Find Climate and Sustainability Classes at MIT

120+ classes for the professionals the world needs

The 21st century will be defined by our response to climate change. Research labs, startup funders, businesses in every industry, governments at all levels—all will be looking for experts who can drive the technological innovations, policy changes, and on-the-ground interventions the world needs to overcome this crisis.

That's why MIT offers over 120 undergraduate classes in 23 departments that provide students with the skills to advance sustainable design, policy and practice—for their own future careers, and for the future of our planet.

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Some tips for choosing sustainability classes

Sustainability can mean different things to different people and in different disciplines. You may be interested in the basic science of climate change; in the energy system; in business practices; in strategies for policymaking and politics; in sustainable development to alleviate poverty and inequality. If you're not sure what you want to study, consider checking out the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, 17 goals for advancing human prosperity without compromising future generations or the natural world. On the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative's website, you can search undergraduate classes at MIT based on the Sustainable Development Goals they are relevant to.

It's also easy to take climate and sustainability classes that fulfill your General Institute Requirements, especially in HASS and Communication. On the same Environmental Solutions Initiative page, you can filter classes by the GIRs they fulfill.

If you already know what aspects of climate and sustainability you're interested in, you may not need to search classes in every department of MIT. Consider using these narrower lists of classes:

  1. Classes that count toward specific majors, minors, concentrations and tracks related to climate, the environment and sustainability.
  2. D-Lab classes for hands-on, project-based instruction.
  3. Classes that count toward the Sloan Sustainability Certificate. These are graduate-level classes that don't appear on most undergraduate lists, but may sometimes be open to undergrads.

And remember these two general tips about finding and enrolling in classes at MIT:

  1. Some classes have undergraduate level subject numbers, some have graduate level numbers, and some have both. If it has both, then it will say on the MIT registrar’s website, “Subject meets with XYZ.” Do not let the level number discourage you from looking into a class. If you are interested in the class, email the professor to ask if you can enroll as an undergraduate student. This happens more often than you’d think. At worst they say no and you have to find a different class.
  2. There are many lists of classes at MIT, maintained in many different ways. Just because a class appears on a list—even the ones featured on this page—doesn’t mean it’s currently being taught. Always check the MIT registrar’s website and/or Firehose.

Still have questions?

Sarah Meyers, Education Program Manager at the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, would love to help you find and choose the right sustainability subjects for your education. Contact her at smeyers@mit.edu.

 

"Ready for the Climate Century?" is a project of the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative.

MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative