General Education

All students are required to learn about natural systems and nature through JMU’s General Education program. As part of General Education’s Cluster Three: The Human Community, students must take one class in each of four areas. In courses from the Natural Systems area, students study the behavior of complex systems including earth and life systems. Students investigate interactions within these systems, between the systems and their environment and with society. Examples of courses that address sustainability challenges are GEOL 102 Environment: Earth and GEOL 115 Earth Systems and Climate Change.  In courses from the Physical Sciences area, students study underlying principles of nature. These principles are applied to build models, often quantitative in nature, that explore and explain a variety of natural phenomena.  Examples of courses that address sustainability are ISAT 100 Environmental and Energy Sustainability and ISAT 112 Environmental Issues in Science and Technology.  See the complete list of courses in Cluster Three. Other General Education courses throughout the clusters include topics related to sustainability, and students are encouraged to explore these.

 Sustainability Courses and Courses That Include Sustainability

Many departments at JMU offer sustainability-related courses.  Based on the course descriptions in the 2015-2016 JMU Undergraduate Catalog, the courses listed here have been identified by JMU as meeting the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System’s definition of sustainability courses OR courses that include sustainability.  The depth of focus on sustainability may differ greatly between courses and with instructor and may change over time.  It is recommended that students interested in a course begin by reading the description of the course in the most current catalog. They can then contact the instructor of record identified in MyMadison to request more information, such as a syllabus.  Faculty, department heads and deans are invited to request addition or removal of a course from this list by emailing   Additional courses are available, and students are encouraged to consult with advisors in their departments.

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