Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 79.54
Liaison Kelli O'Day
Submission Date June 20, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of California, Davis
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 13.13 / 14.00 Kelli O'Day
Assessment Program Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the percentage of courses offered by the institution that are sustainability course offerings:
Undergraduate Graduate
Total number of courses offered by the institution 3,951 2,103
Number of sustainability-focused courses offered 516 293
Number of sustainability-inclusive courses offered 344 126

Percentage of courses that are sustainability course offerings:

Total number of academic departments that offer courses:

Number of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:

Percentage of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:

A copy of the institution’s inventory of its sustainability course offerings and descriptions:
Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

A brief description of the methodology used to complete the course inventory :

The Office of the University Registrar provided the Office of Sustainability with a list of all courses offered during our academic time period (2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22) and a list of course descriptions. These lists were combined and sorted to remove tutoring, internships, individual study, thesis units, and TA units, since these are specific to individual students. Courses for which over half of enrolled students were registered to the UC Davis Health campus were also removed, since these courses are assumed to be taught outside of the institutional boundary specified for this report. Some academic departments belonging to the UC Davis Health campus offer courses which were taken primarily on the main campus—since these courses were still included in the inventory, such departments are also included in the total department count. The total number of individual courses analyzed was 6306.

We created keyword lists addressing each of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as a miscellaneous keyword list with broad sustainability terms. Each keyword list was applied to each course description to identify possible sustainability-focused and -inclusive courses. All courses which returned at least one positive match were then manually reviewed (N=2825). During the manual review, each course was assigned a primary SDG if it met the criteria for sustainability-focused courses as defined in the STARS Manual, and no primary SDG if it did not. Additionally, each course was assigned one or more secondary SDGs if it met the criteria for sustainability-inclusive courses as defined in the STARS manual, and none if it did not. A random sample (N=340) of the resulting inventory was reviewed by a different analyst as a form of verification. This review suggested making changes to about 20% of the SDG evaluations contained in the sample; however, a large majority of these changes suggested increasing the sustainability level of the course, indicating that the numbers and inventory provided above may be conservative.

We counted each course only once regardless of the number of offerings. This methodology is consistent throughout all three years and between undergraduate and graduate levels, and aligns with the reporting practices of other universities in the University of California system. Courses which are cross-listed across multiple departments are counted only once.

36 courses in the final inventory could not be linked to a department, usually because they are part of a graduate group that spans multiple departments or which is housed under an institute rather than a department. For these courses, the department is listed as “unidentified.”

How were courses with multiple offerings or sections counted for the figures reported above?:
Each course was counted as a single course regardless of the number of offerings or sections

A brief description of how courses with multiple offerings or sections were counted:


Website URL where information about the sustainability course offerings is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Cora Ballek, Campus Sustainability Data Analyst in the Sustainability office, led in compiling this credit response. Trish Reardon, a Climate and Environmental Justice Fellow in the Sustainability office, assisted in reviewing the course inventory.

In the 2020 submission we counted courses by the number of times they were offered (e.g., a course with two sections taught in the fall term and two sections taught during spring term would count as four courses). To streamline reporting in 2023, we have elected to count a course with multiple offerings as a single course and sustainability course offerings are counted in the same way as total course offerings. For example, a course that is held twice (or if there are two sections) in the fall term and once in the spring term was counted as 1 course (instead of 3 courses). This approach matches the approach that most other UCs are using.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.