Education and Learning

Educating and empowering Ohio State students to become leaders, professionals and engaged citizens in solving societal issues related to environment, sustainability and resilience

Education and Learning

Ohio State invests in a resilient future by educating tomorrow’s leaders. The Ohio State University emphasizes sustainable education by making students more aware of how sustainability and resilience issues affect their day-to-day lives and how they can influence change. Ohio State’s undergraduate and graduate study programs in sustainability issues support our commitment to develop a workforce capable of implementing new solutions to our global challenges. 

At the Sustainability Institute, we work in collaboration with units across the university to enhance curricular programs and opportunities, experiential learning and co-curricular experiences for students. Ohio State’s commitment to sustainability begins in the classroom, where we offer 74 undergraduate majors and minors and a variety of master’s and doctoral graduate programs that identify one or more sustainability-related learning outcomes; 450 sustainability courses; and more than 650 additional courses that feature sustainability topics. Outside of the classroom, Ohio State students engage in a number of project-based learning opportunities, internships, co-ops, student organizations and living-learning programs focused on sustainability. 


Expanding University-wide Sustainability Education

The Sustainability Education and Learning Committee (SELC), with faculty from seven different colleges and schools, and facilitated by the Sustainability Institute, was launched in 2018. SELC provides a platform for faculty and academic units to develop a comprehensive and coordinated approach to interdisciplinary sustainability education programs for undergraduate and graduate students. The committee's report on undergraduate sustainability education, submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs in May 2019, establishes a framework for sustainability education at Ohio State and provides a coordinated approach in support of cross-unit collaboration, strengthening existing academic programs and identifying opportunities for new academic programs. Now the group is moving toward supporting and facilitating implementation by interested academic units. SELC will also assist in providing guidance on the sustainability theme that is part of the revised General Education requirements. 

Read the Sustainability Education and Learning Committee report

Experiential Learning

Undergraduate students can pursue their interests in diverse fields such as engineering, public policy, environment and natural resources, geography, sustainable agriculture, and sustainability major and minor programs. In addition, Learning Communities and Scholars programs examine sustainability issues. SUSTAINS Learning Community is available for students who want to delve deeper into the delicate balance between economic, environmental and social sustainability. The Kellogg-Moser Food Security and Sustainability Learning Community focuses on sustainable food systems and agricultural practices. Environment and Natural Resource Scholars, Humanitarian Engineering Scholars and Green Engineering Scholars all examine other aspects of human connection to the natural world, international development and innovation. 

SUSTAINS Learning Community
Kellogg-Moser Food Security and Sustainability Learning Community
Humanitarian Engineering Scholars
Environment and Natural Resources Scholars

Co-curricular Opportunities

University sustainability efforts are strengthened through student organization activities, student research and project initiatives, and industry connections with students. Ohio State students have shown exceptional and growing interest and dedication to sustainability challenges in their communities and around the world. The Sustainability Institute and the Office of International Affairs provide funding to support student engagement with sustainability initiatives emerging across the globe. In addition, undergraduate, graduate, and professional students may apply directly to the Sustainability Institute for funding to support research projects or campus as a living lab projects. Stay tuned for the spring 2020 process, scheduled to open via an online application process at the start of spring semester 2020.

Spring 2019 Sustainability Institute Student Funding Awardees