Undergraduate Programs

The University of Michigan offers many opportunities for undergraduate study in sustainability-related fields. U-M’s 19 schools and colleges offer degrees and course work in sustainability, environmental studies, engineering, the physical sciences, the social sciences, and more.


The College of Engineering offers a multitude of programs related to sustainability.

Chemical Engineering. A solid disciplinary foundation that allows students to personalize the curriculum for diverse careers, including in the environment.

Civil and Environmental Engineering. Sample topics: Environmental systems, environmental assessments, solid waste, nuclear waste.

Climate Science. Including an exciting new program called Climate Impact Engineering.

Earth System Science and Engineering. The interactions among Earth system components; concentrations in climate science, meteorology, and space weather.

Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences. This rapidly-growing major is based on the principle that a sound education in both mathematics and the basic sciences is an essential foundation for any specialized training. Undergraduates are routinely involved in research projects.

Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. This department offers study in marine environmental engineering. Recent graduates are working on approaches to overcome water-borne pollution transport in the Great Lakes and the oceans, and coastal erosion predictions. Several professors are researching new ocean and river energy-generation systems.

Mechanical Engineering . Global economic, geopolitical, and environmental factors all suggest that improvements are needed in the way that energy is produced, converted, and utilized in the modern world. Mechanical systems are integral to all three of these activities. The Mechanical Engineering Department offers undergraduates a concentration in energy.

Program in Sustainable Engineering. A nine-credit-hour supplemental studies program whereby engineering students earn a "Specialized Study in Sustainable Engineering" notation on their transcript.

Graham Institute

Sustainability Scholars Program. A competitive program through which accepted students receive special access and funding to field-based courses in sustainability and who participate in a wide range of leadership and cohort building activities. Click on the video link to hear what students say about the program. The application deadline for the next academic year is January 15, 2014. Watch for details.

Literature, Science, and the Arts

NEW! Fully Searchable LSA Course Guide. This online course catalog now includes "sustainability tags" to help undergraduate students find just the sustainability-focused class they want via the key word search tool or new sustainability group menu selection. This makes it easy for students to find classes about sustainability subject matter within LSA regardless of whether or not the class title includes the word "sustainability."

Program in the Environment (PitE). An interdisciplinary undergraduate program that offers both a concentration (major) three different minors (Sustainability, Environment, and Sustainable Food Systems), plus courses open to all U-M students. PitE's curriculum encompasses the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities coursework—with a focus on hands-on field experience. Topics covered range from global change, public policy, sustainable development, analytics, and ecology. Click here for video about new sustainability minor.

Biology. Seven concentrations and three minors, including plant biology, and ecology and evolutionary biology.

Chemistry. Concentrations in chemistry and biochemistry, and a dual degree with chemical engineering.

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. An integrated perspective on the earth’s biodiversity and ecosystems.

Geological Sciences. Concentrations in geological sciences, earth systems science, environmental geosciences, oceanography, and earth sciences.

Planet Blue Student Leader Program. An "eco-rep" program with a corresponding one-credit course through LSA, offered as a partnership between the Graham Sustainability Instiute, University Housing, and the Office of Campus Sustainability.