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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Ohio State Offers New Major in Sustainability

July 10, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Beginning this fall, undergraduate students at Ohio State University with an interest in sustainability can put their passion into practice by choosing a new sustainability major. The new Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability (EEDS) major ( is being offered jointly by the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE) and the School of Environment and Natural Resources. Both are part of Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

"The major provides students interested in the business, economic and social aspects of sustainability with the tools necessary for a career in the public, private or nonprofit sectors," said Tim Haab, department chair of AEDE. "I believe it establishes Ohio State as forerunner globally in the training of business, social and organization leaders who understand the linkages between people, planet and profits."

Students selecting the new EEDS major will gain in-depth training in sustainability and business, environmental economics and policy analysis, and community and international development. Internships and study abroad programs will offer students hands-on experiences that will help position them for a wide variety of careers, Haab said, from a regional planner or community organizer to an energy economist or international project manager.

"This major brings our considerable departmental and school strengths together in a unique and exciting way," said Ron Hendrick, director of the School of Environment and Natural Resources. "It will equip students with not only a strong knowledge base, but also the analytical tools necessary to implement economically and environmentally sustainable solutions to societal needs. Doing so requires a broad understanding of economic, social and environmental systems, which the EEDS major provides."

EEDS majors will take coursework in environmental economics, business management, environmental sociology, community and international development, ecological engineering, and environmental sciences. They can choose to specialize in one of four areas:

  • Sustainability and Business.
  • Environmental Economics and Policy Analysis.
  • Community Development.
  • International Development.

The major is being offered in partnership with Ohio State's Fisher College of Business and the President’s and Provost’s Council on Sustainability. Haab and Hendrick credit the work of faculty members Elena Irwin and Jeff Sharp in establishing the new major.

For more details about the program or to enroll, see


Martha Filipic
Tim Haab, Ron Hendrick