Students can pursue sustainability education in diverse fields such as engineering, public policy, environment and natural resources, geography, sustainable agriculture and other programs.

The sustainability challenges facing communities locally and globally today underscore the need for interdisciplinary sustainability education that enables students to become informed citizens, engaged professionals and effective problem solvers. Sustainability education is an integral pillar of 21 st - century public, land grant, research and community-engaged institutions. Ohio State recognizes the importance of sustainability, including sustainability education, in its university-wide strategic sustainability goals.


Ohio State’s commitment to cultivating future sustainability leaders begins in the classroom, where we offer 74 undergraduate majors and minors and a variety of master’s and doctoral programs that identify one or more sustainability-related learning outcomes as well as over 1,245 courses that feature sustainability topics. The university delivers a curriculum that provides Ohio State students with opportunities to understand sustainability holistically, framed by the environment, science, technology, society, the economy, history, culture and politics.

New sustainability academic programs.

New sustainability course offerings.

Existing sustainability academic programs and course offerings (via university survey submissions).


The Sustainability Education and Learning Committee (SELC), facilitated by the Sustainability Institute, 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. SELC's May 2019 report on undergraduate sustainability education establishes a framework for sustainability education at Ohio State, strengthening existing academic programs and identifying opportunities for new ones. The group is currently providing guidance on the sustainability theme that is part of the university’s revised General Education requirements and developing tools to support new or expanded academic program opportunities for students. For more information, contact Gina Jaquet, director of sustainability education and learning.

SELC Sustainability Education Framework

NSF Research Traineeship Program: Empowerment

The EmPOWERment Program offers PhD students at Ohio State the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary training in energy-system modeling, data science, energy policy, business, legal, social-behavioral issues, and energy technologies to address the challenges facing a sustainable energy future. 

EmPOWERment is now accepting applications for 2024-25 from current and prospective Ohio State PhD students studying topics related to a sustainable energy future. Prospective and first-year students accepted into EmPOWERment will be considered for one-year fellowships that fully fund study and participation. EmPOWERment dovetails with degree requirements and does not extend the time to graduate. Trainees are immersed in coursework, research, experiential learning and a community of like-minded students. Underrepresented minorities and women are encouraged to apply.  The application process to join the EmPOWERment Program in 2024-2025 is open now. 

The EmPOWERment Program also manages the Research in Sustainable Energy (RISE) summer program, which is a 10-week intensive experience that provides talented Ohio State undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to work on an independent research project related to sustainable energy.  Interested applicants are encouraged to submit a 2024 summer program application by March 22, 2024.