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New UT Austin degrees focus on sustainability, organizational dynamics

September 9th, 2016

two new undergraduate degrees focus on the environment and on the human and social aspects of organizations.

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The College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin has created two new undergraduate degrees that focus on the environment and on the human and social aspects of organizations. Students will be eligible to enroll in both degrees starting in the fall 2016 semester.

Sustainability Studies and Human Dimensions of Organizations will be interdisciplinary, with students taking courses from various departments in the College of Liberal Arts and from other campus units.

“Along with our recently established degrees in Health and Society and in International Relations and Global Studies, these new degrees put the College of Liberal Arts at the forefront of advancing curricula designed for students of today and tomorrow,” said Richard Flores, senior associate dean for academic affairs.

Housed in the Department of Geography and the Environment, Sustainability Studies is designed to provide a rigorous and focused study of sustainability methods in areas ranging from weather and climate to anthropology and urban studies.

“Sustainability Studies gives students the range of knowledge and experience necessary to develop sustainable solutions in a growing world of limited resources,” Flores said. “In addition to Geography and the Environment, they will learn from faculty in anthropology, economics and the Moody College of Communication.”

Human Dimensions of Organizations (HDO) teaches students to explore, learn and articulate the ways in which the liberal arts and social/behavioral sciences can address practical problems facing organizations. Students use the disciplines of the liberal arts — the humanities and the social and behavioral sciences — to understand workplace interactions and how organizations can best serve their customers and clients.

“The liberal arts teach students to be critical thinkers and effective communicators — skills that are crucial to the success of organizations. That is why you see many of our graduates leading major corporations and government agencies,” said Randy Diehl, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “HDO uses the depth and breadth of the liberal arts to give students a fuller understanding of culture, group dynamics and individual psychology. It gives them the expertise to shape both the work of organizations and their employees.”

Admission to these degree programs is open to incoming freshmen and to internal and external transfer students. For more information on these programs, please visit the Sustainability Studies and HDO websites.

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Material from a press release was used in this report.

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