Loyola University Chicago

School of Environmental Sustainability

Sustainability Across Curriculum

SAC Lead Photo

Loyola is working to advance Sustainability Across Curriculum in classes from the Stritch School of Medicine to the Corboy Law School to the Felice Rome Center and everywhere in-between. Our academic and research strengths in Environmental Science, Business Ethics, and Sociology provide a focal area for disciplinary study in sustainability. 

Interdisciplinary study and research through Centers of Excellence, including the Center for Urban Research and Learning, Baumhart Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and Center for Experiential Learning, provide rich and transformative educational experiences.

Below are just some of the ways Loyola is advancing Sustainability Across the Curriculum.

Sustainability Across the Curriculum Committee

From 2015 – 2017, a group of faculty and staff convened to identify the strengths and challenges to expand sustainability across the curriculum of Loyola. This Report summarizes their work identifying sustainability curriculum in the Core, Engaged Learning, Ignatian Pedagogy, Research, and Teaching. It also lists a series of recommendations that can be considered to expand this work even further. Thank you to members of the committee for their efforts and to Academic Affairs for your support of this important value at Loyola.

Learning Outcomes

The following are some of the learning outcomes we intend to augment through the integration of sustainability principles in the University life of our students:

  • Knowledge
    • Explain how biophysical and social systems are interdependent and interact to prevent or foster sustainability.
    • Describe how sustainability relates to environmental issues, social justice and economic development.
    • Reflect and provide examples how sustainability relates to one’s area of study / discipline.
  • Values
    • Articulate and demonstrate a personal philosophy or commitment to address sustainability in one’s personal life, community involvement and civic engagement.
    • Articulate and demonstrate a commitment to promote a more just and humane society within a sustainable global environment. 
  • Skills
    • Articulate a long-term vision for individual, societal and ecological well-being.
    • Develop and demonstrate skills as a strategic change agent in the context of sustainability.
    • Demonstrate ability to apply sustainability through engaged learning on campus or in their community.
    • Ability to understand, describe and take part in reflective or contemplative practice

Sustainability in the curriculum recognizes classes that address sustainability competencies including systems thinking, applying context to larger issues, interdisciplinary problem solving, and capacity to analyze or synthesize new knowledge from existing data as well as environmental topics.

Sustainability Course List

Loyola is committed to advancing sustainability across the curriculum.  Listed below are courses that are either sustainability focused or sustainability related.  If you know of other courses that should be listed, please contact us to include them. For current course offerings, see LOCUS.

As part of the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System process, a survey was distributed to Loyola faculty asking them which of the learning outcomes were addressed in their teaching and research. This LIST includes all of those courses that were identified in this process.   

If you are a faculty member and your sustainability-related or focused course isn’t listed on the Sustainability Course Inventory below, please email us at sustainability@luc.edu and we will be sure to add your course to the list.

Sustainability in Research

As a Tier 1 research university, sustainability can be a useful resource to inform research endeavors. Either as a path to applied or multi-disciplinary work, or as an opportunity to explore novel and emerging facets of a field. Loyola supports sustainability-related research for both faculty and students in a number of ways including the Office of Research Services, University Libraries, Loyola Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, Center for Experiential Learning, Office of Pre-Health Advising, Loyola Fellowship Office, and Research Services at Health Sciences Campus.

There are links at these sites to internal and external support in the form of funding, equipment, and other resources to advance research and the distribution of research findings through publications, conference attendance, and similar.

An impressive list of student research fellowships can be found here, many of them supportive of sustainability initiatives.

If you are a faculty member incorporating sustainability in your research, the Office of Sustainability wants to know about it! Please send an email to sustainability@luc.edu with a description or a link to your research summary.

Sustainability Principles

The following principles are intended to broadly guide the framework for integrating environmental sustainability in the campus life and academics of students at Loyola University Chicago:

  • Students are integrated in process, decision-making, action and reflection as part of a transformative education
  • Our Jesuit, Catholic values inform all actions as we seek to represent the social, economic and environmental impacts of our decisions
  • Sustainability is reflected in our culture, communication, and identity
  • Strive for metrics, measurement and continuous improvement
  • Endeavor to be inclusive and collaborative, building collaborative bridges and nourishing connections between departments, units and campuses

University Core Curriculum

The University's Core Curriculum seeks to play a key educational role in every Loyola student's undergraduate experience. Designed to provide both breadth and depth to a student’s program of study, the Core Curriculum introduces students to key concepts and modes of thought in a variety of areas of human intellectual endeavors. Students take 16 courses across ten knowledge areas:

  • College Writing Seminar (3 Credits)- Demonstrate effective written communication skills.
  • Literary Knowledge (6 Credits) - Demonstrate knowledge of, or experience in, literary traditions and expressions
  • Scientific Literacy(6 Credits) - provides individuals with fundamental principles, concepts, and knowledge of the sciences, and introduces them to the methodology of scientific inquiry. 
  • Artistic Knowledge and Experience (3 Credits) -Demonstrate knowledge of, or experience in, artistic traditions and expressions.
  • Philosophical Knowledge (6 Credits) - Demonstrate an understanding of philosophical questions and traditions
  • Theological and Religious Studies (6 Credits) - Develop familiarity with the basic content of, and modes of scholarly inquiry into, selected theological and religious systems, including forms of religious ethics, and to develop productive intellectual attitudes.
  • Historical Knowledge (6 Credits) - Encompasses all aspects of the human experience and illuminates how the past causes the present and thus the future.
  • Quantitative Analysis (3 Credits) - Develop an understanding of the nature and history of mathematics, its role in scientific inquiry and technological progress, and its importance in dealing with issues in the public realm.
  • Societal and Cultural Knowledge (6 Credits) - Demonstrate an understanding of the relationships among cultural, economic, political, and social forces, and their impact on human behavior.
  • Ethics - Demonstrate ethical awareness, the ability to do ethical reflection, and the ability to apply ethical principles in decision-making.(Satisfied by completing one course that has been approved for Ethics in either Philosophical Knowledge or Theological and Religious Studies Knowledge Areas.)
  • Engaged Learning - Expand knowledge in the service of humanity through learning, justice, and faith.

Each course promotes at least one of the following skills: communication, critical thinking, ethical awareness and decision-making, information literacy, quantitative and qualitative analysis and research methods, and technological literacy.

Finally, these courses integrate the understanding and promoting of four Values essential to a Loyola education: understanding diversity in the US or the world; understanding and promoting justice; understanding spirituality or faith in action in the world; and promoting engaged learning.