Undergraduate and graduate students at Penn State have many chances to dive into sustainability. As a comprehensive Research I university, Penn State’s faculty guide our students through the challenges of the Anthropocene, informed by leading-edge research, deep understanding of the connection between cultures, politics and policy, economics, technology, the arts, and ethics. Some of our students will have an engagement in a first-year Biology seminar followed up later with by diving into the public health impacts of climate change in their Ecology class. Others will seek out a rich semester-long experiences in Geography, Music, or Religious Studies. Still others will become imaginative systems thinkers while they proceed through degree programs in agriculture, architecture, finance, or geosciences. No matter what College our students are in, they can find a way to dive into sustainability in their coursework.

Academic Courses and Degrees

Whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student, there are many ways to broaden your Penn State education through the incorporation of sustainability into your degree work. With a greater understanding of the complex concepts related to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including climate action, eliminating hunger and poverty, peaceful and just institutions, and innovation and infrastructure, students can expand their knowledge and gain a fresh perspective on their primary area(s) of work through sustainability-related certificates, minors, majors or degree programs.

Experiential Learning

There are a variety of ways to get outside of the classroom to incorporate practical sustainability experiences into your academic experience at Penn State. The focus of experiential learning is hands-on education – learning by doing. At Penn State, you might be able to take a class that connects you with a local government to assess stormwater impacts on the watershed, a school district to help draw down greenhouse gas emissions, a student farm or garden, or to help design native habitats that are beautiful and thrive. Incorporating these engaging learning experiences into your college experience connects theory to practice, in a real-world authentic setting. You’ll become more skilled, build your professional and civic networks, and support a healthier world by applying your education and skills in real time.