One of the primary functions of colleges and universities is to educate students. By training and educating future leaders, scholars, workers, and professionals; higher education institutions are uniquely positioned to understand and address sustainability challenges. Institutions that offer courses covering sustainability issues help equip their students to lead society to a sustainable future.


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Learning for change: an educational contribution to sustainability science

Transition to sustainability is a search for ways to improve the social capacity to guide interactions between nature and society toward a more sustainable future and, thus, a process of ...

  • Posted June 20, 2017
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Influences on Student Intention and Behavior Toward Environmental Sustainability

As organizations place greater emphasis on environmental objectives, business educators must produce the next set of leaders who can champion corporate environmental sustainability initiatives. However, environmental sustainability represents a polarizing ...

  • Posted June 19, 2017
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Explicitly linking pedagogy and facilities to campus sustainability: lessons from Carleton College and the University of Minnesota

  • Carleton College (MN)
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (MN)

Campus sustainability projects provide an opportunity to explicitly link campus operations and academics. College and university buildings and grounds offer the potential for numerous hands‐on sustainability projects. Few schools ...

  • Posted June 19, 2017
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Experiences of environmental professionals in practice

  • Utrecht University

The purpose of this paper is to explore the labor market position of environmental science graduates and the core competencies of these environmental professionals related to their working practice.

The ...

  • Posted June 19, 2017
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Essential Ecoliteracy, or “earth smarts”: Defining and validating a pragmatic educational construct based on quality of life.

This study began with an attempt to find a definition of ecological literacy that was flexible enough to be useful in variety of contexts, but also included components that were ...

  • Posted June 19, 2017
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Environmental sustainability in higher education: how do academics teach?

The concept of sustainability can be controversial and difficult to define. As a result, it has been suggested that there should be specific pedagogies and teaching methods for education for ...

  • Posted June 19, 2017
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Employers Expectations of Graduates of Environmental Programs: An Australian Experience

The graduates of Australian tertiary environmental programs have been finding employment, yet there is little information about whether their tertiary experiences were related to the actual needs of their employers ...

  • Posted June 19, 2017
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Education for sustainability in university studies: A model for reorienting the curriculum

A decisive factor for achieving a culture of sustainability is university training for future professionals. The aim of this article is to bring new elements to the process of reorienting ...

  • Posted June 19, 2017
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Curriculum Change in Universities: Conditions that Facilitate Education for Sustainable Development

Many universities have begun to introduce curriculum innovation and change to facilitate the curricular integration of generic skills underlying education for sustainable development (ESD). However, the literature and research in ...

  • Posted June 19, 2017
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Creation of an Innovative Sustainability Science Undergraduate Degree Program: A 10-Step Process

  • Kean University (NJ)

This publication explains the process used at Kean University (New Jersey) to create an innovative undergraduate degree program in sustainability science. This interdisciplinary program provides students with the strong science ...

  • Posted June 19, 2017
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Master of Science in Product Stewardship

  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IN)

The Master of Science (MS) in Product Stewardship is an entirely online and interactive, 30-credit program, which includes public health fundamentals (PH), environmental health science fundamentals (EHS), and specialized product ...

  • Posted June 19, 2017
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Rethinking Thinking about Sustainability Curriculum

  • AASHE (PA)

“You cannot solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it.” Albert Einstein

If a snap of the fingers could reverse the environmental destruction of the past ...

  • Posted June 9, 2017
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Urban Design for Sustainability Syllabus

  • Lesley University (MA)

What would a truly sustainable society look like? We will address that question, starting with a look at the rise and decline of societies and how the ideas of sustainability ...

  • Posted June 9, 2017
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An Introduction to Sustainability Service-Learning Course for the Creation of Sustainable Citizens to Engage Wicked Problems

The current era of American discourse and dialogue is increasingly characterized as becoming less civilized. This lack of civility, whether real or perceived, negatively impacts our ability as a society ...

MPH Environmental Health Promotion and Policy

  • University of Michigan (MI)

The Environmental Health Promotion and Policy program provides the foundation for understanding and anticipating environmentally- and occupationally-related health impacts, the skills for using this knowledge and available policy and health ...

  • Posted June 7, 2017
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A history of the future of higher education for sustainable development

Thirty years of academic dialogue and reinvention about environmental and sustainability education conceals the consistency of rhetoric that literature holds. This paper argues that higher education for sustainable development does ...

What elements in a sustainability course contribute to paradigm change and action competence? A study at Lincoln University, New Zealand

  • Lincoln University, New Zealand

A significant shift in the dominant paradigm governing the relationship of humans with nature and society is crucial in order to change the current unsustainable practices. This article describes a ...

Personal authenticity and political subjectivity in student deliberation in environmental and sustainability education

This study problematizes what is meant when one talks about classroom activities concerning environmental and sustainability issues as being authentic or not. It reports excerpts from three classroom discussions which ...

Examining Interdisciplinary Sustainability Institutes at Major Research Universities: Innovations in Cross-Campus and Cross-Disciplinary Models

  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (IL)
  • Johns Hopkins University (MD)
  • Vanderbilt University (TN)
  • Texas A&M University (TX)
  • Boston University (MA)
  • Brown University (RI)
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (MN)
  • Princeton University (NJ)
  • Stanford University (CA)
  • Northwestern University (IL)
  • Columbia University (NY)
  • Duke University (NC)
  • University of Michigan (MI)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (CA)
  • Cornell University (NY)
  • University of Arizona (AZ)
  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

This is a study of the disctintive characteristics, activities, challenges and opportunities of a specific type of sustainability institute, one that spans the many disciplines of the university and, to ...

Curricula for Sustainability in Higher Education

This book presents the curricula necessary for sustainability in higher education. It shows how the learning process is transforming in order to promote sustainability. It prepares administrators, teachers and students ...

Challenges in Higher Education for Sustainability

This book presents the latest advances on the incorporation of sustainability in higher education. Different aspects such as the environmental, economic and social are here discussed. Several examples illustrating how ...

The Handbook of Sustainability Literacy: Skills for a Changing World

  • University of Gloucestershire (Gloucestershire)

In this book, leading sustainability educators are joined by permaculturists, literary critics, ecologists, artists, journalists, engineers, mathematicians and philosophers in a deep reflection on the skills that people need to ...

Teaching for EcoJustice: Curriculum and Lessons for Secondary and College Classrooms

  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County (MD)

Teaching for EcoJustice is a resource for exploring the social roots of environmental problems in humanities-based educational settings and a curriculum guidebook for putting EcoJustice Education into practice. It provides ...

Teaching as if Life Matters: The Promise of a New Education Culture

  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

What would it be like to teach as if life matters? To move beyond the typical regimen of classroom exercises, homework, and standardized tests and to guide students through life ...

Kauai Community College Tiny House Hydro Electric Micro Grid Project

  • Kauai Community College (HI)

During the Summer of 2016 a free Tiny House building course was offered free to the community of Kauai. The course ran for five days and focused on building the ...

Building as a Living Laboratory: The Integrated Technology Center

  • Western Technical College (WI)

When you enter an academic building on a college campus, you expect that learning takes place there. Desks and labs, offices and hallways, students and faculty—all are standard. But ...

Penstemon 2.0

  • Santa Clara University (CA)

From the outset, our goal has been to foster a culture of sustainability at the University by focusing on our curriculum as an interdisciplinary community of scholars. SCU has used ...

Branding our Waste: Creating College-Specific Recycling Signage through Collaboration

  • Red River College (MB)

In an ongoing effort to improve the effectiveness of our waste and recycling programs, Red River College set about redesigning our hallway waste and recycling signage (Pitch In signs) in ...

Revisiting Service Learning Through Food Equity, One Outcome from the Chemeketa - Marion Polk Food Share Youth Partnership

  • Chemeketa Community College (OR)

Chemeketa Student Retention and College Life (SRCL) periodically offers free leadership courses to students. Chemeketa’s dreams of a student farm for the Agricultural Sciences program are still a few ...

Sustainability Assessment Report for Philadelphia University by using AASHE STARS Credit System

  • Philadelphia University (PA)

This project is a thesis research on sustainability at Philadelphia University. The University is known regionally for its sustainability initiatives and education. The university has won several awards and recognitions ...

Incorporating Sustainability Content and Pedagogy Through Faculty Development

  • James Madison University (VA)

The new Centers for Sustainability Across the Curriculum increase the availability of faculty development opportunities related to sustainability. Faculty and administrators considering professional development and subsequently design/redesign of courses ...

Integrated traditional and applied education in a public US university: exploring sustainable cities and regions in classrooms and communities

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (NC)
  • University of Montevallo (AL)

The most effective and promising models for teaching sustainability sciences and studies in a university setting are a topic of vigorous debate. This paper discusses an integrated sustainability curriculum at ...

Integration of interdisciplinary environmental and sustainability education and research and urban sustainability

  • National Council for Science & the Environment (DC)

This article explores the results of the National Council for Science and the Environment’s 2012 census of interdisciplinary environmental and sustainability (IES) baccalaureate and graduate degree programs and the ...

Work-based learning as a catalyst for sustainability: a review and prospects

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to highlight the continuing dearth of scholarship about the role of work-based learning in education for sustainable development, and particularly the urgent demands ...

Relocating Education for Sustainability: From the campus to the community

  • Kent State University (OH)

For 25 years, higher education has been challenged to provide a path toward sustainability. This challenge is both lofty and necessary. During this time, higher education has yet to make ...

Solar Garden Partnership: A Renewable Energy Innovation

  • Grand Valley State University (MI)
  • Consumers Energy

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) began a renewable energy project in partnership with its local utility, Consumers Energy, after the Michigan Public Service Commission approved a Solar Garden program. This ...

Community Engaged Scholarship and Learning in Urban Forestry helps UTRGV earn Tree Campus USA Designation

  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (TX)

In 2014, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (through its legacy institution UTPA), one of the largest Hispanic Serving Institutions in the country, proposed and offered three iterations of ...

Johnson County Community College Student Sustainability Committee

  • Johnson County Community College (KS)

As a broadly effective, innovative, engaging, and replicable project, Johnson County Community College’s Student Sustainability Committee [the SSC, the Committee] is a compelling and powerful tool for developing student ...

Watershed UGA: A living laboratory transforming campus and community through teaching, research and service

  • The University of Georgia (GA)

Watershed UGA created a vision and framework for using the campus as a living laboratory to advance sustainability through teaching, research, public service and outreach, and university operations. We are ...

Does Social Justice Knowledge Matter in Sustainable Business Education?

  • Appalachian State University (NC)

There is a growing social justice movement in the United States in response to perceptions of increasing inequality, as illustrated by recent minimum wage protests and the Occupy Wall Street ...

The Ohio State University Sustainability Goals Development Project

  • The Ohio State University (OH)

In November 2015, The Ohio State University announced the establishment of sustainability goals to guide the university as it develops durable solutions to the challenges of sustainability and in evolving ...

UTA CARES: Open Education and Open Pedagogy for Sustainable Future and Resource Conservation

  • University of Texas at Arlington (TX)

Reducing the cost of a college education is a frequent topic in higher education circles. Some colleges and universities such as UT Arlington have been trying to find other ways ...

GreenApps Eco-Reps Sustainability Leadership and Engagement Course

  • Appalachian State University (NC)

The GreenApps: Eco-Reps Program was developed in order to recruit on-campus students to join the Office of Sustainability team to assist with education and promotion of campus sustainability through a ...

Master of Arts in Food Studies

  • Chatham University (PA)

Chatham University's Master of Arts in Food Studies is a part of their Falk School of Sustainability & Environment. The interdisciplinary program trains students to understand and analyze holistic ...

  • Posted May 15, 2017
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Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies

  • Florida Gulf Coast University (FL)

Florida Gulf Coast University’s Bachelor of Arts in Environmental studies is designed to prepare students for a large network of job opportunities in the environmental field.The program incorporates ...

  • Posted May 15, 2017
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Sustainability Certificate Program: Creating Community through Cohorts

  • The University of Georgia (GA)

The Certificate in Sustainability will enhance opportunities for integrative, applied learning in interdisciplinary settings as well as prepare students to address difficult global sustainability issues. The certificate will also work ...

  • Posted May 15, 2017
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Master of Science (M. Sc.) in Agricultural Economics

  • McGill University (QC)

This program provides students with applied economic concepts and tools to identify, define, and analyze economic problems affecting the performance of the agri-food sector and the environment. The ideal prior ...

  • Posted May 15, 2017
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Using role-playing games to broaden engineering education

  • Chalmers University of Technology

Purpose: In today’s complex society, there is an increasing demand to include a wider set of skills in engineering curricula, especially skills related to policy, society and sustainable development ...

An auto-photographic study of undergraduate students’ conceptions of ocean sustainability

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate students’ understandings of ocean sustainability and the pedagogical influence of higher education on those conceptions.

Design/methodology/approach: The conceptions of ...

Assessment of undergraduate students’ environmental stewardship reasoning and knowledge

  • James Madison University (VA)

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present a public university’s design and implementation of an assessment approach that measures the change in undergraduate students’ environmental stewardship reasoning ...

This tab provides access to data collected through AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS). STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS enables meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community. Additional content and advanced benchmarking tools will be added to this tab over time.

Programs and Initiatives

The following links connect to specific Content Displays on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).


The following link connects to the Score Display on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Curriculum Partners

FIE: Foundation for International Education

London, London
Business Affiliate


Lander, WY
Business Affiliate
At NOLS we believe positive, ethical leaders change the world. Based on this belief, NOLS has become the leader in wilderness education. Our students explore remote wilderness and learn technical outdoor skills, leadership, and environmental ethics.

Strategic Energy Innovations

San Rafael, CA
Business Affiliate
Helping communities embrace sustainability.

Sustainability Curriculum Consortium

Bethesda, MD
Business Affiliate

The GREEN Program

Philadelphia, PA
Business Affiliate
Founded in 2009, The GREEN Program creates short-term, experiential education programs focused on sustainable development. TGP's accredited model has attracted university students representing over 470 universities and 70 countries globally.