Sustainability made simple

16 Universities With Sustainability Programs to Get Excited About (2023)

universities with sustainability programs
Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Keira Burton

These universities with sustainability programs offer fantastic resources for crafting the career you want — while learning how to save the planet.

Sustainability is a hot topic these days, and for good reason. As we deal with issues related to climate change, carbon emissions and resource depletion, learning about possible solutions and how to implement them is a great first step. Your future and the planet’s future may benefit from your decision to study sustainability.

Whether you’re sure you want to study sustainability or curious to know what options are available in the field, you’re in the right place. We’ve curated a list of universities with sustainability programs around the globe — dive deeper and find out more!

Interested in where else you can go with a career in sustainability? Check out 13 Exciting Careers in Environmental Science.

Universities With Sustainability Programs in the US

Looking for universities with sustainability programs in the US? Consider the University of Hawai'i Maui College.
Looking for universities with sustainability programs in the US? Consider the University of Hawai’i Maui College. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Tristan Ramberg)

If you want to stick close to home, plenty of universities have sustainability programs right here in the US. Take a look at these programs. One (or more!) might align with your goals.

Washington University in St. Louis

  • A four-year Bachelor in Sustainability
  • Concentrations include:
    • Sustainable Environment and Science
    • Sustainable Management and Organizations
    • Urban Sustainability
  • Offers a combined Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree Program

Allegheny College 

  • A four-year Bachelor in Environmental Science and Sustainability
  • It’s the fourth environmental science and sustainability program in the US.
  • All majors complete a minimum of three real-world projects for their resumes.
  • An exciting course offering is their “Soil to Plate” course, which studies foods worldwide and includes weekly field trips to learn about what you and others eat, how and where food is grown, and the pros and cons of all varieties of food production.
Florida Institute of Technology

  • A four-year Bachelor of Science in Sustainability Studies housed within the Department of Ocean Engineering and Marine Sciences
  • The school’s location is near the Indian River Lagoon, which is a highly diverse estuarine ecosystem. It’s ideal for field studies and research opportunities.
  • Florida Institute of Technology is known for its state-of-the-art lab and technological equipment.

University of Hawai’i Maui College 

  • A four-year Bachelor of Applied Science in Sustainable Science Management
  • Reap the benefits of a natural living lab for observing successes and failures in sustainability pursuits due to the closed system of the island location.
  • This program focuses on human-environment interaction and bridges the gap between concept and practical application.

Stockton University 

  • A four-year Bachelor in Sustainability
  • Numerous study concentrations to choose from, including:
    • BA: Policy & Economy or Sustainability Management
    • BSc: Agroecology, Energy or Policy
  • Located near the Atlantic Ocean, this university offers plenty of opportunities to practice what you learn and get up close and personal with specific ecosystems.

For American universities with sustainability programs, the ones above are a great place to start.

Canadian Universities With Sustainability Programs

UBC has two campuses, one in Vancouver and one in Kelowna.
UBC has two campuses, one in Vancouver and one in Kelowna. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Sophie Nito)

Our neighbor to the north is known for its wild, untamed nature, wide-open green spaces and abundant natural resources. What better place to study than a Canadian university with a sustainability program?

University of British Columbia

  • A four-year Bachelor in Sustainability
  • Offers the option of four concentrations:
    • Environmental Analytics
    • Environmental Conservation and Management
    • Environmental Humanities
    • Green Chemistry
  • Studying in BC gives you access to urban, agricultural and wilderness environments that function as real-life labs.

University of Waterloo

  • A four-year Bachelor in Environment, Resources and Sustainability
  • Add-on options include a diploma in Sustainability or Ecological Restoration and Rehabilitation.
  • The UW faculty is nationally and internationally recognized for its environmental governance, wildlife ecology and ecosystem restoration expertise.

York University

  • A four-year Bachelor in Sustainable Environmental Management
  • This program focuses on the management of natural resources and the environment.
  • Hands-on learning and field studies take you to the university woodlots and various locations in Toronto and Ontario.

Study Sustainability in Europe

Study sustainability at the Czech University of Life Sciences and call Prague your home.
Study sustainability at the Czech University of Life Sciences and call Prague your home. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Marius Serban)

If you’d prefer to step outside your comfort zone and experience something new, consider moving to Europe to study at one of these universities with sustainability programs.

Technical University Delft

  • A two-year Master’s in Sustainable Energy Technology
  • This Master’s program focuses on renewable energy sources like solar, wind, geothermal and biomass.
  • The university aims to operate in a completely sustainable manner by 2030. All campus activities will be carbon neutral, circular, and climate adaptive, benefiting its users and nature.
Czech University of Life Sciences

  • A three-year Bachelor’s in Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
  • They focus on soil and water and the role these two elements play, particularly regarding agriculture.
  • The faculty is working on a study of shifts in soil over the last 50 years and how that relates to climate change.

University of Padova 

  • A three-year Bachelor in Earth and Climate Dynamics
  • Focuses on Earth science training with regard to solid Earth, oceans, climate, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere dynamics.
  • Students can continue with a Master’s degree in Earth Dynamics, Geophysics for Natural Risks and Resources.
  • Easy access to the Dolomites, the Alps and the Adriatic Sea.

Australian Universities with Sustainability Programs

There are universities with sustainability programs all over the world.
There are universities with sustainability programs all over the world. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Marius Serban)

Due to its remote location, Australia has different challenges when it comes to climate change and sustainability topics. Enjoy life in this unique and vast island nation while studying at one of their universities with sustainability programs.

University of New England 

  • A three-year Bachelor in Sustainability
  • Specialist areas include (but aren’t limited to) environmental governance, water sustainability, community engagement and development.
  • This program addresses current problems facing Australia and the rest of the world. The university is the first in Australia to offer a Bachelor in Sustainability.
  • They have received a 10-year sustainability certificate for accomplishments in resource management and education for sustainability.

University of New South Wales

  • A three-year Bachelor in Environmental Management
  • This program explores how environmental science relates to regulation and economic and social dimensions of environmental policy and management.
  • The university is in the top 50 in the world for environmental science and second in Australia for research output in the Earth and environmental sciences realm.
  • Fieldwork and work placements are at the core of this program.
  • Get the opportunity to learn from groundbreaking recycling scientist Professor Leena Sahajwalla.

Studying Sustainability in the UK

The landscape in Edinburgh and the surrounding area is inspiring.
The landscape in Edinburgh and the surrounding area is inspiring. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Mike Newbry)

For those looking for a change of scenery that’s somewhat closer to home, studying at the United Kingdom’s universities with sustainability programs may be the adventure for you.

University of London

  • A two-year Master’s in Global Environment and Sustainability
  • The program director is Dr. Izabela Delabre, who has been involved in research related to the intersection of forest and biodiversity loss, as well as sustainable agriculture and supply chains.
  • The core modules of this program include:
    • Biodiversity, biosecurity and conservation
    • Climate change and environmental hazards
    • Global food systems and health
    • Waste and pollution
    • Water and energy resources

University of Edinburgh 

  • A one-year Master’s in Sustainable Lands and Cities or a one-year Master’s in Circular Economy 
  • Part of the Edinburgh Futures Institute, a department within the University of Edinburgh dedicated to educating the pathfinders who want to make the world a better place.
  • Both programs look specifically at the issues we are currently facing, with a focus on the future.
  • Scotland offers a variety of ecosystems to study, ranging from coastal to highlands and bustling cities.

University of the Highlands and Islands 

  • A four-year Bachelor’s in Sustainable Development 
  • This program focuses mostly on how to implement sustainable development in rural communities.
  • Many faculty members live on the Western Isles, where ¾ of the population lives on community-owned land.
  • You can participate in this university sustainability program from anywhere in the world — it’s 100% online.

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