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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-3: Undergraduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Alison Miller
Deputy Executive Director
Earth Institute
"---" 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?:
Yes

The name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (1st program):
Sustainable Development (B.A.)

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (1st program):

The program provides a unique experience, comprising classes specifically designed for sustainable development students and developed by experienced faculty and practitioners. The program provides students with a well-rounded, interdisciplinary education that is geared to the real and complex challenges of sustainable development and our emerging understanding of how to address them. Students will explore how to move toward a trajectory of sustainability that will allow future generations to pursue further progress in human well-being without causing irreparable harm to the planet. Study abroad and internships are strongly encouraged, particularly as a basis for thesis research and to provide students with practical experience early in their professional development.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (1st program):
The name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Environmental Biology (B.A.)

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

The Environmental Biology (EB) major provides students with a strong foundation in areas of organismal biology including evolution, systematics, ecology, population biology, behavior, and biodiversity conservation, as well as an exposure to social sciences such as economics and government. All majors complete an environmental biology research internship, that serves as the basis for the senior thesis. The major provides the solid academic grounding and necessary training to enter the rapidly evolving environmental work force or to pursue graduate studies.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
The name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
Earth and Environmental Science (B.S.)

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

The undergraduate major in earth and environmental sciences provides an understanding of the natural functioning of our planet and considers the consequences of human interactions with it. The program for majors aims to convey an understanding of how the complex earth system works at a level that will encourage students to think creatively about earth system processes and how to address multidisciplinary environmental problems. The breadth of material covered provides an excellent background for those planning to enter the professions of law, business, diplomacy, public policy, teaching, journalism, etc. At the same time, the program provides sufficient depth so that graduates will be prepared for graduate school in the earth sciences. The program can be adjusted to accommodate students with particular career goals in mind.


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

B.S. in Earth and Environmental Engineering http://eee.columbia.edu/degrees-offered
B.A. Environmental Biology, http://envsci.barnard.edu/majors/environmental-biology
B.A. Environmental Science, Barnard http://envsci.barnard.edu/majors/environmental-science
B.A. Environmental Policy, Barnard http://envsci.barnard.edu/majors/environmental-policy


Does the institution offer one or more sustainability-focused minors, concentrations or certificates for undergraduate students?:
Yes

The name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (1st program):
Undergraduate Special Concentration in Environmental Biology

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (1st program):

Columbia offers a concentration in Environmental Biology for students whose main academic focus is elsewhere (e.g. pre-law, economics, chemistry), but who wish to pursue some organized study in our field. The concentration includes fewer introductory and upper division courses, no internship, and no senior seminar.The concentration differs from the major in omitting calculus, physics, the policy course, and the senior seminar with thesis project.


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (1st program):
The name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Undergraduate Concentration in Sustainable Development

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

The special concentration is intentionally more flexible than the major, given that students have their major classes as well. However, its structure allows students to benefit from the program’s cross-disciplinary courses and to build the expertise that will allow them to address the fundamental issue of how to move toward a trajectory of sustainability.A minimum of nine courses and a practicum are required for the special concentration.


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
The name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
Undergraduate Concentration in Environmental Science

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

The concentration in environmental science and the concentration in earth science are designed to give students an understanding of how the Earth works and an introduction to the methods used to investigate earth processes, including their capabilities and limitations. Concentrators often join social professions (business, law, medicine, etc.) and take with them a strong scientific background. They take the same introductory courses as the majors, but fewer basic science and upper-level courses are required.


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