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UC San Diego’s expanding undergraduate sustainability curriculum connects students, staff, and faculty who collaborate on campus sustainability projects with practical application. Focused academic disciplines and multidisciplinary programs prepare our students to become socially responsible global citizens.

For more information about sustainability-related courses in other disciplines, check the General Catalog. Additional courses related to sustainability will be added as they become available.

Sustainability Course Inventory

The 2014–2017 UC San Diego Sustainability Course Inventory (PDF) includes courses that contain aspects of environmental, social or economic sustainability — or that focus on sustainability as a big idea — per the guidelines of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System Version 2.1.The UC San Diego Sustainability Programs Office compiled this list from course catalogs and departmental websites over the 2017-18, 2016-17 and 2015-16 academic years. Courses offered multiple times or those cross-listed with other courses are  listed once.

We update this list based on feedback from administrators, deans, provosts, faculty, lecturers and academic staff — specifically, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Education, the Council of Undergraduate Education Committee and the Office of the Dean of the Graduate Division.

To submit additions or corrections, please email and include your name, title, affiliation, phone and email for verification.

Earth Sciences

For students interested in careers in earth sciences, Scripps Institution of Oceanography offers a B.S. degree and a contiguous B.S./M.S. degree in Earth Sciences. The program also offers an academic minor in Earth Sciences.<8p>

Contact Academic Coordinator Jane Teranes, 858-822-2099.

Environmental Chemistry

Students have an option of earning a B.S. in Environmental Chemistry that is ACS-Certified or not. The ACS certified version is recommended for those who intend to apply to graduate school in chemistry. The Non-Certified program is designed to prepare students to enter the industrial, government, or legal workforce, or to continue studies in some of the environmental sciences. This major provides students with an opportunity to explore a wide variety of chemistry courses and how they relate to the environment and the atmosphere.

Contact Professor Douglas Magde, 858-534-3199.

Environmental Engineering

The Environmental Engineering major provides students with an understanding of the environmental implications of human and industrial activities on the Earth and its atmosphere and oceans. Students learn the fundamental knowledge and design skills needed in the competitive job market to develop technologies that enable sustainable economic growth.

Contact Professor Jan Kleissl, 858-534-8087.

Environmental Studies

The Environmental Studies minor offers students from every major a basic grounding in the scientific, technical, social, and cultural issues presented by the interaction of human beings with their environment and the need to build a more environmentally sustainable future.

Contact John Muir College Advising, 858-534-3580,

Environmental Systems

The Environmental Systems major recognizes the growing demand for environmental specialists and is designed to prepare undergraduates to enter a broad spectrum of environmental careers and graduate programs in, for example, the natural sciences, the social sciences, public policy, law, and business.

An Environmental Systems minor will expose students to the interdisciplinary approach necessary to address environmental problems. The program places a strong emphasis on a rigorous natural science foundation.

Contact Academic Coordinator Jane Teranes, 858-822-2099.

Marine Biology

Scripps Institution of Oceanography offers a Marine Biology major, resulting in a B.S. degree. Undergraduates in this major will develop an understanding of the biology of marine organisms and the biological and physical processes that affect these organisms, their populations, and their coastal and oceanic ecosystems. The degree requires a foundation in the natural sciences, a rigorous core of marine biology courses and a unifying laboratory/field course that engages students more directly in the discovery process and in analyzing and interpreting data.

Contact Academic Coordinator Jane Teranes, 858-822-2099.

Marine Sciences

The Marine Science minor is designed to complement the strong disciplinary training of UC San Diego basic natural science and engineering majors (chemistry, physics, biological sciences, earth sciences, engineering, mathematics, etc.) by providing a broad interdisciplinary perspective with an applied environmental focus.

Contact Academic Coordinator Jane Teranes, 858-822-2099.

Programs Abroad

Contact Director Kim Burton,, 858-534-1123.

Urban Studies and Planning

The Urban Studies and Planning program focuses upon regional planning and policy issues, particularly in the San Diego/Tijuana cross border region, and encourages students to think creatively and holistically across academic divides. Students gain a solid liberal arts background as well as the analytical and technical skills needed for successful graduate study and professional work in a number of fields.

Contact Professor Keith Pezzoli, 858-534-3691.