Explore Sustainability through Academics

As a student at the University of Rochester, have you ever wondered how you could learn more about sustainability? Learning in a classroom is a great way to understand the science, and socioeconomic and ethical complications of the environmental issues the world faces today. There are several academic tracks in sustainability you could pursue regardless of the discipline of your field of study. Taking advantage of the Rochester Open Curriculum is a great way to incorporate sustainability courses into the course of your undergraduate studies. Here are some tracks in sustainability outlined for you:


If you know for sure that you would want to pursue a career in sustainability then picking a sustainability major would be a step in the right direction.

For a more STEM focused degree you could choose a BS track:

If you’re more interested in policy or urban planning careers, the BA track would be a good fit.

You can also create your own interdisciplinary major!

Minors and Clusters

If you don’t have space to fit a sustainability major, you could always choose a minor or cluster in any of the three academic divisions. You could use either a minor or cluster to fulfill your undergraduate degree requirements depending on your field of study.


There’s a bunch of interesting sustainability courses offered at the University by several departments. Here are some listed below. For full course descriptions and details, you can search these and more on the University of Rochester CDCS website or your URStudent account.

  • SUST/EESC 310: Science and Sustainability
  • PSCI 243: Environmental Politics
  • PSCI 247: Green Markets
  • PHIL/EHUM 230: Environmental Justice

Study Abroad

Explore sustainability around the world! Here are some study abroad sustainability electives you could take:

  • ED 332: China’s Developmental and Environmental Challenges
  • EC 321: Indian Microeconomic Development
  • Sustainable Development: Environmental, Political and Social Issues
  • Metropolitan Development: Urban Studies
  • The Transformed and Recycled City

This is not a comprehensive list of all the academic opportunities for sustainability. Explore the different courses available on the University’s sustainability studies website or contact Professor Karen Berger who is the program coordinator for more information.


Written by Hanyia Ahmed, Class of 2022