Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.33
Liaison Lisa Kilgore
Submission Date March 1, 2024

STARS v2.2

Cornell University
AC-3: Undergraduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Sarah Carson
Director, Campus Sustainability Office
FS - Energy & Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one ​sustainability-focused​ major, degree, or certificate program for undergraduate students?:

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate degree program:
Environment and Sustainability Sciences (ESS) Major

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program:
The interdisciplinary curriculum provides a comprehensive and integrated view of the biological, physical-chemical, ecological, human, and social dimensions of the environment. It’s designed to advance students’ ability to solve real-world environmental problems, environmental policy decisions, resource management actions, biodiversity conservation, and human health. Concentrations include Environmental Biology and Applied Ecology, Sustainable Business and Environmental Economics, Environmental Humanities, Environmental Policy and Governance, and Land, Air and Water Resources. The curriculum helps students to “compare and contrast multiple perspectives on the sustainability of human-environment relationships, including implications for food, land, air, water, energy, climate, and biodiversity,” and “critically evaluate information about how the environment influences human resource use.” As such, graduate students will be able to “formulate approaches to environmental challenges that could help build sustainable human-ecological systems,” and enter the public dialogue using effective communication strategies.

Website URL for the undergraduate degree program:
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Environmental Engineering

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
The major is designed to prepare students to contribute to the design, construction and operation of solutions to societal problems involving environmental systems, including water, food, energy, and public health. The curriculum is structured to provide an appropriate background in the physical, chemical and biological sciences together with the mathematical, planning, analysis and design tools necessary to address complex environmental engineering concerns. The curriculum covers many different focuses including sustainable energy generation, water and wastewater treatment processes, design and management of environmental and water resource systems, transport of contaminants, and the recycling of energy and materials.

Website URL for the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
Agricultural Sciences

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
The Agricultural Sciences major includes an interdisciplinary curriculum based on science of agricultural systems and the related environmental and socio-economic issues, including sustainable agriculture, integrated pest management, genetics, soil, plant, animal and food science, business management and international agriculture. The major prepares graduates to be critical thinkers, who understand the science behind complex issues such as global food supply and security and climate change, while also understanding the global marketplace. Students gain an interdisciplinary knowledge of production of plant and animal systems, in addition to the ability to “develop and apply sustainable and productive solutions that address the complex, multidisciplinary nature of food and agriculture challenges both domestically and globally.”

Website URL for the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program(s):
Animal Science: The Animal Science major applies animal biology, biochemistry, molecular biology and other life sciences to the study of animal breeding and genetics, nutrition, physiology, growth, behavior and management. The major promotes experiential learning to advance the understanding of animal biology and address local and global issues facing animal animal industries. The education is built on the mission to develop new techniques and information to benefit animals, agriculture and human health. (https://cals.cornell.edu/animal-science/degrees-programs)

Atmospheric Science: Students in Atmospheric Science study the behavior of weather and climate while gaining experience in the analysis, interpretation and forecasting of meteorological events. The curriculum emphasizes global changes to our atmosphere including climate change and global warming. (https://cals.cornell.edu/education/degrees-programs/atmospheric-science-major)

Biological (and Environmental) Engineering: Biological Engineering students learn to combine the power of engineering principles and techniques with the rapidly developing science of biology to produce solutions with consideration of environmental impact, public health, safety and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, and economic factors. Sustainability is at the core of the curriculum, with a consistent focus on engineering design that protects the environment and does not compromise the needs of future generations.

Civil and Environmental Engineering: Students are trained in creating enduring systems and constructed facilities that help meet the basic needs of society through economical, safe, aesthetically appealing, sustainable and environmentally sound solutions. Curriculum focuses on sustainable infrastructure, including water purification and distribution systems, as well as analyzing land, water, air, and pollution problems, and sustainable city planning. (https://www.cee.cornell.edu/cee/programs/undergraduate-programs/civil-engineering-major)

Design + Environmental Analysis: The major trains students in human-centered design, environmental psychology, ergonomics, and facility strategy and management, so students can work to create strategic sustainable and healthy futures by design. Students use innovative design thinking and research to understand how our daily lives are impacted by our built environment. The Sustainable Futures core theme focuses on green ergonomics, sustainable materials and processes, life-cycle evaluation and LEED, regenerative and resilient design, and the triple bottom line: E3.

Entomology: The Entomology major provides an education in biological and environmental sciences, with a special emphasis on insects. Students may begin careers in various aspects of basic or applied insect biology including integrated pest management, insect pathology, environmental assessment, medical or veterinary entomology, insect toxicology, apiculture, insect systematics or insect ecology. (https://cals.cornell.edu/education/degrees-programs/entomology-major-minor)

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences: This degree will prepare students to tackle some of the most pressing challenges of our time including: global warming, dwindling energy resources, inadequate water supplies, political strife over strategic minerals, and mega-disasters threatened by volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunami, and hurricanes. The program is unique in that it incorporates fundamentals of earth science with the emergence of a new and more complete approach, encompassing all components of the earth system—air, life, rock, and water—to gain a comprehensive understanding of the world as we know it.

Fashion Design Management: The Fashion Design Management path focuses on the processes used to design, manufacture, and market apparel and textile products. Students explore design, materials, production and supply chain, marketing, communications, and entrepreneurship, as well as the impact of developing technologies and fashion sustainability. (https://www.human.cornell.edu/hcd/academics/undergraduate-study/fashion-design-and-management)

Food Science: The Food Science major allows students to gain skills and advance their knowledge so they can make meaningful contributions toward ensuring that all people have access to a safe, healthy, affordable and sustainable food and water supply. Students conduct research on the safety, quality, and environmental impact of the available food supply, as well as various methods of waste reutilization. (https://cals.cornell.edu/education/degrees-programs/food-science-major-minor) 

Global Development: The curriculum was created to address the need for innovative and critical thinking on the concept and practice of development with the goal of improving lives, reducing inequality and protecting the environment . Students receive comprehensive training in the key ideas, issues, and debates central to global development; and specialize in either social and economic development, agriculture and food systems or environment and development. (https://cals.cornell.edu/education/degrees-programs/global-development-major)

Global and Public Health Sciences: The major is intended for students who are interested in the health problems of communities and the actions that will protect or improve the lives of large numbers of individuals. These actions typically require a multidisciplinary approach that involves the biomedical, social, behavioral, political and environmental sciences, and a careful consideration of cultural and ethnic contexts. Public health actions often address such issues as obesity and diabetes, food security, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, quality of food, water and air, and access to health care. (https://www.human.cornell.edu/dns/academics/undergraduate/majors/gphs)

International Agriculture and Rural Development: The major is designed for students to work within rural communities to address poverty and hunger through innovations in agriculture, increase food security, advance science and policy related to sustainable development, and contribute to the economic development of emerging economies by strengthening private strategies and informing public policies. [recently combined with Developmental Sociology to form the Global Development Major] (https://cals.cornell.edu/education/degrees-programs/international-agriculture-rural-development-major-minor)

Landscape Architecture: Students develop an artistic mastery of the media of landscape – landform, plants, water, and non-vegetal materials and their manipulation through the application of ecological and technological practices. The major is well suited for students interested in urban development, land-use planning, conservation and ecological design. (https://cals.cornell.edu/landscape-architecture/programs/bachelor-science)

Nutritional Sciences: Our Nutritional Science program draws upon chemistry, biology and the social sciences to understand complex relationships among human health and well-being, food and lifestyle patterns, food and agricultural systems and institutional environments. Studies focus on the need to provide a sustainable, accessible, and nutritious food supply for a growing population. (https://cals.cornell.edu/education/degrees-programs/nutritional-sciences-major) 

Plant Sciences: Plant Science students will gain expertise in global sustainability issues including producing enough food for a growing world population, breeding plants to tolerate the heat- and drought-stress caused by climate change, and developing sustainable cropping practices to produce healthful and nutritious food. Students will also gain expertise in restoring and managing damaged ecosystems to better support those who live there, as well as conserving species, through plant collections in gardens and arboretums, for future generations. The curriculum includes the study of plant growth, reproduction, evolution, and adaptation, as well as the use of plants for food, fiber, and ornamental purposes. (https://cals.cornell.edu/education/degrees-programs/plant-sciences-major-minor)

Urban and Regional Studies: The curriculum focuses on the vast spectrum of social and economic forces that have changed cities. Students analyze what these changes mean for people in their daily lives, and how citizens, community groups, and planners can work together to make productive, sustainable, safe, lively, and livable places. (https://aap.cornell.edu/academics/crp/undergraduate/bs-urs-degree-details)

Does the institution offer one or more sustainability-focused minors or concentrations for undergraduate students?:

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor or concentration:
Community Food Systems

A brief description of the undergraduate minor or concentration:
The minor engages students with issues related to food security, food sovereignty, and food justice. The program takes an interdisciplinary and engaged approach to learning about the social and ecological dimensions of diverse food systems, and integrates community-based learning and research to help students contribute to more sustainable and equitable food systems.

Website URL for the undergraduate minor or concentration:
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor or concentration (2nd program):
Sustainable Business and Economic Policy

A brief description of the undergraduate minor or concentration (2nd program):
The minor equips students with frameworks and tools to understand the interrelationship between the economy and the environment. Students learn about the role of government in addressing environmental problems as well as emerging opportunities for private businesses as we transition to more sustainable economic development. Courses can include: Resource Economics, Business and Economics of Energy, Environmental and Finance Markets, and Sustainable Development.

Website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor or concentration (3rd program):
Digital Agriculture

A brief description of the undergraduate minor or concentration (3rd program):
Students develop an understanding of the agricultural, technological, societal, organizational, occupational, and environmental considerations facing farmers and researchers as they seek to feed the world’s population in safe, profitable, and efficient ways that are sustainable for the planet and equitable for its people. Students explore how technologies – such as robots, drones, sensors, machine learning, data models, information systems, networking solutions, cell phone applications, and more – are being developed and applied to sustainably address issues in food systems involving plant, animal, and soil.

Website URL for the undergraduate minor or concentration (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused undergraduate minors and concentrations:
Minors, sustainability-focused learning outcome, link:

Animal science: Discover and develop new techniques and information to benefit animals, agriculture and human health (https://cals.cornell.edu/education/degrees-programs/animal-science-major-minor)

Atmospheric Sciences: Study the behavior of weather and climate (https://www.eas.cornell.edu/eas/programs/undergraduate-programs/undergraduate-minors/atmospheric-science-minor)

Climate Change: Understand and explore climate change from varied disciplinary perspectives (https://www.eas.cornell.edu/eas/programs/undergraduate-programs/undergraduate-minors/climate-change-minor)

Crop Management: Gain technical and scientific knowledge for careers in areas such as food production systems, evaluating effects of climate change on food security, and policy related to agricultural sustainability. (https://cals.cornell.edu/school-integrative-plant-science/degrees-programs/undergraduate-plant-sciences-major/minors/crop-management-minor)

Design & Environmental Analysis: Study how our built environment affects the way we live, by studying within themes of Sustainable Futures and Health and Well-Being. (https://www.human.cornell.edu/dea/academics/undergraduate/minors/dea)

Developmental Sociology: understand the relationship between environmental and social problems as well as the many political ideologies, philosophies and movements that have continually redefined how we think of environment and sustainability (https://cals.cornell.edu/education/degrees-programs/development-sociology-major-minor)

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences: Study the natural operating systems of Earth and the tools and techniques used by earth scientists to understand and monitor these solid and fluid systems. (https://www.eas.cornell.edu/eas/programs/undergraduate-programs/undergraduate-minors/earth-and-atmospheric-sciences-minor)

Entomology: Identify the impact of different insect species on agriculture, human health, and society in general, and to be knowledgeable about potential control strategies. (https://cals.cornell.edu/education/degrees-programs/entomology-major-minor)

Environment and Sustainability: Develop integrated analysis of environment and sustainability issues. (https://cals.cornell.edu/environment-sustainability/education/es-minor)

Environmental Engineering: Learn about the scientific, engineering, and economic foundations of environmental engineering so that they are better able to address environmental management and sustainability issues. (https://www.cee.cornell.edu/cee/programs/undergraduate-programs/minor/environmental-engineering)

Food and Agricultural Business: Study the key economic and regulatory elements that affect the production of food. (https://business.cornell.edu/programs/undergraduate/minors/food-and-agricultural-business/)

Food Science: Develop solutions that can be used to make food healthier, safer, more affordable & more sustainable

Fungal Biology: Study fungi, their lifestyles and biology, and their roles in ecosystems and human affairs, including their impacts on biological systems as recyclers, nutrient prospectors, symbionts, pathogens, spoilage organisms, and sources of pharmaceuticals and other useful biochemicals. (https://cals.cornell.edu/school-integrative-plant-science/degrees-programs/undergraduate-plant-sciences-major/minors/fungal-biology-minor)

Global Health: Explore the global burden of disease and examine complex social, economic, political, environmental, and biological factors that structure the origins, consequences, and possible treatments of global health problems. (https://www.human.cornell.edu/dns/academics/undergraduateminors/global)

Healthy Futures: Understand the role of behavioral, social and environmental factors in determining overall health and learn about problem solving in population health and wellness space and its relation to hospitality and design. (https://www.human.cornell.edu/hcd/academics/undergraduate-study/undergraduate-minors)

Horticulture: Increase knowledge and skills for managing fruits, vegetables and landscape plants for the purpose of improving the quality of life for individuals and communities (https://cals.cornell.edu/school-integrative-plant-science/degrees-programs/undergraduate-plant-sciences-major/minors/horticulture-minor)

Infectious Disease Biology: Focus on the intensification of diseases around the world linked to human activity, which has brought about habitat transformation, climate change, biological invasions, environmental contamination, and ensuing losses of biodiversity. (https://cals.cornell.edu/microbiology/academics/undergraduate/minors/infectious-disease-minor)

International Agriculture and Rural Development Studies: Take a complementary set of international development courses focused on interdisciplinary issues associated with food systems and rural development in emerging nations. (http://ip.cals.cornell.edu/undergrad/iard-minor)

International Trade and Development: Apply practical, applied economics and management tools to solve the world's most significant business and social issues. The minor highlights the economics of food and agriculture. (https://business.cornell.edu/programs/undergraduate/minors/international-trade-and-development/)

Landscape Studies: Study the dynamics of landscape and environmental topics within the department to address urgent challenges of coupled human and environmental systems at the threshold of profound environmental change. (https://landscape.cals.cornell.edu/undergraduate/minor)

Marine Biology: Learn about the biology, evolution and ecology of organisms that inhabit these environments and the ecological processes linking them. Study the consequences and feedback of interactions upon the environment, especially due to anthropogenic and global climatic perturbations over evolutionary history. (https://cals.cornell.edu/education/degrees-programs/marine-biology-minor)

Nutrition & Health: Focus on the topics of human health and nutrition, economic influences on human nutrition, epidemiology and public health, food quality and food service management, nutritional biochemistry, and the psychological and social influences on human nutrition. (https://www.human.cornell.edu/dns/academics/undergraduateminors/nutritionhealth)

Plant Breeding: Understanding how plant breeding contributes to modern society’s demands for food, fiber, fuel, and environmental sustainability, especially in the areas of genetic engineering, biofuels, and climate change.

Smart Cities: Gain knowledge on technical skills in civil engineering as well as on the environment, climate change, technology, sensors, and data science to help engineer smart cities of the future. (https://www.cee.cornell.edu/cee/programs/undergraduate-progams/minors/smart-cities-minor)

Soil Science: Learn to identify, understand and manage soils in agriculture and forestry in an environmentally responsible way. (https://cals.cornell.edu/school-integrative-plant-science/degrees-programs/undergraduate-plant-sciences-major/minors/soil-science-minor)

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems: Examine a broad perspective on issues related to delivering an adequate, safe, nutritious, accessible, and sustainable food supply for an expanding global population. (https://cals.cornell.edu/education/degrees-programs/sustainable-agricultural-and-food-systems-minor)

Sustainable Energy Systems: Explore a range of energy resource types and conversion, transmission and storage technologies along with coverage of the environmental, economic, political, and social consequences of various options.


Applied Economics & Management // Agribusiness Management Concentration: Explore the role business plays in society’s effort to feed the world and engage in policy discussions that impact food production, consumption, and trade around the globe. (https://dyson.cornell.edu/programs/undergraduate/academics/degree-requirements/concentrations/)

Applied Economics & Management // Environmental, Energy, and Resource Economics Concentration: Explore the relationship between the economy and the environment and learn how to design policies that consider clean technology and optimal use of natural resources. (https://dyson.cornell.edu/programs/undergraduate/academics/degree-requirements/concentrations/)

Biology // Biodiversity & Systematics, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Human Nutrition, Insect Biology, Marine Biology, Plant Biology: *see https://cals.cornell.edu/biological-sciences/undergraduate-program/major/concentrations for concentration-specific descriptions*

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
Undergraduate Majors and Minors can be found here: https://www.cornell.edu/academics/fields.cfm

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