Students gain broad knowledge of key competencies required to succeed in life and work—with emphasis on how to manage complexity, diversity and change, and how to apply acquired knowledge in real-world settings. Core competencies that students develop include: interdisciplinary critical analysis, evidence-based reasoning (qualitative and quantitative), linking local-global theory and practice, collaborating across differences, and ethical reasoning and action.

Courses are team-taught by two or more faculty from across the social and natural sciences, humanities and the arts, with a focus on integrating local and global knowledge and skills. Using sustainability as one of the broad organizing principles around which learning is structured, coursework encourages students to identify intersections between local life and global forces; how contemporary global problems are mediated by particular geographic, demographic and sociopolitical forces at the local level and vice versa.