10 nationally ranked sustainability programs from Midwestern colleges

10 nationally ranked sustainability programs from Midwestern colleges

1) University of Minnesota (Twin Cities, Minnesota)

"IonE’s Sustainability Education program creates a vibrant and transformative community of students and faculty from across the University of Minnesota Twin Cities who work together to advance sustainability in society. The program’s work revolves around three key strategies:

  1. Develop student leadership by educating and empowering students across disciplines, backgrounds, levels of interest and knowledge of sustainability.
  2. Create and participate in opportunities for faculty, researchers and artists to teach, engage in and present about sustainability.
  3. Build bridges with various communities, develop shared program models, and provide leadership within the University community and with external organizations."

2) University of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin)

"At the Nelson Institute, we strive to create sustainable communities across complex institutional landscapes for enhancing the quality of life and the environment in Wisconsin and the world.

It all starts with people and communities, and we are deeply committed to fostering and sustaining community partnerships in education, research, and service, both locally and internationally."


3) University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

"Graduate education at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) is highly customizable to each person’s interests and aspirations. All of our faculty and students come from a diverse array of academic, professional, and personal backgrounds. If you care passionately about creating a more sustainable, just world, you can find your focus and community at SEAS. Explore the environmental program options below to start planning your personal path."


4) Michigan State University (East Lansing, Michigan)

"Sustainability is rooted in MSU’s foundations of education, research and outreach, reaching first across Michigan and then extending globally. Having the foundational understanding of nature’s complex relationships as a premier land grant institution, MSU is well-positioned to act as a change agent for communities to accelerate cross-sector climate response; serve as an important knowledge generator and convener; educate the next generation of leaders that are most likely to be disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change; and influence the lives of students, alumni, and stakeholders for many generations."

5) University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign, Illinois)

"The Institute was created to lead an interdisciplinary approach to researching solutions for the world’s pressing sustainability, energy and environmental needs today and tomorrow. We call this 'actionable research' — scientific progress with the emphasis on finding real-world, immediately usable answers to these problems.

Our holistic approach to research brings together the brightest of the bright to solve the world’s current and future problems. iSEE shepherds that approach in five distinct themes:

  • Climate Solutions
  • Energy Transitions
  • Sustainable Infrastructure
  • Water and Land Stewardship
  • Secure and Sustainable Agriculture"

6) Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio)

"The many faces of the School of Environment and Natural Resources invite you to discover our extension and outreach programs, our multiple research locations, the academic programs our students are engaged in, and the research being conducted by our faculty. Let this site be your guide in your discovery through this amazing school- it is our passion to help you find your fit at The Ohio State University's School of Environment and Natural Resources and make your SENR experience exceptional."


7) University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois)

"Environmental Frontiers (EF) creates student-faculty research and educational opportunities focused on the intersection of environmental sustainability and urbanization, with the goal of giving UChicago undergraduate students a scientific and practical understanding of sustainable urban development. Spanning the physical, biological, social sciences, and the humanities, the initiative complements existing and emerging course curriculum in Environmental and Urban Studies, Environmental Sciences, and other programs.

EFCampus is the campus-based component of the initiative, enabling students in the College to use campus data to explore and enhance aspects of environmental sustainability, with an eye toward broader impact and applicability beyond the campus context."


8) Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana)

"The O’Neill School of Public and Environment Affairs works to build a better world by stewarding the development of equitable and inclusive societies, democratic governance, and a healthy, sustainable environment. With partners across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, we pursue education, scholarship, and civic engagement at the crossroads of policy, science, and management. We give our students the knowledge and skills to have a significant impact in diverse settings around the globe."


9) Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa)

"Iowa State University offers one undergraduate sustainability major and three undergraduate sustainability minors:

  • Environmental Engineering (Major, Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering)
  • Energy Systems (Minor, Mechanical Engineering)
  • Sustainability (Minor, Interdisciplinary)
  • Wind Energy (Minor, Interdisciplinary)

Iowa State also offers a number of sustainability-focused graduate programs, including:

  • Design in Sustainable Environments (Masters)
  • Sustainable Agriculture (Masters and Doctorate)
  • Urban Design (Masters)
  • Wind Energy Science, Engineering and Policy (Doctorate)"


10) University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana)

"The University of Notre Dame strives to be a leader in sustainable operations, education and research, and a role model for responsible citizenship.  Notre Dame recognizes its responsibility to conserve the natural environment while promoting long-term economic and social justice for all members of society and works to foster a pervasive focus on the connection between environmental stewardship and the Common Good."


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