Sustainable Systems Management Major

Advancing society's goals of sustainability in our global economy and the environment 

Sustainable Systems Management (SSM) develops innovative leaders to help solve complex environmental, social, and economic problems such as mobility, shelter, water, food, and communication, in more sustainable ways. Undergraduates apply core competencies in systems thinking, life cycle assessment, industrial symbiosis, and circularity to one of four specializations within the SSM major:


Building science and technology specialization
Advance sustainable and systemic solutions to enhance the energy, material efficiency, and health performance of houses and building systems.

Corporate sustainability systems specialization
Build and implement new and evolving organizational strategies and operations that create long-term stakeholder value through the improvement of environmental protection, social justice and equity, and economic development.

Energy systems specialization
Accelerate the sustainable energy transition to smart, renewable electricity and fuel systems.

Sustainable products business management specialization
Develop, and bring to market products that are renewable, circular, regenerative, and safe over their whole life cycle, from cradle to grave. 

 Major Highlights:

  • Over 94% job placement rates
  • $46,500 estimated starting salary of our graduates

Download the sustainable systems management major overview PDF brochure !


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Why study sustainable systems management?

Decisions in the private and public sectors are being made with greater consideration of their full range of economic, environmental, and social impacts. Greater global demand for energy, land, water, and other raw materials are forcing us to rethink how we use our resources for the greater good.

There are tremendous opportunities to address these needs by:

  • Closing material loops
  • Recovering resources
  • Increasing energy efficiency
  • Minimizing and mitigating environmental pollution
  • Ensuring best management practices over entire supply chains
  • Embracing renewable resources and renewable energy, sustainable technologies, materials, and products

Degree requirements and admission

Sustainable systems management is a bachelor of science program offered by the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Science (CFANS).

Contact us

Prospective students are welcome to visit CFANS on campus. Schedule a visit

If you have questions, would like to meet faculty, or tour our labs, please e-mail [email protected] or contact our SSM major coordinators: