic, and political aspects of energy. Includes energy conservation, environmental impact, energy-source alternatives, changing lifestyles, and personal use of solar energy. the relevant basic laws of physics and the scientific method are emphasized. Field trips and audiovisual presentations play important roles.

SOP 4714C Environmental Psychology (3) AS PSY
PR: PSY 3213 with a grade of C or better or CI. Explores the influences of environment on behavior. Topics considered include crowding, privacy, territorial behavior, environmental design, and pollution effects. Designed for both psychology majors and non-majors.

SOW 3101 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (4) AS SOK
PR: All provisional major courses. Restricted to full Social Work majors, others by School permission. An integrating human behavior-social environment course emphasizing dynamics of behavior and environmental factors as they relate to social work practice with individuals, and families.

SOW 3102 Human Behavior and The Social Environment II (3) AS SOK
PR: SOW 3101, SOW 4341, SOW 4522. Restricted to Full Social Work majors, others by School permission. An integrating course emphasizing dynamics of behavior and environmental factors as they relate to social work practice with families, groups, organizations and communities.

SYD 4410 Urban Sociology (3) AS SOC
The social structure of the community in modern industrial societies. Analysis of community change.

SYD 4411 Urban Life (3) AS SOC
PR: SYG 2000 This course provides a number of insights into how living in cities has changed throughout history, how it varies culturally, and how it has been theorized in sociology.

SYG 2010 Contemporary Social Problems SS (3) AS SOC
The analysis of social causes and dimensions of major public issues such as crime, the environment, inequality, gender, employment, and substance abuse.

URP 4052 Urban and Regional Planning (4) AS GPY
PR: GEO 2400, GEO 3602. The geographic foundations of the modern city, metropolitan development, and the trend toward megalopolis. Examined are the political problems of conflicting jurisdictions at the local, county, state, national, and international levels.

College of Business Administration

MAN 6930-901: Designing Sustainable Enterprise
In this course, students will learn about the logic and design of a sustainable enterprise. Students will also explore the role of corporations in sustainable development. We will adopt an “organic” view of corporations. Businesses, whether small, medium, or large, and whether local, national or multi-national, are not merely ecconomic entities. Though Primarily driven by economic pursuits of profit maximization and market expansion, businesses are more than just moneymaking machines. They are social entities to start with. Their vision, mission, strategies, structures and profits find meanings, purpose and relevance only in relation to the societies and communities in which they exist. They get their identity from and prosper because of the unique relationships they develop with their employees, customers, shareholders, governments, and other stakeholders, including plants, animals and non-living resources in our natural environment. Download the syllabus here. For more information, please contact the instructor, Dr. Aarti Sharma.

MAN 6930-903 - Corporate Strategies and Power and Politics of Climate Change
Climate change is one of the most pressing economic and geopolitical issues of this century. It threatens the natural resource availability and energy security critical for any nation’s sustained economic growth. It is a strategic business issue that is potentially threatening the survival, growth and competitive advantage of companies, industries and national economies. It is impacting firms, including those belonging to automobile, oil and gas, power, retail, consumer goods, finance and insurance industry, that operate in national as well as global markets. Climate change has local, national and international business implications. Climate change has stimulated research and development of non-fossil fuel-based energy systems and induced global thinking about market transition to a low-carbon economy. It is also provoking industries, especially those that are heavily dependent on carbon-intensive fossil fuels, to reconfigure their production and distribution systems. Firms have to strategically position their global businesses according to the international regulatory constraints imposed by climate change. As the United States has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, American firms are potentially at greater risks than their foreign counterparts when it comes to dealing with trade barriers that emerge because of cross-national differences on solving the climate change crisis. Considering the various economic, environmental and political uncertainties associated with climate change, corporations need to strategize and prepare for various risks associated with it. As business executives, you need to understand the various natural environmental, economic and geopolitical implications of climate change and how those may impact your corporation’s strategic growth, survival and sustained competitive advantage. In this course, we will therefore discuss the various natural environmental, market and political facets of climate change. Download the syllabus here. For more information, please contact the instructor, Dr. Aarti Sharma.

GEB 4890-002 Strategic Management
Students learn about strategic management of corporations from an integrated and holistic financial performance, social performance and environmental performance standpoints. Students also learn about how American corporations need to strategically formulate and implement strategies to survive, grow and gain sustained competitive advantage in this global economy. Questions can be directed to the instructor, Dr. Aarti Sharma.

GEB 6930 Environmental Law and Issues in Sustainable Enterprise (Summer)
The study of environmental law and sustainability is a study of society’s mechanisms for long term planning particularly regarding the use and protection of scarce resources. This course is designed to introduce business students to the complex regulatory system of environmental law and emerging certification options and requirements. The goal is to develop an appreciation for the fundamental role environmental considerations must play in the decision-making processes and in business longevity. Faculty: Dr. Sharon Hanna-West

GEB 6547 Ethics, Law and Sustainable Business Practices (Spring)
This course examines major and emerging issues pertaining to business sustainability. Sustainability for business requires a strategic focus on the triple bottom line via an assessment of environmental, social and economic factors. The course surveys key regulations and trends, and reviews models for creating socially and environmentally responsible companies. Students will participate in practicum projects designed to provide hand-on experience in applying the tools and principles of sustainable enterprise. Faculty: Dr. Sharon Hanna-West

MAN 6930-001 Assessing Sustainable Performance of Organizations
Students learn about sustainable enterprise and the triple bottom line framework. Using different organizational and strategic management theoretical perspectives, including stakeholder theory, institutional theory and resource-based views of firms, students learn to assess the sustainable foundations of a corporation. Questions can be directed to the instructor, Dr. Aarti Sharma.

College of Engineering

CGN 4122 Professional and Ethical Issues in Engineering MW (3) EN EGX
The professional and ethical responsibility of engineers. The legal and ethical responsibilities of engineers in the preparation of contracts and specification. The ethics of engineer-client agreements.

CGN 4933/6933 - Green Engineering for Sustainability
(Tue, Thurs 12:30-1:45 PM) This course will provide a foundation for green engineering design. The class will review evolution of engineering design, challenges to sustainability in both the developed and developing world and the role of engineering design in advancing global sustainability. The principles of green engineering will be introduced and the topics on the application of these principles will be addressed. Those principles can be summarized in the five I’s: (1) Innovation - “we can’t solve problems at the same level of thinking used to create them”, (2) Inherency - we can’t solve problems without looking at the nature of system that created them, (3) Interdisciplinary - we cant solve problems without looking at other aspects of the problem, (4) Integration - we cant solve problems without connecting segments at system level, and (5) International - we can’t solve problems without considering the context of the problems. Topics include innovative thinking, biomimicry; toxicity, risk assessment, and green chemistry; social ecology, governance and economics; supply chain management and lean manufacturing; system, complexity and resiliency; life cycle assessment/life cycle costing; system appropriate technologies. For more information, contact the instructor, Dr. Qiong (Jane) Zhang.

CGN 4933/6933 - Green Infrastructure for Sustainable Communities
(Tue, Thurs 12:30-1:45 PM) The focus of the course will be on green infrastructure for urban settings, i.e., water, wastewater, transportation, roads, bridges, buildings, energy, wastes, housing, etc. Of particular emphasis will be the complex interdependencies of infrastructures in an urban/regional setting. Green building and green construction will be a part of the class. We will address the various USGBC LEEDTM programs, from buildings to communities. The course aims to bring together engineers, architects, planners, business managers, natural and social scientists, health professionals, etc in the same class and form multidisciplinary project teams to plan a green building. Course material will include the textbook by Charles Kibert “Sustainable Construction: Green Building Design and Delivery” (new 2nd Edition) and a series of readings on reports, manuals and papers. The syllabus can be downloaded here, and questions can be directed to the instructor, Dr. Daniel Yeh.

CGN 4933(a) International Engineering Design Experience
This course is two weeks long and takes place in a developing country. It consists of two parts. First, you will learn construction techniques and materials used in developing countries first hand as you actually build a project to benefit the local community. Second, you will work with an international “client” gathering design data for your Capstone Design experience.

CGN 4933(b) International Capstone Design
This class is designed to mimic an engineering firm in that it follows an engineering project from development through completion. Coursework includes performing a feasibility study, writing an engineering report, making construction drawings and writing engineering specifications.

CGN 6933 Sustainable Development Engineering
Water, Sanitation, Indoor Air, Health: Study of applying appropriate and sustainable engineering solutions and technology in the developing world. Concepts of sustainable development are covered. Topics are drawn from several areas of engineering, including water supply/treatment, wastewater treatment, materials, solid waste, indoor air, construction, and watersheds. Offered annually.

CGN 6933 Green Infrastructure for Sustainable Communities
The course focuses on green infrastructure in urban environments, i.e., sustainable approaches to water, wastewater, transportation, roads, bridges, buildings, energy, wastes, housing, etc. Of particular emphasis is the complex interdependencies of infrastructures in an urban/regional setting. Green building and green construction are a major part of the class. We cover the various USGBC LEED rating systems, such as buildings, schools, homes and neighborhoods. The course aims to bring together engineers, architects, planners, business managers, natural and social scientists, health professionals, etc in the same class and form multidisciplinary project teams to plan or assess a green building. Pre-Requisite: Consent of the Instructor. Offered annually.

CGN 6933 Sustainability Concepts and Methods
Mercury Issues in Guyana.

ECH 5931 Sustaining the Earth: An Engineering Approach
(Tues/Thurs 12:30-1:45 PM) This course will introduce an approach of global perspective on ecological principles revealing how all the world’s life is connected and sustained within the biosphere and how engineering provides the tools to design solutions engaging materials science & environmental ethics.This course is part of the Group I elective or the Graduate Certificate in Water, Health and Sustainability ( This course and the graduate certificate are offered to students in the following majors: Anthropology, All Engineering Disciplines, Geology, Geography and Public Health. Any questions about the certificate and this course should be directed to Dr. Norma Alcantar.

ECH 5931 Special Topics IV: Living in the Environment
An Integrated Approach in Engineering and Sustainability: This course will build around new concept-centered approaches for ecology, sustainability, engineering case studies, science-based global solutions, and critical thinking. Students will learn about maps of diversity, ecological footprints, and environmental performance of cases where engineering has been used to solve ecological problems. The students will analyze the effects of human population and urbanization on biodiversity and population ecology. Key questions and concepts on sustaining resources involving food, soil, water, energy, and nonrenewable minerals will be studied. Pre-Requisite: Consent of the Instructor. New course to be offered every other year.

ECH 5931/6931 015 Sustaining the Earth
An Engineering Approach: The course will approach a global perspective on ecological principles revealing how all the world’s life is connected and sustained within the biosphere and then it will emphasize on how engineering provides the tools to design solutions that engage materials science, economics, public policies and environmental ethics. Pre-Requisite: Consent of the Instructor. New course to be offered annually.

ECH 5XXX/6XXX Green Chemistry and Engineering
This course will examine how the engineering and design of chemical processes and products can be altered to eliminate or reduce negative environmental impacts. This course will introduce how to produce and use chemicals in such as way as to reduce waste, energy, water and air usage and avoid the generation and handling of toxic intermediates. Illustrative examples taken from real world applications will be used to examine various aspects of Green chemistry and engineering. New course to be offered annually.

ECP 3302 Environmental Economics MW (3) BA ECN
PR: ECO 2023. An economic analysis of environmental issues. The economics of resource use and pollution control are examined using the concepts of externalities, cost-benefit analysis, public goods, and property rights.

ECP 3613 Economics of the Urban Environment MW (3) BA ECN
PR: ECO 1000 or ECO 2013 or ECO 2023 or CI. Economic analysis of cities and urban social problems. Poverty, discrimination, housing, transportation, pollution, crime, and fiscal considerations.

EEL 4906 Professional Issues and Engineering Design MW (3) EN EGE
CR: EEL 4301, EEL 4512C, EEL 4657, EEL 4744. An introduction of engineering design with applications specific to practical engineering problems. Included are discussion of real-world issues as economics, safety, ethics and the environment.

EEL 4935-003/EEL 6935-003 Sustainable Energy
This course aims to give a broad introduction to the main aspects of sustainable energy production, as well as current energy consumption pathways. We will examine the impact and feasibility of the various renewable energy technologies (i.e., solar, wind, hydro, and biomass energy production), while adding up major energy consumption pathways such as transportation, heating/cooling, or food production. At the end of the course you will have a broad knowledge base enabling advanced study of renewable energy topics, as well as a foundation to constructively participate in the current discussion about green house gases, fossil fuels, and alternative energy production. The course will use a textbook by David MacKay (download for free at, and scientific papers and internet resources, which will be provided via Blackboard. Please, visit for more information about the course and a tentative syllabus.

EGN 3615 Engineering Economics with Social and Global Implications SS (3) EN EGB
Presents basic economic models used to evaluate engineering activities and an understanding of the social and ethical implications of financial decisions in a multicultural environment through lectures, case studies and current readings.

ENG XXXX Green Engineering Design for Sustainability (3)
This course will provide a foundation for green engineering design and sustainability. The class will review Evolution of Engineering Design, challenges to sustainability in both the developed and developing world and the role of engineering design in achieving global sustainability. The current approach to engineering design in terms of process design, material selection and energy consumption will be discussed in the context of infrastructure systems. The principles of green engineering will be introduced and the topics on the application of these principles that will be addressed include risk, pollution prevention and source reduction, material and energy flows and efficiencies, system analysis, life cycle assessment/costing/management, and innovative designs (e.g., appropriate technologies, biomimicry).

ENV 4001 Environmental Systems Engineering (3) EN EGX
CR: EGN 3353. An introduction to various aspects of environmental problems faced by today’s society. Topics covered are: air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, solid waste management, ionizing radiation, disease transmission, and food protection.

EVR 2217 Energy, Environment and Sustainability NS (3) EN ECH
PR: MAC 1105. A critical analysis of energy sources, distribution and consumption using scientific methodology. Attributes of commonly used energy sources including environmental impact. Social, political and economic implications from a global perspective.

EVR 4114 Climate Change NS (3) AS ESP
PR: EVR 2001. The objective is to provide an understanding of the scientific princples pertaining to global and regional climate change. Both mechanisms causing the change and human impacts on climate will be examined. Not restricted to majors and not repeatable.