Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Chelsea Hamilton
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Vanderbilt University
AC-3: Undergraduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Chelsea Hamilton
Sustainability Outreach Coordinator
Sustainability and Environmental Management Office
"---" 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:
Civil and Environmental Engineering

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program:

Vanderbilt’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers a broad-based education in civil and environmental engineering fundamentals, coupled with development of leadership, management, and communications skills to establish a foundation for lifelong learning and flexible career development. This goal requires going beyond technical competence in a balanced education to develop future leaders in the fields of consulting, industry, business, law, government, and research. Civil engineers must be able to face complex problems of modern society involving the development of physical facilities that serve the public while protecting the environment and preserving social values. Challenges facing civil and environmental engineers concern housing, urban transportation, pollution control, water resources development, industrial development, maintaining and advancing our nation’s aging infrastructure, and exploring space. Addressing these challenges with today’s limited resources requires innovative and original ideas from highly-skilled engineers. Undergraduates majoring in civil engineering receive a strong background in mathematics, science, engineering science, and engineering design. The program also includes courses in economics, humanities, social sciences, resources management, and public policy. http://engineering.vanderbilt.edu/cee/index.php


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

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

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Vanderbilt offers an undergraduate major leading to the B.A. degree. Students may complete additional course work to attain an Honors degree. Students in EES participate in field and laboratory work as an important part of their studies. The relatively small size of the faculty and student body allows many opportunities for faculty-student interactions. Most students undertake individualized research projects in conjunction with ongoing faculty projects. Students use the major as preparation for graduate studies in the Earth and environmental sciences or related fields, for careers in environmental studies and management, geological assessment and resource exploration (e.g. petroleum, minerals), or in fields such as land-use planning, teaching, law and engineering.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
Independent major in environmental and sustainability studies

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):

Human beings and their societies necessarily interact with and alter Earth’s natural environment. The environmental and sustainability studies independent major allows the student to examine human interaction with the environment from the perspectives of the humanities and social sciences with some exposure to the environmental sciences and/or environmental engineering.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program(s):

Biological Sciences - Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology Major - The Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology (EEOB) major is designed for students with an interest in ecology, evolutionary biology, environmental biology, and conservation biology. http://as.vanderbilt.edu/biosci/

Department of Sociology: Environmental Sociology - Vanderbilt’s Department of Sociology launched its new environmental sociology major in 2015, the first environmental and sustainability studies major outside the sciences at Vanderbilt and one of the first such majors in the country. Students enrolled in the major receive a grounding in environmental science and general sociology, then focus on social questions surrounding environmental issues. Courses cover ecology and society, population and migration, environmental health, social movements and social change, business and civil society, green jobs, government policy and more. http://as.vanderbilt.edu/sociology/undergraduate/environmental-sociology-major/


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 environmental and sustainability studies

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

Human beings and their societies necessarily interact with and alter Earth’s natural environment. The environmental and sustainability studies minor allows the student to examine human interaction with the environment from the perspectives of the humanities and social sciences with some exposure to the environmental sciences and/or environmental engineering. https://my.vanderbilt.edu/environmental/minor-requirements/

The minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies can be combined with almost any undergraduate major at Vanderbilt and can be focused in the following areas:
• Law and policy.
• Business and management.
• Health.
• Advocacy and education.
https://my.vanderbilt.edu/environmental/career-pathways/


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

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

A minor in environmental engineering is available to all non-civil engineering students.


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
Chemistry with an environmental chemistry focus

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

Environmental Chemistry Focus. Environmental chemistry concerns the chemical phenomena that occur in nature. Environmental chemistry spans atmospheric, aquatic, and soil chemistry with a reliance on analytical chemistry for methods of analysis. Environmental chemistry can be applied to the understanding of issues such as ground water pollution, wastewater treatment, ozone depletion, and greenhouse gas emissions.


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:

• Minor in Environmental Science - Environmental science is the study of how the earth’s natural environmental processes work, how they have been or can be modified by humans and society, and how such modifications impact on the biosphere, from the individual level up through the ecosystem level. An environmental science minor provides students the opportunity to expand their education to include a coherent program in the scientific aspects of how we interact with and modify the earth’s environment. http://www.vanderbilt.edu/ees/uploadfiles/UGAD_2010_major_minor_honors.pdf
• Minor in Energy and Environmental Systems - The minor in energy and environmental systems is designed to provide students with a working knowledge of the fundamentals of energy systems and their impact on the environment. The future health and well-being of humanity hinge in large part on smart production and use of energy, water, and related resources, as these are central determinants of climate change, habitable space, and human and ecological health. This program examines the relationships among individual, institutional, and societal choices for energy production and use, and the impacts and benefits of these choices on the environment and health through climate, water quality, and natural resources. http://engineering.vanderbilt.edu/cee/Undergraduate/MinorsCEE.php
• Major and Minor in Communication of Science and Technology - Both the major and minor in Communication of Science and Technology are interdisciplinary. Students must take advanced courses in public speaking, writing, in one or more scientific disciplines, and a course that bridges the sciences with non-science content and issues.  Science communicators in all careers at the interface between the laboratory and the public must have a firm understanding of the language of science as well as the ability to communicate. The suggested courses will provide a strong background in both science/engineering and communication/humanities, preparing students to enter exciting careers. https://as.vanderbilt.edu/cst/


Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Vanderbilt also allows students to design their own majors with the assistance of a faculty advisor, allowing them the flexibility to create a major that truly focuses on sustainability and the environment by utilizing many university department courses to do so. Many students have taken advantage of this, resulting in more departments offering sustainability related courses each semester. Recent student-designed majors include Environmental Policy and Environmental Psychology.

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