With companies all over the globe adopting eco-friendly policy and practices, a green degree is one of the greatest investments a student can make for the future. Several reputable universities now offer comprehensive programs that focus specifically on Environmental Studies and application. Whether a student hopes to engage in green education through field work and environmental preservation, the study of environmentally friendly business practices, or a course in government environmental policy, the myriad resources in environmental education that can be found at these top institutes guarantee a quality green education. The following universities offer some of the most celebrated course studies for green degrees:
The College of the Atlantic of Bar Harbor, Maine offers one of the most unique environmental degree programs. All students at the College of the Atlantic pursue the same major: Human Ecology. Human Ecology is the study of the relationship between humans and the earth. Though all students share the same major, each individual's green course of study is vastly different. Students study art, music, architecture, biology, politics and several other courses with a green lens. Other specialized environmental courses include Sustainability, Ecotourism: Practices and Principles, E-marketing, and Business and Non-Profit Basics. In addition to offering a curriculum that focuses solely on environmental education, the university has adopted some of the most innovative green practices in the country. The College of the Atlantic was the first school to pledge carbon neutrality. The institute promises to offset all carbon emissions generated by the college through facility renovations, composting, and other green practices. The College of the Atlantic offers a unique college experience and an environmentally focused curriculum to interested students.
Oberlin College is yet another school that has made environmental practices and green education a central pillar of its mission. In 2005, the school developed a web based monitoring system that tracks energy and water consumption in several of the dormitories. Based on the data, students worked with experts to develop lifestyle plans to reduce overall campus consumption of resources. The school's Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies has also been praised by The New York Times as one of the greatest innovations in environmentally responsible architecture. This building, alongside the Environmental Science Laboratory, provides students with state of the art facilities and the opportunity to develop an individualized course of study. Environmental Studies at Oberlin College focuses on practical environmental application. After obtaining a green degree from Oberlin College, students go out into the world with the tools to identify the most pressing environmental issues, develop policy that addresses these issues, and then develop sustainable systems for consumption in the future.
Since beginning its Green Campus Initiative in 2000, Harvard University has proved to be one of the fastest moving institutes on the environmental education wave. Harvard has completely revamped its facility management: adopting a green cleaning service, using local and organic food products in the student cafeteria, and creating bio-diesel from cooking oil used in university kitchens. Harvard also obtained green credits for 20 new campus constructions since the year 2002, more than any other college in the country. At Harvard, Environmental Science and Public Policy is the green program that many undergraduate students choose to pursue. Students engage in a multidisciplinary program of study, gaining the scientific foundation for Environmental Studies and simultaneously exploring relevant economic, social, and political issues. Harvard prepares students for making great changes through its course in environmental policy.
In 2009, University of Colorado at Boulder was ranked the top green university by Sierra Magazine . The university has developed one of the most thorough eco-friendly campuses, and Environmental Studies is one of its most popular majors among students. The university uses several green initiatives to make clean living feasible for students despite the busy lifestyle of an undergraduate. The university employs green methods of transportation, including the distribution of free bus passes to all students, a free bike-share program, and the utilization of bio-fuel in all university vehicles. The university's new constructions are also all environmentally friendly, and the university was ranked #1 by Sierra Magazine for eco-friendly waste management. Perhaps most unique about UC Boulder is the student solidarity in creating a green campus and a green future. The campus' extensive recycling program is entirely student run, as is the school's Environmental Center. The majority of students are environmentally aware and utilize some aspect of the school's green programming. UC Boulder also offers some of the best student resources for those pursuing a green education. The school offers 14 degree programs related to Environmental Studies, produces more environmental scientific publications than any other school, and is in the top three in funding for its Environmental Studies programs. UC Boulder is an especially good option for students focused on environmental research.
Last but certainly not least in the long list of green schools, is Arizona State University at the Tempe campus. Environmental practices are at the heart of ASU. The school houses more solar panels than any other college in the US, and has renovated several of its buildings for greater energy efficiency. The school's administration has shown time and time again its devotion to creating a green environment for students. The university's president, Michael Crow, serves as the co-chair of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment and has been active in promoting campus sustainability. In 2007, Arizona State University introduced the School of Sustainability. This school is the first of its kind, offering a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Sciences to students. The Bachelor of Arts offers four tracks: Society and Sustainability, Policy and Governance in Sustainable Systems, International Development and Sustainability, and Sustainable Urban Dynamics. In the Bachelor of Sciences program, students can study Sustainable Energy, Materials, and Technology, The Economics of Sustainability, and Sustainable Ecosystems. The school's extensive yet focused curriculum is ideal for students looking for an environmental education with an eye towards sustainability.
Other green schools of interest include:
- Bates College
- University of Washington at Seattle
- Emory University
- Green Mountain College
- Dickinson College
- University of California, Irvine
- Hampshire College
- Northland College
- Montana State University
- Cornell University
The list of green universities continues to grow as the world becomes more environmentally aware and interested in sustainable and green practices. Through obtaining a green degree, students not only guarantee a lucrative career path for themselves, but have the privilege of participating in world-wide reform and the effort to preserve the planet for the future. The above mentioned environmental schools equip students with the tools, education, and degree to make that change possible.