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A woman stands in a creek taking a scientific measurement.

The UT academic community recognizes sustainability as a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field with practical applications across all sectors of the global workforce.

In the Classroom

In addition to the 141 undergraduate courses and 53 graduate courses that relate to sustainability from a variety of departments, in the fall of 2012, the University of Tennessee began offering a sustainability major and minor. Students studying sustainability aim to develop the skills necessary to create a society that reduces its impact on the natural environment, creates a healthy economy, and meets the social and emotional needs of its citizens.

View a list of all sustainability-related majors and minors View a list of all sustainability-related courses

Research and Internships

The Sustainability Internship Program provides students with the opportunity to create and execute a project on an Office of Sustainability program or initiative of their choice. Student interns benefit from a hands-on experience in an environmental organization and professional development training in these unpaid positions. Students gain valuable connections with campus and other members of the University by working together on their projects.

In addition, the Student Environmental Initiatives Facilities Fee offers funding up to $100,000 for design and research projects. This fund is dedicated to projects across all academic departments that will benefit the university, with an emphasis on operational projects to be completed by Facilities Services or an outside firm as needed.

Study Abroad

Studying abroad allows students to have wonderful and challenging experiences that will allow them to grow both academically and personally and prepare them to address current and future environmental issues in today’s globalizing world. If you are interested in studying abroad with a focus on sustainability, please visit the study abroad website and use the sustainability filter under field of study in the program search.


Outline of GermanySustainability in Germany

Students will focus on research, programs and strategies, as well as the implementation of plans that are aimed at dealing with sustainability, the environment, climate change, and energy production & consumption.



Outline of JamaicaJamaica Study Tour (Herbert College of Agriculture)

The Jamaica study tour offers students an opportunity to see Jamaican agriculture and natural resources through the eyes of Jamaicans.



Outline of ChinaSmart Infrastructure and Sustainability Engineering in China

Students foster an understanding of the fundamental engineering concepts that impact the sustainable infrastructure design critical for smart cities.



Outline of BelizeTropical Ecology, Conservation and Field Methods in Belize

Explore new wildlife and ecosystems, experience different cultures, and learn about conservation issues in Belize.



Outline of Dominican RepublicWaters and Civilizations in Dominican Republic

Study Waters and Civilizations in the Dominican Republic Santiago is the second largest city in the Dominican Republic and the economic center of the fertile Cibao Valley.


Outline of white cross symbolizing medicineWildlife Medicine

Conservation and Policy: This course is an intensive introduction to key topics in wildlife medicine and conservation issues in the neo-tropics. Students learn about wildlife medical issues and approaches, the role of the veterinarian in wildlife conservation, zoo medicine, and wildlife rescue & rehabilitation.