Environmental Studies and Sustainable Development are some of the fastest growing fields in both education and employment. And, there are great universities in the US, such as UC Berkeley, Harvard, Columbia, Yale, and Stanford, for example, providing extraordinary leadership in climate change. As the issues become more significant, this will become an increasingly important field to focus your career on.

In early 2018, as the interest in climate change education became ever more critical, over thirteen North American universities formed a coalition: University Climate Change Coalition, committing to work in close partnership with We Are Still In and America’s Pledge to help America’s climate leaders meet or exceed climate goals. 

There are numerous lists ranking the best universities in specific environmental fields already available: environment/ecologyenvironmental lawenvironmental policyenvironmental science, and agriculture.

For 13 years, Sierra Club’s magazine, Sierra has been ranking colleges judging who has the best sustainability-focused courses, eco-friendly cafeteria provisions, carbon-neutral land and energy policies, and opportunities to engage with the environmental movement. In 2020, a record 312 schools vied to be named the most eco-savvy in all of academia. Here are the top 20.

Students might game out a climate plan built at a community college in Santa Fe. Learn about it here and look here to see the game played.

For K-12 education and ways to take action in school, please see the YOUTH page.

New Jersey Becomes First U.S. State to Require Schools to Teach Climate Change


Climate Change Education

A large body of scientific information indicates that global climate change is unequivocal, almost certainly is caused mostly by human activities, is already causing significant harm, and as it continues, holds great risks for our…

Climate Change Courses

Humanity faces an immense challenge: providing abundant energy to everyone without wrecking the planet. If we want a high-energy future while protecting the natural world for our children, we must consider the environmental consequences of…

Interactive Courses

WWF advocates environmentally-responsible approaches to climate change adaptation that bring benefits to both people and nature. WWF Adapt provides a wide range of learning tools that help conservation, development and humanitarian professionals better understand climate…

The University of California, San Diego

Our Energy Future This course is designed to introduce students to the issues of energy in the 21st century – including food and fuels which are inseparably linked – and will discuss energy production and…

The University of Chicago

Global Warming I: The Science and Modeling of Climate Change This class describes the science of global warming and the forecast for humans’ impact on Earth’s climate. Intended for an audience without much scientific background…

American Museum of Natural History

Our Earth’s Future Our Earth’s Future is about the science of climate change and how to talk about it. You will learn from scientists in the fields of climatology, oceanography, Earth science, and anthropology who…

The University of Queensland

Making Sense of Climate Science Denial Climate change is real, so why the controversy and debate? Learn to make sense of the science and to respond to climate change denial. In public discussions, climate change… and the Post Carbon Institute

We’re offering this course—Think Resilience: Preparing Communities for the Rest of the 21st Century—to help you get started on doing something. You can take the course, consisting of 22 video lectures (about 4 hours total)…


NOAA, Smithsonian and fed partners seeking suggestions to update key climate literacy guide

NOAA, as part of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), is requesting suggestions on structure, topics, and content to help update a key national climate literacy guide used by educators, policymakers, and scientists across…

Certificate in Clean Energy

The clean energy sector encompasses many different technologies and policies. The NYU Clean Start program - a collaboration between the Urban Future Lab at NYU Tandon and the Center for Global Affairs within NYU SPS…

Columbia Climate School

The Columbia Climate School's mission is to develop and inspire knowledge-based solutions and educate future leaders for just and prosperous societies on a healthy planet.

Offshore Wind Education

The Fundamentals of Offshore Wind program, part of New York State's Offshore Wind Training Institute, is a 3-week, 45-hour summer program designed to provide an introduction to offshore wind in a modular format.

Wind Programs at FSC

Whether you are a graduating high school senior, a current college student, or a seasoned professional, there is something for everyone in the Wind Program at FSC. All of these programs will help to improve…

Center of Excellence for Offshore Energy | SUNY Maritime College

Recognizing the growth in the offshore renewable energy sector, Maritime College established the Center of Excellence for Offshore Energy to focus on building a clean energy workforce and encouraging research in this growing area. The…

Online Learning with Coursera

The New York State Department of Labor is partnering with Coursera, the leading online training provider. Through Coursera, unemployed New Yorkers will have access to nearly 4,000 programs across high-growth industries and can hone skills in data…

NOAA upgrades site

NOAA’s Climate Program Office today launched a newly redesigned version of, NOAA’s award-winning, flagship website that provides the public with clear, timely, and science-based information about climate. The redesign expands the site’s already significant…

Handling climate change education at universities: an overview

Climate change is a problem which is global in nature, and whose effects go across a wide range of disciplines. It is therefore important that this theme is taken into account as part of universities´…

Climate Curriculum | K-12 Science Lessons on Climate Change

A comprehensive curriculum that provides engaging and informative science lessons on Earth's changing climate.

University Climate Change Coalition

For North American research universities committed to climate action and cross-sector collaboration, UC3 is a collaborative coalition that leverages relationships and expertise to accelerate local climate solutions and build community resilience.

CLEAN Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network

The CLEAN Collection of Climate and Energy Educational Resources A collection of 700+ free, ready-to-use learning resources rigorously reviewed by educators and scientists suitable for secondary through higher education classrooms.

NASA Innovations in Climate Education

NASA Innovations in Climate Education, or NICE, is designed to improve the quality of the nation's STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and enhance students' and teachers' literacy about global climate and Earth system…

Earth Institute at Columbia University

Columbia’s Earth Institute blends research in the physical and social sciences, education and practical solutions to help guide the world onto a path toward sustainability. Their news publication is State of the Planet.


Texas weakens climate science education guidelines

By Scott Waldman 03/19/23
Texas education officials adopted changes to internal guidance on textbooks that could steer schools to buy books that misinform students about global warming.
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NASA Awards Advance 3D Printing, Quantum Tech for Climate Research

New technology is a key to helping NASA advance its long-term exploration goals for the benefit of all. To support its effort, the agency announced Thursday it will create two new institutes to develop technology…
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Connecticut becomes second US state to make climate change studies must for grades 5 to 12

By Mukul Sharma 12/18/22
Climate Change studies will be mandatory in the US state of Connecticut from grades 5 to 12. The development, hailed as ‘landmark’ by climate change activists, comes after a new law passed earlier this year…
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‘Face it head on’: Connecticut makes climate change studies compulsory

Enshrining the curriculum in law insulates the subject from budget cuts and culture wars related to the climate crisisStarting next July, Connecticut will become one of the first states in America to mandate climate change…
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Virginia is changing the way it teaches history, social studies. Here’s how

By Hannah Natanson 11/16/22
Over the weekend, the Virginia Department of Education released new standards of learning that, if approved next year, will radically reshape what and how students in the state learn in history and social studies lessons.
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Many States Omit Climate Education. These Teachers Are Trying to Slip It In.

By Winston Choi-Schagrin 11/01/22
In mid-October, just two weeks after Hurricane Ian struck her state, Bertha Vazquez asked her class of 7th graders to go online and search for information about climate change. Specifically, she tasked them to find…
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Trustees Vote to Divest and Dissociate from Fossil Fuel Companies

By Julie Bonette 09/29/22
Princeton University announced Thursday that the Board of Trustees has voted to divest the endowment from all publicly traded fossil-fuel companies and dissociate from 90 fossil-fuel companies that are among the worst polluters.
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Connecticut Becomes One of the First States to Require Schools to Teach Climate Change

By Kimberly White 09/21/22
Connecticut schools will soon be required to teach students about climate change thanks to a new state law. The new law requires every school district within the state to teach climate change education in line…
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MIT accelerates efforts on path to carbon reduction goals

By David Chandler 09/12/22
Under its “Fast Forward” climate action plan, which was announced in May 2021, MIT has set a goal of eliminating direct emissions from its campus by 2050. An important near-term milestone will be achieving net-zero…
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NSF invests in use-inspired climate change and clean energy research

By NSF News 09/09/22
PIRE awards are visionary, ambitious, interdisciplinary, use-inspired research projects that require international collaboration. The primary goal of the program is to support high-caliber research proposals that show a clear potential for rapid scale-up and growth.…
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A feud over fossil fuel money

By Manuela Andreoni 05/24/22
At Stanford University, the question is ringing loud. This month, hundreds of students, faculty members and alumni, in an open letter, called on the university’s new climate school to decline funding from fossil fuel companies.
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These Students Are Building a Guide to the Climate Crisis

By Lloyd Alter 05/19/22
For the last two years, my students have been assigned research papers on aspects of the climate crisis, in an attempt to produce a sort of encyclopedia of carbon. Some of these subjects are big,…
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