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)…


Teach About Climate Change With 30 Graphs From The New York Times

How can we help students really see climate change when it is a planet-wide process gradually unfolding over decades? Any given hurricane, prolonged drought or scorching hot day (or summer) might be more likely to…

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.


Al Gore’s policy checklist for reaching net zero

By Leah Garden & Elsa Wenzel 04/16/24
Companies have the power to reach "true net zero" by midcentury, according to former vice president Al Gore, if they "stop using the sky as an open sewer. We've got to get to true net…
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Young people push for a Green New Deal for schools across the U.S.

By YCC Team 02/23/24
So students in the Sunrise Movement have been lobbying their local school boards across the country to pass a Green New Deal for Schools. In the Boulder Valley School District in Colorado, they recently celebrated…
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The plastics industry would like a word with your kids

By Evan Halper 02/14/24
Wearing a lab coat, Eve Vitale asked a chemistry class at Warren Mott High School if anyone had heard anything bad about plastics. Hands shot up. It doesn’t degrade, said one student. It hurts the…
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A Fossil Fuel Miseducation

By Keerti Gopal 01/23/24
On a balmy day in December, in Oblong, Illinois, I sat on a folding chair in a small, windowless room and watched a ’90s VHS tape about a high school student who couldn’t live without…
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Climate education should be taught in schools

By Anita Soracco 11/27/23
COP28, the 28th annual United Nations climate summit that starts Nov. 30 and runs through Dec. 12, will be focused on how to limit and prepare for future climate change. Meanwhile, the most frequent sentiment…
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In the name of science: How Alabama schools discredit evolution, climate change

By John Archibald 11/21/23
The very first sentence in Alabama schools Superintendent Eric G. Mackey’s message to teachers about the state’s new proposed science standards begins with an undeniable truth:
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Texas board rejects many science textbooks over climate change messaging

By Erin Douglas and Kevin Vu 11/17/23
A Republican-controlled Texas State Board of Education on Friday rejected seven of 12 proposed science textbooks for eighth graders that for the first time will require them to include information on climate change.
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Top Texas energy regulator pans proposed science textbooks as ‘woke environmental agenda’

By Edward McKinley and Austin Bureau 11/07/23
One of the state’s top oil and gas regulators is urging the State Board of Education to reject new science textbooks for use in schools statewide, saying they “could promote a radical environmentalist agenda.”
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Smith College, MA embarks on $220-million geothermal project

By Carlo Cariaga 11/01/23
The Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts has started work on a geothermal system to make their heating and cooling carbon-neutral by 2030.
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Dartmouth students urge college to stop accepting research money from fossil fuel companies

By Mara Hoplamazian 10/24/23
A group of students at Dartmouth College is calling on the school to stop accepting research money from fossil fuel companies, citing concerns over connections between Irving Oil and the Irving Institute for Energy and…
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Letter to the Editor | Across diverse backgrounds, we are more aligned on how to approach Stanford’s fossil fuel engagement than you might think

By June Choi and Others 10/05/23
We are a group of six graduate researchers with diverse professional backgrounds and opinions on fossil fuel companies’ role in funding affiliate program research. Three of us have been actively protesting fossil fuel funding at…
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Biden’s new Climate Corps will train thousands of young people

By Maxine Joselow 09/20/23
President Biden on Wednesday announced an initiative to train more than 20,000 young people in skills crucial to combating climate change, such as installing solar panels, restoring coastal wetlands and retrofitting homes to be more…
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