Wesleyan has taken many steps to make sustainability a part of its curriculum through the creation of the College of the Environment and increasing numbers of sustainability course offerings, including through the Sustainability & Environmental Justice Pedagogical Initiative and course cluster. Integrating sustainability into the curriculum and into the operations of academic departments help to make sustainability knowledge and skills universal for Wesleyan students and faculty.

What We've Done

  • Degrees and Courses
    1. By the numbers (Source: STARS 2023 Report, data includes the 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22 academic years):
      1. 10% of courses include or are focused on sustainability topics. 
      2. 89% of campus departments offer at least 1 sustainability course.
    2. In 1999, Wesleyan launched the Environmental Studies certificate, now the Environmental Studies minor and linked major. The College of the Environment (COE) launched in 2009 with a linked major to prepare students to interpret scientific and environmental information, engage both scholars and the public in discourse about environmental issues, understand connections between environmental and social or political issues, and have both practical and theoretical experience in environmental issues.  Approximately 1 percent of students graduate with a linked major in Environmental Studies each year.
    3. Earth and Environmental Sciences (E&ES) offers BA and MA programs that cover many aspects of the natural world. 
    4. The Sustainability & Environmental Justice Pedagogical Initiative (formerly Sustainability Across the Curriculum) brings together faculty from all disciplines looking to integrate these topics into existing courses.  As of January 2022, there have been 54 faculty participants (47 completed course integration), 2 workshops on sustainability across the curriculum (2016 and 2018), and 58 courses amended to include S and/or EJ content (55 of these have been taught or will be taught later this AY).
    5. formal description of explorations of sustainability in the curriculum was developed in 2016.  It continues to be refined and used to identify courses that meet the definition.
    6. In 2019, a sustainability & environmental justice course cluster launched.
  • Research
    1. As of 2022, approximately 11% of Wesleyan faculty members are engaged in sustainability research, accounting for 64% of campus departments (Source: STARS 2023 Report)
    2. Each year, College of the Environment Fellows and faculty associated with the COE advance knowledge in sustainability areas through the Think Tank.
    3. COE Colloquium dinners provide opportunities for sustainability-focused students and faculty to interact informally and learn about one another’s research.
    4. The College of the Environment offers annual paid fellowships for students to do research or project-based work under the guidance of a mentor during the summer or fall on projects directly concerned with Environmental Studies.
    5. Several faculty members serve as formal or informal advisors for sustainability-related student groups, including Long Lane Farm.


Tony Hatch, Coordinator, Sustainability & Environmental Justice