Sustainability: Integrating Classroom and Experiential Learning

200_classesNortheastern’s strategic focus on sustainability—one of the university’s three main research pillars—prepares students to tackle the greatest global challenges of our time.

With nearly 200 interdisciplinary course offerings leading to a certificate or to a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, our curriculum provides a rich, deep understanding of what’s necessary to sustain our cities, oceans, and environment.

Through the integration of classroom study with experiential learning and co-op opportunities in 131 countries around the world, students not only acquire a deeper grasp of sustainability but also make significant contributions to the field.

At Northeastern, research begins at the undergraduate level, where students seek solutions at university research centers and in villages, cities, jungles, and remote shorelines around the world.

From programs at our Marine Science Center focusing on urban coastal sustainability, to courses on architectural design as it relates to natural systems, to global co-ops in Costa Rica’s rainforests, Northeastern is preparing students to build tomorrow’s sustainable human communities.

Measures of Success

  • Northeastern offers nearly 200 courses with a significant sustainability focus.
  • In the Three Seas program—now in its 31st year—students spend one year studying in and learning about three diverse marine ecosystems in Nahant, Mass., Panama, and Washington state.
  • The College of Engineering’s environmental engineering faculty teaches students both theory and practice in fields related to sustainability. They emphasize sustainability engineering practices that limit resource consumption and environmental impacts—particularly for urban areas.
  • The College of Social Sciences and Humanities’ School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs has a long history of incorporating sustainability into curricula about policy-making, government, and the environment. In the Resilient Cities Lab and the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, sustainability is a key part of faculty and student research.
  • The College of Science’s (COS) programs in geoscience, conservation science, and marine science hone students’ abilities to develop technical, economical, institutional, behavioral, and conservation-oriented solutions to environmental problems.
  • COS Founding Dean Murray Gibson signed the Green Chemistry Commitment in May 2013, making Northeastern one of the first 12 signatory institutions.