U of I Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Courses
Across the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus, more than 470 courses are offered each year that touch on sustainability, energy conservation and environmentalism.
More than 50 departments and programs offer these courses, many at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
Download our expandable spreadsheet — updated in July 2017 — to see all the courses offered. Just click the green button!
If you are interested in a more comprehensive search of departments and courses, click here.
Please note: Not all courses in this inventory will satisfy SEE Fellows curriculum requirements. Please visit the SEE FP page for a list of preferred courses.
ENVS 301: Tools for Sustainability
This spring course teaches systems-thinking skills to enable better understanding of the different dimensions of sustainability — and the problems and trade-offs involved in achieving that sustainability. Students learn about metrics for measuring sustainability and gain competence in tools such as cost-benefit and life-cycle analyses needed to compare the sustainability of different technologies and development options.
The course — team-taught by Madhu Khanna, Professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics (ACE); Daniel Miller, Assistant Professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Science (NRES); Lulu Rodriguez, Associate Professor of Agricultural Communications; and Michelle Wander, Professor of Soil Fertility in NRES — also emphasizes communications skills, enabling students to articulate about the integrated dimensions of sustainability within an interdisciplinary setting.
The course (catalog link here) was offered for the first time in Spring 2016. No prerequisites are needed. Enrollment is open to all students, but sophomores are preferred. Sophomores interested in enrolling in the new Minor — the Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Fellows Program (SEE FP) — are particularly encouraged to take ENVS 301. For more information about registering for this course, contact Professor Madhu Khanna at email@example.com.
ENVS 491: Sustainability Experience
In this course, undergraduate or grad students will work with faculty, staff, and/or the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) to advance campus sustainability goals and the Illinois Climate Action Plan.
In ENVS 491 (catalog link here), offered in both Fall and Spring semesters and taught by Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Ximing Cai, students use disciplinary knowledge to tackle interdisciplinary problems on campus as Campus Sustainability Interns, Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) members or working group members, or iSEE clerks serving Sustainability Working Advisory Teams (SWATeams) tackling specific areas of campus sustainability. Class syllabus here >>>
ENVS 492: Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Capstone
This fall course is the capstone experience to the Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Fellows Program — a campuswide minor in sustainable problem solving. In this final piece of the minor degree, students will apply sustainability assessment tools, such as life-cycle analysis, cost-benefit methods and impact analysis to real-world world problems related to sustainability of campus and/or the community to be developed in collaboration with campus, Facilities & Services, local sustainability planners, private firms and non-government organizations. Field site visits will be arranged during regular class time to and to visit local buildings, businesses, civil and environmental infrastructure facilities. Course activities are a blend of case study discussion, problem identification, site visits, analysis and a team report at the end of the semester.
In Fall 2018, the Capstone Course will be taught by Levenick Teaching Fellows Jeffery Roesler, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Ken Paige, Professor of Animal Biology. Their teaching appointments were made possible through the iSEE Levenick Fellows Program. Potential partners for capstone projects include Accenture, Ameren, Anheuser-Busch InBev, the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL), Carus Corp., Champaign Park District, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, Champaign County Forest Preserve District, City of Urbana, and the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum.
In Fall 2017, external partners for the capstone course included include Accenture, CERL, Chip Energy, Johnson Controls, and The Land Connection.
GCL 210: Frameworks for Sustainability
This new 200-level course that will meet two General Education requirements. Students in iSEE’s Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Fellows Program (SEE FP) may petition to take GCL 210 as a substitute for the Introduction to Sustainability requirement. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to start that process.
The course, which is open to all undergraduates and has no prerequisites, will feature several faculty members on campus who care passionately about sustainability, including Trevor Birkenholtz in Geography, Lisa Lucero in Anthropology, Ming Kuo in Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences, Melissa Orlie in Political Science, Murugesu “Siva” Sivapalan in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Madhu Viswanathan in Business.