Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.76
Liaison Richard Johnson
Submission Date Oct. 13, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Rice University
AC-3: Undergraduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Amy Griffiths
Sustainability Intern
CEVE
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one sustainability-focused major, degree program, or the equivalent for undergraduate students (I.e. an interdisciplinary academic program that concentrates on sustainability as an integrated concept)?:
Yes

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate degree program:
Environmental Science

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program:

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary program that addresses environmental issues in the context of what we know about earth, ecology, and society. In addition to its science core, the major also seeks to provide students with some appreciation of social, cultural, and policy dimensions of environmental issues.

Upon completing the BS degree, students majoring in Environmental Science will be able to:
1. Demonstrate foundational knowledge in the natural sciences that is fundamental to the Environmental Sciences.
2. Be able to integrate knowledge of natural and applied sciences to understand complex natural systems and cycles.
3. Be able to synthesize knowledge from natural sciences and engineering and apply it to the study of the environment.
4. Understand environmental issues from a scientific perspective and be able to solve issues using a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives (e.g., social sciences, economics, humanities, and/or architecture).
5. Be able to apply methods and theories to develop and test hypotheses or to propose and analyze solutions to environmental issues, using sound experimental, statistical, and/or design practices.

A BA version of the degree is also available, without the fifth learning outcome described above.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program:
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Civil and Environmental Engineering

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):

Civil and environmental engineers play a vital role in society. Civil engineers build bridges, tunnels, dams and are involved in designing the infrastructure for transportation, commerce, energy and industry. Environmental engineers research and design sustainable solutions for environmental problems. They identify, design, build and operate systems to restore, preserve and protect the environment.

At Rice, these disciplines offer students a robust curriculum, with hands-on opportunities for research and design. Because our classes are small, undergraduates get to know the faculty who teach their classes and learn about research opportunities in their labs. Our degree programs provide students with the theoretical and practical foundations they need to solve the problems of the 21st century. Civil and environmental engineers are the backbone of the Rice chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), which is one of the largest chapters in the country. Most of the projects undertaken by EWB are water related, and three are currently underway in Latin America.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
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A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
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The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
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The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program(s):
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Does the institution offer one or more sustainability-focused minors, concentrations or certificates for undergraduate students?:
Yes

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Minor in Energy & Water Sustainability

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:

This EWS minor is focused on learning to think and converse about sustainability. The introductory course in sustainable design is intended to provide basic information on the fusion of economic, environmental and social considerations in a problem-solving, design-oriented classroom. Additional courses will focus upon economic tools as well as engineering analytical tools. Higher-level courses are designed to address practical problem-solving as well as understanding policy issues. The goal of this minor is to educate students to be able to think through energy and water issues and solutions with a view toward the long-term sustainability of human settlements and the Earth.


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Concentration on Environmental Engineering within the Civil Engineering Major

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):

The Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering is designed for students who have an interest in one of the broad and diverse fields of civil and environmental engineering. The degree is designed to prepare students for a career in engineering and offers an innovative and challenging BS engineering curriculum that provides significant flexibility to the student. The program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET and offers an introduction to civil and environmental engineering. Students can then choose one of four focus areas, including environmental engineering (air and water quality, transport theory, modeling, and energy).


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
Environmental Studies minor

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):

The Environmental Studies minor was specifically created to provide undergraduates from a broad range of academic backgrounds with a cohesive program offering foundational literacy in the social, cultural, and scientific dimensions of environmental issues, and a cross-disciplinary holistic understanding of the challenges and solutions for creating a sustainable world. Students completing the minor will be able to synthesize frameworks, tools, and perspectives from multiple disciplines; master sustainability terminology; understand major environmental issues from multiple perspectives; develop and assess environmental solutions in an informed and logical manner; and convey knowledge and insights about environmental issues in multiple formats.


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused undergraduate minors, concentrations and certificates:

Environmental Science within the BS in Earth Science, The Department of Earth Science offers undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue exciting careers in energy, the environment, government, education and academia. Our curriculum teaches skills that prepare students for the challenges of the 21st Century in geology, geophysics, geochemistry, environmental sciences, and more; Global Health Technologies minor, Advances in biotechnology and bioengineering are transforming how disease is detected and treated, and have led to significant advances in health over the last 50 years. Developing countries, however, have largely missed out on the gains in health enjoyed by the rest of the world, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic has greatly increased the complexity of health challenges faced by the world’s poorest regions. With the GLHT minor, BTB aims to create future leaders who can develop effective solutions to significant world health challenges. Many students pursuing the GLHT minor—having been trained to develop and implement appropriate biotechnology and bioengineering solutions that integrate scientific, engineering, health, policy, and economic data perspectives—enter careers in medicine, public health, public policy, and international development. (https://ga.rice.edu/programs.aspx?FID=2147483695#Minor_EnvironmentalStudies).
Additionally, within the Chemical Engineering major, students may choose a Energy and Sustainability Focus, which introduces students to some of the opportunities and challenges that engineers find in the energy industry (http://chbe.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=2147484098).


Additional documentation to support the submission:
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