Columbia University offers unmatched resources for undergraduates interested in the Earth and the environment. In collaboration with academic departments and research centers, the Earth Institute has created programs and opportunities for students from Barnard College, Columbia College, General Studies and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Here you will find links to information on the majors, concentrations and field-study programs at Columbia University that address environmental and sustainable development issues.

Undergraduate Majors and Concentrations

Columbia College and The School of General Studies

In conjunction with the Earth Institute, Columbia College and the School of General Studies offer a major and a special concentration in sustainable development for students interested in studying the complex issues of development as they relate to the interactions of the natural and social systems. Students may also pursue an accelerated program that allows them to earn a BA and an MS in Sustainability Management in just five years.

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers majors in environmental science and in earth science, as well as a concentration in these areas. Students gain an understanding of the natural functioning of our planet and consider the consequences of human interactions with it.

The Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology offers majors and concentrations in environmental biology and in evolutionary biology of the human species.  Students gain a multi-disciplinary perspective on the Earth's declining biodiversity, integrating understanding from relevant fields in biology with insights from relevant fields in the social sciences.

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Through the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, students can pursue a major in earth and environmental engineering, or can choose to blend their scientific pursuits with a liberal arts experience through a dual-degree combined program. The programs prepare students for a wide range of careers that value the Earth, its environment, and its resources.

Barnard College

Through Barnard College’s Department of Environmental Science, students can choose to major in environmental science, environmental biology or environmental policy. Students are trained to cope with balancing human requirements and environmental conservation and may choose to pursue one of several five-year, dual-degree programs. 

Field Study Program

The Summer Ecosystem Experiences for Undergraduates Program (SEE-U)

The Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability (EICES) offers the Summer Ecosystem Experiences for Undergraduates (SEE-U) program which provides undergraduate students of all majors from all accredited colleges or universities with a global understanding of ecology and environmental sustainability. The SEE-U program provides students with the opportunity to conduct fieldwork in unique natural settings in addition to participation in a combination of classroom lectures and lab work.

SEE-U features:

  • Earn 6 Undergraduate Credits in just 5 weeks
  • Receive a transcript from Columbia University
  • No prerequisite required to enroll
  • Fellowship funding is available through EICES