Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.89
Liaison Julie Newman
Submission Date Oct. 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.80 / 8.00 MIT Office of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of graduates from degree programs (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, certificates, and other academic designations):

Number of students that graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Percentage of students who graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the institution level (e.g. covering all students)?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the division level (e.g. covering particular schools or colleges within the institution)?:

A list or brief description of the institution level or division level sustainability learning outcomes:

Example of Division Level Learning Outcome:
MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning [DUSP]

Vision & Mission
Over the past half-century, developed countries have experienced rapid urbanization around their edges and deindustrialization in their cores; economic restructuring has had uneven impacts between and within regions. In decades to come, most of the world’s urbanization will occur in the metropolitan regions of Africa, Latin America and Asia, in settlements that lack the infrastructure, resources, and organization to cope with the challenges that confront them. Over the same period, the United States will add over 100 million new residents to metropolitan areas that are increasingly ethnically diverse and persistently unequal, and whose postwar infrastructure is largely crumbling. Cities worldwide will have to deal with climate change, large-scale migration, changes in family structure, rapid technological change, and other powerful forces.

As a department, we can address many, but not all, of the challenges associated with urban development in the twenty-first century. To this end, we must build on our strengths in design and physical planning in order to focus on five critical areas. Each of these domains reflects a globalized world and offers rich opportunities for learning through research, teaching, and engagement in the field. Each domain requires collaboration across disciplines and specializations in our department, thinking and doing at multiple scales (neighborhood, city, region, national, global), and significant innovation in the ways in which we train professionals and define excellence in practice. The following five critical focus areas will strengthen our existing comparative advantages.

Create ecologically resilient and adaptive urban regions.
Forge equitable and well-designed development in a transnational world.
Foster intelligent cities and socially responsive technologies.
Design, build and advocate for affordable, adaptive, and inclusionary housing and neighborhoods.
Engage in effective democratic governance.

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the program level (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, degrees, diplomas, certificates, and other academic designations)?:

A list or brief description of the program level sustainability learning outcomes (or a list of sustainability-focused programs):


Course 1-ENG, Civil and Environmental Engineering (Bachelor of Science in Engineering) http://catalog.mit.edu/schools/engineering/civil-environmental-engineering/#undergraduatetext

Course 2-A, Mechanical Engineering (Bachelor of Science in Engineering) with possible tracks in Environmental Mechanics and Sustainable and Global Development

Course 10-ENG, Chemical Engineering (Bachelor of Science in Engineering) with the option of an Environmental concentration

Course 11, Planning (Bachelor of Science) in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning with a possible concentration in Environmental Policy

Course 12, Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Bachelor of Science) with a possible concentration in Environmental Systems

Course 16-ENG, Aeronautics and Astronautics (Bachelor of Science in Engineering) with a possible concentration in Environment http://catalog.mit.edu/schools/engineering/aeronautics-astronautics/#undergraduatetext

Course 20, Biological Engineering (Bachelor of Science) with a possible concentration in Environmental and Toxicological Studies http://be.mit.edu/academic-programs/current-ug/major-degree-requirements


Minor in Atmospheric Chemistry

Minor in Civil and Environmental Systems

Minor in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences with a possible specialization in Environmental Science

Minor in Energy Studies

Minor in Environmental Engineering Science

Minor in Public Policy with a possible track in Environmental Policy

Minor in Toxicology and Environmental Health

Minor in Urban Studies and Planning

Do course level sustainability learning outcomes contribute to the figure reported above (i.e. in the absence of program, division, or institution level learning outcomes)?:

A list or brief description of the course level sustainability learning outcomes and the programs for which the courses are required:

Examples of course level sustainability descriptions taken from required courses of the Sloan Sustainability Certificate:

S-Lab: 15.915

The Sustainable Business Lab (S-Lab) provides students with a unique opportunity to explore the connection between business, the environment, and society. Through their S-Lab projects, students apply knowledge from the classroom to solve real-world problems and see firsthand how businesses are tackling the massive challenges of sustainability. In the process they develop and refine decision making tools that advance the sustainability field.

Under the guidance of an MIT faculty mentor, interdisciplinary teams of four students engage in a twelve week-long project with S-Lab’s partner companies and non-profit organizations. The projects investigate a range of sustainability issues, including: aligning business strategies with social and environmental goals; developing methodologies to measure business impacts on the environment; and measuring the return on investment from environmental and social initiatives. The analyses of the S-Lab teams help partner organizations take concrete actions to improve social, environmental, and economic outcomes in the long-term. Many final project reports are made publicly available to diffuse the students’ insights, frameworks, and tools, and advance the field of sustainability broadly.

15.871 System Dynamics

Accelerating economic, technological, social, and environmental change challenges managers to
learn at increasing rates. Today’s economy requires us to design and manage complex systems
where dynamic complexity is unavoidable, thanks to multiple feedback effects, long time delays,
and nonlinear responses to our decisions. Yet learning in such environments is difficult precisely
because we never confront many of the consequences of our most important decisions. Effective
learning in such environments requires methods to develop systems thinking by representing and
assessing dynamic complexity. It also requires tools that managers can use to accelerate learning
throughout an organization.

15.878 Capstone in Sustainability

This course is designed for students pursuing MIT Sloan’s Sustainability Certificate, in their final
half semester at MIT. 15.913 Strategies for Sustainable Business is a formal pre-requisite (see
instructors for any exceptions). Its purpose is to give students an understanding of what is
involved in pursuing a sustainable society, and to support them in envisioning their role as
individuals and as a cohort of leaders. We have four learning goals for this course:

1) To give students a framework of “leverage points” for achieving a sustainable society
and to understand the two most important global initiatives for making this happen: The
Paris COP21 Agreement on climate change and the U.N.’s Sustainable Development

2) To understand the existing context of institutions that are key to achieving a sustainable
society: government laws and regulations, companies, investors, and civil society.

3) To understand forces that can change the existing context for achieving a sustainable
society: social movements, NGOs, media and social media, and transformative

4) To help students develop their own plan for how they can contribute to achieving a
sustainable society in the short and long term.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Minor in Environment and Sustainability minored launched after the FY17 reporting year in Fall 2017

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.