Economics, Sustainability and Society

Program Features

Sustainability is about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations. As a student in the economics, sustainability and society (ECOS) major, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of sustainable economies, including the study of natural resources and ecological and environmental issues.

Courses in the ECOS curriculum are focused on real-world learning and include internships, field trips, research opportunities and capstone experiences. You’ll also learn to mobilize public opinion, understand government policies, and strategize solutions that promote and enable sustainable economies and organizations.

Xavier University, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, is nationally recognized as a top university by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review and Forbes. 98 percent of our students, including those in the economics, sustainability and society major, are working, volunteering or in graduate school within six months of graduation (Class of 2021).

Curriculum

The sample course sequence below illustrates class offerings for the Economics, Sustainability and Society major. Consult the official Xavier University course catalog for detailed registration and advising information.

Fall

  • ECON 200: Microeconomics (Soc. Science Elec.) ............ 3cr.
  • Core 100: First-Year Seminar: environmental topic preferred ............ 3cr.
  • Historical Perspective: environmental topic preferred ............ 3cr.
  • English 101 or 115: English Composition or Rhetoric ............ 3cr.
  • second language I ............ 3cr.
  • Core 101: Freshman Experience ............ 0cr.

Spring

  • ECON 201: Macroeconomics (recommended for ECOS) ............ 3cr.
  • THEO 111: Ignatian Imagination ............ 3cr.
  • Scientific Perspectives: BIOL 120 Life: Ecology and People (2), w/Lab (1)--or other BIOL w/Lab preferred ............ 3cr.
  • MATH 140 or 150: Elements of Calculus or MATH 170 (Mathematical Perspectives) ............ 3cr.
  • second language II ............ 3cr.
  • Core 102: Freshman Experience ............ 0cr.

Fall

  • ECON 320: Environmental, Natural Resource & Ecological Economics ............ 3cr.
  • SUST 301: Cultural Studies & Sustainability ............ 3cr.
  • BIOL 250 Ecology (3) & 251 Lab (1) (preferred Natural Science Elective) ............ 4cr.
  • STAT 210: Statistics for Business I ............ 3cr.
  • PHIL 100: Ethics as Intro to Philosophy ............ 3cr.

Spring

  • ECOS Elective I -- select from approved courses* ............ 3cr.
  • MGMT 322: Managing for Sustainability ............ 3cr.
  • STAT 211: Statistics for Business II** ............ 3cr.
  • PHIL 200 (Philosophical Perspectives) ............ 3cr.
  • General Elective - Practicum or Internship preferred ............ 3cr.

Fall

  • ECON 341: Economics of Developing Countries ............ 3cr.
  • ECON 305: Microeconomics Analysis ............ 3cr.
  • ECON Elective II -- Select from approved courses* ............ 3cr.
  • General Elective or Minor ............ 3cr.
  • Humanities Elective: environmental or justice topic preferred ............ 3cr.

Spring

  • ECON 421: Environment, Economics & Policy ............ 3cr.
  • SUST 401: Sustainable Econ Development ............ 3cr.
  • English 205: Literature & Moral Imagination: environmental or justice topic preferred ............ 3cr.
  • General Elective or Minor ............ 3cr.
  • General Elective: Practicum or Internship Preferred ............ 3cr.

Fall

  • SUST 495 Capstone Elective: Experiential Integrative Project ............ 2cr.
  • ECOS Elective III - select from approved courses* ............ 3cr.
  • Theological Perspectives: environmental or justice topic preferred ............ 3cr.
  • Creative Elective ............ 3cr.
  • General Electives or Minor ............ 3cr.

Spring

  • SUST 495 Capstone: Experiential Integrative Project ............ 1cr.
  • Environmental Policy Seminar -- 345/POSC 344 or other approved course ............ 3cr.
  • General Elective - Practicum or Internship preferred ............ 3cr.
  • General Elective or Minor ............ 3cr.

Sample Courses

Xavier is known for providing an education that’s both challenging and personal. Here are some courses that are part of the Economics, Sustainability and Society major at Xavier:

Natural Resource Economics (ECON 320) - Economic analysis of managing the environment and allocating natural resources. Historical roots and ethical consequences of existing problems and policies are explored.

Economics, Environment & Policy (ECON 421) - Analysis of concepts and models concerning economics and the environment, with applications to policy questions. Project work focuses on particular natural resources or ecosystem services.

Cultural Studies & Sustainability (SUST 301) - Drawing on sociology, literary criticism, history, and post-colonialism studies, students will examine the relation between sustainability and theories of culture as a site of resistance and negotiation where different groups compete for recognition, representation, and power. Students will consider sustainability as a cultural construction, and compare different cultural processes and practices surrounding the notion of sustainability.

Ecology (BIOL 250) - The relationships between organisms and their living and non-living environments.

Clubs

The following clubs are popular choices for students in the economics, sustainability and society major. 

Xavier Student Sustainability

Students in this club actively promote environmental initiatives on Xavier's campus and in the surrounding communities. Projects include campus composting, recycling and Sustainability Day.

Economics Student Club

Xavier students in the Economics Student Club learn about employment opportunities, take trips to area firms and host speakers while making a positive difference in the community. They also cultivate opportunities to meet and network with business leaders in Cincinnati, which can lead to employment opportunities.

All Xavier Clubs

Career Outcomes

98% of Xavier students, including those in the economics, sustainability and society major, are working, volunteering or in graduate school within six months of graduation (Class of 2021).

Career Opportunities: sustainability coordinator, sustainability manager, economist, environmental analyst, survey researcher

Top Companies: Monroe County Environmental Health Department, Urban Servant Corps, Crossroad Health Center, Indianapolis Zoo, Boy Scouts of America

All For One

Xavier is ranked #1 for its excellent academic reputation among top competitors in the region. Students get the most out of their education, from rigorous classroom studies to experiential learning in the real world.

Engaged Leadership

Economics Professor lecturing students in aq classroom photo

Students learn from talented faculty and professionals in the field who understand that care for the whole planet (economically, environmentally and spiritually) is essential for its survival.


Meet the ECOS Advisory Board

Study Abroad

Students and Faculty on a Study Abroad trip

The challenges of sustainability vary from place to place, so it’s essential to engage with new cultures and places. ECOS students study abroad in Sweden, Peru, Italy and Namibia and more.


ECOS Study Abroad Programs

Cincinnati: A City of Opportunity

A photo of downtown Cincinnati, Ohio at night. Lights from the buildings reflect on the Ohio river.

Cincinnati, Ohio is ranked the #1 Best City for College Graduates (smartasset.com) and the #15 Best Place to Start a Career (WalletHub). Students take advantage of for-credit internships and employment opportunities at multiple fortune 500 companies, private companies, nonprofit organizations and other businesses.


Going to College in Cincinnati

Economics, Sustainability and Society Major at Xavier University

The Economics, Sustainability, and Society program focuses on balancing the demands of the present without compromising future needs all within the context of our increasingly complex, inter-related global economy. Students acquire a comprehensive understanding of sustainable economies, including the study of natural resources, plus ecological and environmental problems. Students also gain an understanding of social justice questions related to the distribution of economic products and resources. The ECOS program includes field trips, practicums and internships all culminating in an integrative capstone with hands-on projects.

Xavier University’s College of Arts and Sciences challenges students to develop an integrated understanding of humanity, the world, and God by pursuing the questions raised in Xavier's core and departmental curricula. The College of Arts and Sciences is the oldest and largest college at Xavier University. The college provides an excellent liberal arts education in the Jesuit tradition that prepares students for careers, professional or graduate school, and life in a global society.

Xavier University is a private university located in Cincinnati, Ohio, providing a liberal arts education in the Jesuit Catholic tradition. Founded in 1831, the University is the sixth-oldest Catholic university in the nation. It has been ranked among the top 10 master's-level universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for the past two decades. The Princeton Review names it one of the "Best 385 Colleges in America."