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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.06
Liaison Allie Schwartz
Submission Date April 14, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Columbia University
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.39 / 8.00 Alison Miller
Deputy Executive Director
Earth Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students who graduated from a program that has adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:
13,113

Total number of graduates from degree programs:
23,870

A copy of the list or inventory of degree, diploma or certificate programs that have sustainability learning outcomes:
A list of degree, diploma or certificate programs that have sustainability learning outcomes:

Below is a list of education programs in the fields of environmental studies and sustainable development; all of which have some sustainability learning outcome(s).

B.S. Earth and Environmental Engineering;
B.A. Earth Sciences;
B.A. Environmental Sciences
B.A. Environmental Biology,
Concentration in Environmental Biology;
B.A. Sustainable Development;
Special Concentration in Sustainable Development;
B.A. Environmental Biology,
B.A. Environmental Science,
B.A. Environmental Policy,
Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology;
M.A. Climate and Society;
M.A. Conservation Biology;
M.I.A/M.P.A Concentration in Energy and Environment;
M.P.A. Development Practice;
M.P.A. Environmental Science and Policy;
Executive M.P.A. Concentration in Environment Policy and Sustainability Management;
M.P.H. Environmental Health Sciences;
M.S. Earth Resources Engineering;
M.S. Sustainability Management;
Ph.D. Earth and Environmental Engineering;
Eng.Sc.D. Earth and Environmental Engineering;
Ph.D. Earth and Environmental Sciences;
Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences;
Dr.P.H. Environmental Health Sciences;
Ph.D. Sustainable Development;
Ph.D. Ecology and Evolutionar Biology;
Ph.D. Evolutionary Primatology;
Professional Certification in Sustainability Analytics;
Professional Certification in Sustainable Water Management;
Certificate in Conservation and Environmental Sustainability"


A list or sample of the sustainability learning outcomes associated with degree, diploma or certificate programs (if not included in an inventory above):

Below are two samples. More information on each program and its ojectives can be found in the link above and attached inventory.

Example: The MPA in Environmental Science and Policy: Graduates are creating a new profession of earth systems problem-solvers: individuals who are prepared for leadership positions in local, state, and federal government agencies, as well as in nonprofit organizations and the environmental divisions of private corporations. They are also well suited for designing cost-effective programs and implementing policies. Most importantly, a deep understanding of earth systems informs their work, allowing them to craft the kinds of solutions necessary for our increasingly complex environmental problems.The skills and concepts include an understanding of:
1) the connections between policy intent, program design, organizational capacity, and political feasibility;
2) the relationship of program to organization and organization to budget;
3) the design of studies that are methodologically rigorous and defensible within the constraints of available resources;
4) environmental economics, politics, policy, and management;
5) public and environmental ethics;
6) perceptions of environmental quality and environmental values, and how to explain science to nonscientists and manage the work of scientists;
7) how to manage organizational change and innovation;
8) how to work in groups and deal with group conflict;
9) professional communication, including memo and report writing and the conduct of formal oral briefing

Example: The MS in Sustainability Management learning objectives:
• Graduates will be able to analyze work processes and operations in order to understand how to improve resource efficiency and limit and environmental impact.
• Graduates will be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of the processes through which rules and regulations targeted toward sustainability are created and implemented.
• Graduates will be able to apply the principles of financial and economic analysis to advance sustainability goals.
• Graduates will analyze the impacts of economic activity and human settlement patterns on the environment.
• Students will be able to synthesize, apply and communicate sustainability knowledge to solve environmental problems."


The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability learning outcomes is available:

All undergraduate students in Columbia College are required to take the course Frontiers of Science which includes environmental topics. More info: http://www.college.columbia.edu/core/classes/fos.php

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.