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North American collegiate sustainability programs


North American collegiate sustainability programs

North American collegiate sustainability programs are institutions of higher education in the United States, Mexico, and Canada that have majors and/or minors dedicated to the subject of sustainability. Sustainability as a major and minor is spreading to more and more colleges as the need for humanity to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle becomes increasingly apparent with the onset of global warming. The majors and minors listed here cover a wide array of sustainability aspects from business to construction to agriculture to simply the study of sustainability itself.


  • Canada 1
    • Acadia University 1.1
    • Dalhousie University 1.2
    • Trent University 1.3
    • University of British Columbia 1.4
  • Mexico 2
    • Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) 2.1
  • United States 3
    • Northeast 3.1
      • Columbia University 3.1.1
      • Drew University 3.1.2
      • Philadelphia University 3.1.3
      • Unity College 3.1.4
      • Wilson College 3.1.5
    • Southeast 3.2
      • Eastern Mennonite University 3.2.1
      • Furman University 3.2.2
      • University of Florida 3.2.3
    • Central 3.3
      • Aquinas College 3.3.1
      • Baldwin Wallace University 3.3.2
      • Maharishi University of Management 3.3.3
      • Northland College 3.3.4
      • University of Michigan 3.3.5
  • Additional Programs 4
  • References 5


Acadia University

  1. ^ "Environmental & Sustainability Studies ~ About Us". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Arthur Irving Academy for the Environment ~ Campus Sustainability". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Environment, Sustainability & Society". December 21, 2010. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Sustainable Resources & The Environment - Academics - Dalhousie University". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Programs - Office of Sustainability - Dalhousie University". April 1, 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Trent University :: Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Trent University :: Sustainability M.A". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Trent University :: Sustainability Office". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Programs - Geography - Environment & Sustainability (Vancouver - BA) - you@UBC - University of British Columbia". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  10. ^ "CIRS | UBC Sustainability". January 27, 2010. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Tecnológico de Monterrey | Carreras Profesionales | Áreas de estudio | Ingeniero en Desarrollo Sustentable". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Columbia University's Undergraduate Major in Sustainable Development - The Earth Institute - Columbia University". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Master of Science in Sustainability Management - The Earth Institute - Columbia University". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Mission: Solutions for Sustainable Development - The Earth Institute - Columbia University". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Environmental Studies and Sustainability | College of Liberal Arts | Drew University". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Sustainability | Drew University". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  17. ^ Liberal Arts (April 3, 2009). "Philadelphia University's College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Philadelphia University: M.S. in Sustainable Design". November 2, 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Unity College Pages". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Wilson College: Academics » Undergraduate Programs » Majors » Business Sustainability and Environmental Management". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Wilson College: Academics » Undergraduate Programs » Majors » Environmental Studies » Major in Environmental Sustainability". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Wilson College: About Wilson College » Fulton Center for Sustainable Living » Sustainability at Wilson". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Environmental Sustainability Major – Applied Social Sciences – Eastern Mennonite University". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Sustainability – Eastern Mennonite University". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Degree Requirements". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Sustainability Planning Council". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Center for Sustainability". October 24, 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  29. ^ "Sustainability Studies | The University of Florida". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  30. ^ "Sustainability Home - University of Florida Design, Construction and Planning". October 20, 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Agronomy Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida – Undergraduate Curriculum". October 6, 2010. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  32. ^ "Programs | Sustainable UF". January 31, 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Aquinas College :: Sustainability Initiative". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  34. ^ "Aquinas College :: Sustainable Business". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  35. ^ "B-W: Sustainability Programs at Baldwin-Wallace College". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  36. ^ "B-W: Master of Business Administration in Sustainability Program Requirements". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  37. ^ "B-W: Sustainability Symposium, November 7–9, 2011". October 25, 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  38. ^ "B.S. in Sustainable Living | M.U.M". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  39. ^ "Northland College | Catalog". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  40. ^ "Sustainability – Work Study Positions | Northland College". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  41. ^ "Sustainable Systems | School of Natural Resources and Environment | University of Michigan". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  42. ^ "Office of Campus Sustainability". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  43. ^ "Graham Institute: About the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 


Institution Location Type of Program Offered Title of Program
McGill University Montreal, Quebec, Canada Bachelor of Engineering Bioresource Engineering
University of Western Ontario London, Ontario, Canada Bachelor of Engineering Green Process Engineering
Northeastern United States
Carnegie Mellon Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Minor Environmental Engineering and Sustainability
College of the Atlantic Mount Desert Island, Maine Area of Study Sustainable Business Sustainable Food Systems
Dickinson College Carlisle, Pennsylvania Over 60 Sustainability Courses Offered Courses Offered
Green Mountain College Poultney, Vermont Program (not a major or minor) Sustainable Agriculture and Food Production
Hartwick College Oneonta, New York Living-Learning Community The Pine Lake Institute For Environmental and Sustainability Studies
Paul Smith's College Brighton, New York Bachelor of Science Natural Resources Sustainability
Pennsylvania State University University Park, Pennsylvania Minor Sustainability Leadership
State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry Syracuse, New York Minor Sustainable Construction
University of Baltimore Baltimore, Maryland Bachelor of Arts Environmental Sustainability and Human Ecology
University of Rochester Rochester, New York Minor Sustainability
Southeastern United States
Berea College Berea, Kentucky Minor Sustainability and Environmental Studies
Catawba College Salisbury, North Carolina Minor Sustainable Business
Clemson University Clemson, South Carolina Bachelor of Science Soils and Sustainable Crop Systems
Central United States
Rice University Houston, Texas Interdisciplinary Program Shell Center for Sustainability
University of Dayton Dayton, Ohio Minor Sustainability
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana and Champaign, Illinois Minor Environmental Fellows Program Earth, Society, and Environment
Most of the schools above didn't start out with a sustainability focused major. Many started with a major that was related to sustainability or a sustainability minor that eventually evolved into the major(s) they have today. Therefore, the following table not only represents colleges that have sustainability related majors and minors but colleges that have a good chance of developing sustainability majors in the future.

Additional Programs

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan offers both a major and minor in Sustainable Systems.[41] These programs focus on how to enhance systems so that they’re more sustainable using technology and enterprise. Students can choose from over forty different courses in three different clusters: Systems Analysis for Sustainability, Sustainable Design and Technology, and Sustainable Enterprise that cover a broad range of themes (including the built environment, mobility, and food systems). Additionally, the University of Michigan has an Office of Campus Sustainability [42] and includes the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute.[43]

University of Michigan

Ashland, Wisconsin is the site of Northland College that offers both a major and a minor in Sustainable Community Development.[39] Both programs are geared toward students who wish to be agents of change for communities in the way of sustainability. Courses include Methods of Sustainable Community Development and Capitalism, Justice, and Sustainability. Northland is one of five colleges that are part of the Eco League (a group of colleges dedicated to the pursuit of sustainability education) and offers a campus sustainability work study program [40] to its students among other things.

Northland College

The Maharishi University of Management found in Fairfield, Iowa, began its Sustainable Living degree program back in 2003, making it a leader in its field. Its Bachelor of Science and minor in Sustainable Living both focus on sustainable community development.[38] Other than implementing hands-on projects and internship opportunities, this program operates on the block system (students focus only on one course per month) and concentrates on the development of consciousness. The University is currently in the process of building a Sustainable Living Center that, once finished, will not only surpass the highest LEED standard for a building (platinum) but comply with the Living Building Challenge as well.

Maharishi University of Management

Located in Berea, Ohio, Baldwin Wallace University offers a major and minor in Sustainability.[35] This academic program focuses on preparing students to create solutions to the world’s current environmental and social problems through courses such as Sustainable Food and Green Business. In addition to their undergraduate program, Baldwin Wallace University also has a Master of Business Administration in Sustainability.[36] Besides taking steps to reduce the campus’ environmental footprint, Baldwin Wallace also holds a yearly Sustainability Symposium that is open to the public [37]

Baldwin Wallace University

Aquinas College, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is one of the first to offer a major and minor in Sustainable Business.[33] Recognizing that businesses have a huge impact on the environment, Aquinas’ academic program seeks to educate students in sustainable business practices that not only promote profitability, but environmental and societal well being too. Courses for the major and minor include Sustainable Business Management and Building Social Capital.[34]

Aquinas College


The Ecotourism Development to Social and Cultural Sustainability. These majors/minors focus on gaining the knowledge and skill sets to affectively contribute to the growth of societies of current and future generations. In addition to the range of academic programs, University of Florida also has an Office of Sustainability that has created nine different sustainability programs for the University of Florida including the One Less Car and Tailgator Game Day Recycling programs.[32]

University of Florida

Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina offers a major in Sustainability science.[26] The focus of this major is to prepare and educate students on how to enhance the long-term quality of life. This program offers nearly 30 different elective courses along with the required coursework. All of the elective courses are broken into three different categories: Environmental Security, Human Security, and Sustainable Production and Consumption. Furman University also has the Sustainability Planning Council (SPC) [27] and the David E. Shi Center of Sustainability,[28] which both focus on promoting sustainability throughout the campus.

Furman University

Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia offers a major in Environmental Sustainability.[24] This program focuses on forward-looking sustainability practices and requires students to choose one of two areas of study: Environmental Science Concentration (focuses on traditional environmental sciences) or Environmental and Social Sustainability Concentration (combines concepts from the first concentration and incorporates sociological aspects). Besides the major, Eastern Mennonite University has integrated some sustainable initiatives around campus, including the largest solar insulation in the state of Virginia and a dormitory that is LEED certified at the gold level.[25]

Eastern Mennonite University


Located in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Wilson College is a women’s college that offers two sustainability majors. Business Sustainability and Environmental Management [21] integrates sustainability practices into the business world. Environmental Sustainability [22] focuses more on solving environmental problems. Wilson has a Center for Sustainable Living that works with the Fulton Center for Sustainable Living (which serves as an environmental educational facility as well as a produce farm) [23]

Wilson College

Unity College in Unity, Maine has not one, but two sustainability majors. Their Sustainable Energy Management major is both a technical and conceptual major designed to educate students in building sustainable structures that focus on renewable energy.[19] On the other hand, the Sustainable Agriculture major they offer [20] concentrates on teaching sustainable agricultural practices that emphasize local farming and activism when it comes to governmental food policies. As an environmental college, there is a lot of focus on sustainability initiatives at Unity College. In fact, they’ve employed a full-time sustainability coordinator whose job is to make Unity College as environmentally friendly as possible.

Unity College

Located in Sustainable Technologies for Architecture to the Economics of Sustainability.[17] They also offer a Master of Science in Sustainable Design focusing on green design and the development of net zero carbon buildings [18]

Philadelphia University

Located in Madison, New Jersey, Drew University offers a major in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. This major studies the current environmental problems facing the world today and provides the skills needed to overcome these problems. Students who take part in this academic program will have an experiential requirement that involves an environmental-related, hands-on experience [15] Drew University has numerous sustainability initiatives underway as well [16]

Drew University

Earth Institute whose mission is to bring people together to address and overcome some of the most pressing problems facing the Earth and humanity today. The institute also oversees sustainability initiatives for Columbia’s campus [14]

Columbia University


United States

Also known as Technologico De Monterrey (In English: Monterrey Institute of Technology), ITESM is based in Monterrey, Mexico but actually has thirty-one campuses throughout the country. The institute is offers a major in Sustainable Development Engineering, which focuses on the efficient use of energy and water as well as the management of emissions and the relationship between the environment and society.[11] Some of the classes offered include Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Use of Water. The Sustainable Development Engineering major is offered at their Mexico City, State of Mexico, Monterrey, and Santa Fe campuses.

Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM)


The University of British Columbia offers an Environment and Sustainability major at its Vancouver campus. This major promotes an understanding of the variety of factors that affect life on the planet now and in the future.[9] Some courses that are part of the major include The Global Climate System as well as Environment and Resources. The University of British Columbia also has the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability that focuses on creating and implementing solutions to the “challenges of urban development [10]

University of British Columbia

Trent University, located in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, offers an undergraduate degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems as well as a Master of Arts in Sustainability. The Sustainable Agriculture program encompasses the aspects of growing “healthy, sustainable, and affordable food [6]”. The Masters program delves into the three pillars of sustainability to prepare students to become leaders in sustainable endeavors.[7] In addition, Trent has its own Office of Sustainability that leads several programs including lighting retrofits and the installation of green roofs [8]

Trent University

Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada offers two different majors, Environment, Sustainability, and Society (ESS) [3] and Sustainable Resources and The Environment.[4] Both majors incorporate different outlooks on sustainability. Sustainable Resource and The Environment focuses on managing environments, whereas ESS focuses on changing for the future. Along with these two majors, Dalhousie also has an Office of Sustainability [5] which offers a wide variety of programs focusing on becoming more sustainable that range from transportation to eating sustainably.

Dalhousie University


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