Undergraduate Students

If you are interested in the environment, search for Environment Theme courses within OneStop. You can also find additional courses related to sustainability here, and courses related to environmental justice here.

If you are looking for courses on the UMN Duluth campus, you can find a list on this map.

*Please note: Any online course (denoted with asterisk) can be taken by students from all campuses system-wide through the Multi-Institution Enrollment process.

    Summer 2021

    SUST 3480: COVID-19 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Resilience, Connections, and Threats

    How are sustainability & global pandemics connected?  Join us this summer to hear from interdisciplinary experts, explore systems thinking and plan for a more resilient future.

    CI 5442: Adolescent Literature, Youth Activism, and Climate Change Literacy

    In this course, students will study award-winning works of fiction and nonfiction across genres to understand how adolescent literature inspires activist positions vis a vis petronormative ideologies of power that are devastating the planet.

    SUST courses immerse undergraduates in the exploration of real-world problems from a variety of academic perspectives, incorporating disciplines from across the natural, social and applied sciences.

    • SUST 3003: Sustainable People, Sustainable Planet

      Students will explore the scientific, cultural, ethical, and economic concepts that affect environmental sustainability and global economic justice.

    • SUST 4004: Sustainable Communities

      Students will learn public processes and metrics, engage with community members, and make a tangible difference in the Twin Cities Metro Area with their class projects.

    • SUST 4096: Sustainability Internship & Leadership

      Students will be part of a supportive cohort for developing professional and leadership skills & exploring strategies for leading social change in regards to sustainability through leadership projects and internships. We encourage students to apply for an Ecolab Scholarship to receive up to $1,750 in funding (depending on credits enrolled) for your internship.

    Acara courses offer students the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge you need to be a changemaker, effectively addressing social and environmental issues. Students who take Acara courses are often successful in winning $5000 Acara fellowships to implement their ideas.

    • GCC 3003: Seeking Solutions to Global Health Issues

      In this course, students will work in teams to examine the fundamental challenges to addressing complex global health problems in East Africa and East African refugee communities here in the Twin Cities.

      Meets Global Perspectives LE requirement

    • GCC 3005: Innovation for Changemakers: Design for a Disrupted World

      In this project-based course, students will work in interdisciplinary teams to develop entrepreneurial responses to current social and environmental problems while developing the tools, mindsets, and skills that can help them become leaders in addressing any complex grand challenge. This course will focus on seeking ways to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact in meaningful ways.

      Meets Global Perspectives LE requirement

    Grand Challenge Curriculum courses immerse students in complex issues facing the world. Register for a GCC course and prepare to grapple with important societal challenges from multiple disciplinary perspectives.

    • GCC 1909: Introduction to Ecosystem Health: Challenges at the Intersection of Human, Animal, and Environmental

      This course will focus on the emerging discipline of Ecosystem Health, and associated approaches and technologies that support solutions to grand challenges of health at the interface of humans, animals, and the environment; introduce a toolset for approaching, defining, and responding to these grand challenges, including systems thinking, complexity science, and integrative leadership; interrogate the conflicts that exist between differing conceptions of health, through the study of several complex cases.

    • GCC 3027: Power Systems Journey: Making the Invisible Visible and Actionable

      This course explores the integration of science-based environmental education, with art-led, place-based exploration of landscapes and creative map-making to address this challenge. All will share the common exploration of power systems through field trips, and contribute to a multi-faceted story of power, presented in a group map and individual GIS Story maps. No prior knowledge of GIS story maps or electricity issues is needed.

      Meets Global Perspectives LE requirement

    • GCC 3032: Ecosystem Health Leadership at the Intersection of Humans, Animals, and the Environment

      This course explores the integration of science-based environmental education, with art-led, place-based exploration of landscapes and creative map-making to address this challenge. All will share the common exploration of power systems through field trips, and contribute to a multi-faceted story of power, presented in a group map and individual GIS Story maps. No prior knowledge of GIS story maps or electricity issues is needed.

      Meets Global Perspectives LE requirement

    The HECUA Environmental Sustainability Program is offered both fall and spring semesters and composed of four required courses, for a total of 16 credits. Courses apply systems thinking and environmental justice studies to real world case studies. Though one of the courses, you will also intern at a placement site and partner with organizers transforming communities and restoring ecosystems. We encourage students to apply for an Ecolab Scholarship to receive up to $2,500 in funding for this program.

    • HECUA 3591: Environmental Sustainability – Sci, Public Policy, & Cmty Action Climate & Environment Justice

      In this course, students will explore the question: how to respond to climate change, restore degraded ecosystems, and promote a sustainable quality of life in human settlements, how might we do this in an environmentally just approach?

      Concurrent registration is required in 3592, in 3593, and in 3594, Fall semester. Dept consent required.

    • HECU 3592: Environmental Sustainability: Ecology and Socio-ecological Systems Change

      In this course, we will integrate questions regarding sustainability challenges of water, forest, wetland, climate, soil, with those involving people, cultures, politics, and economy in a comprehensive, integral framework. This investigation will build students’ ability to see complex dynamics more clearly, and prepare students to be part of efforts to create ecologically wise policy and practices for a more sustainable future.

      Concurrent registration is required in 3591, in 3593, and in 3594, Fall semester program. Dept consent required.

    • HECU 3593: Environmental Sustainability Sci, Public Policy, & Cmty Action Field Research Method & Investigation

      The Field Methods course provides students with practical skills to assess and improve ecosystems and decision-making in socio-ecological systems. This course engages Lily Springs Farm as a field-learning site. We work with a permaculture designer and farmer on-site to use a variety of techniques to assess the landscape and to design and implement ecologically restoration strategies for: a lake; a wetland; a farm system, a pine plantation being slowly converted to an oak savanna mimic; and 30 acres of forest that has been largely undisturbed for the past thirty years.

      Concurrent registration is required in 3591, in 3592, and in 3594, Fall semester program. Dept consent required.

    • HECU 3594: Environmental Sustainability Sci, Public Policy, & Cmty Action Internship

      The internship provides concentrated practice at an organization whose core work addresses issues raised in this program. At the internship, students integrate and refine their theoretical understanding, build and develop skills, and grow in their understanding of future career paths. Facilitated reflection, written assignments, and activities that include time at another student’s internship site, integrate the internship experiences with the other courses. Students work a minimum of 160 hours at their placement, 12-15 hours/week for 12 weeks during the program.

      Concurrent registration is required in 3591, in 3592, and in 3593, Fall semester program. Dept consent required.

    Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management courses train the next generation of environmental professionals and leaders through a strong focus on interdisciplinary knowledge, research, and enrichment experiences. We have highlighted several courses below – check out schedule builder to see all ESPM courses!

    • ESPM 3601: Sustainable Housing: Community, Environment, and Technology

      This course will focus on how sustainable housing practices build community, how community growth has impacted the environment and how natural events impact our communities, and what science and technology is required to build high performance houses.

    • ESPM 3603: Environmental Life Cycle Analysis

      This course will study concepts/issues relating to inventory, subsequent analysis of production systems. Production system from holistic point of view, using term commonly used in industrial ecology: “metabolic system.”

    • ESPM 5071: Ecological Restoration

      In this course, students will learn about the ecological and social factors that affect ecosystem recovery and how people intervene to reverse ecosystem degradation.

    • ESPM 5603: Environmental Life Cycle Analysis

      This course will study concepts/issues relating to inventory, subsequent analysis of production systems. Production system from holistic point of view, using term commonly used in industrial ecology: “metabolic system.”

    Duluth Campus courses are specific to in-person classes on Duluth campus. If you are looking for courses on the UMN Duluth campus, you can find a list on this map.

    • ANTH 4633: Ethnobotany – Duluth Community Plant Story Map

      Students in this course will work to answer the questions: What plants to people pay attention to? What plants have a traditional use as food or medicine? Students will integrate their research into a Story Map that will serve as a community resource, and be added to by future ethnobotany students and local residents.

    These are other courses taught by Institute affiliated faculty that welcome students from across the University.

    • CUE 1001: Introduction to Creative Economy

      This course is an introduction to the history and contemporary scope of the culture industry, and the closely associated creative economy. Topics discussed include tourism, sports, arts and entertainment, mass media, and the food and beverage industry.

    • CPSY 1301: Nature-Based Learning in Early Childhood

      In this course, students will develop an understanding of the connection between early childhood, development, and nature-based learning and play.

    • EE 1701/1703 Lab: Climate Crisis – Implementing Solutions

      The mission of this course is to make students go beyond the awareness of climate change; rather, it is to make them an advocate/champion and doers to utilize the latest technology to harness energy from renewables and for conservation.

    • SSM 2003: Systems Thinking – Development and Applications in Sustainability

      This course will provide introduction to basic systems thinking fundamentals: defining a systems perspective about any situation or problem, solving problems with that perspective, describing and modeling problems, and designing and improving upon system solutions.

    • ENGL 3071: The American Food Revolution in Literature and Television

      This class will trace the American food revolution with the intent of understanding how our current system came to be and thinking through the ethical implications of our daily actions.

    • GLOS 3305: Life for Sale – Global Debates on Environment, Science, and Society

      This class uses a social justice lens to explore the interrelations of scientific discoveries, unequal global economies, and commodification and the impact on the health, well being, and valuation of particular populations

    • PUBH 3561: Environmental Health and Environmental Justice

      This course examines environmental health issues and the complex challenges that occur within our communities that affect human health. Includes community engagement with learning opportunities to assess current and past environmental conditions throughout the Rochester, MN area.

    • COMM 4251: Environmental Communication

      In this course, students will understand environmental communication as well as develop communication strategies that lead to more sustainable social practices, institutions, and systems.

    SUST courses immerse undergraduates in the exploration of real-world problems from a variety of academic perspectives, incorporating disciplines from across the natural, social and applied sciences.

    • SUST 3003: Sustainable People, Sustainable Planet

      Students will explore the scientific, cultural, ethical, and economic concepts that affect environmental sustainability and global economic justice.

    • SUST 3017: Environmental Justice

      The course focuses on understanding the interconnections between health, economic, and environmental disparities as it applies to environmental justice.

    • SUST 4004: Sustainable Communities

      Students will learn public processes and metrics, engage with community members, and make a tangible difference in the Twin Cities Metro Area with their class projects.

    • SUST 4096: Sustainability Internship & Leadership Projects

      Students will be part of a supportive cohort for developing professional and leadership skills & exploring strategies for leading social change in regards to sustainability through leadership projects and internships. We encourage students to apply for an Ecolab Scholarship to receive up to $1,750 in funding (depending on credits enrolled) for your internship.

    Grand Challenge Curriculum courses immerse students in complex issues facing the world. Register for a GCC course and prepare to grapple with important societal challenges from multiple disciplinary perspectives.

    • GCC 1907: Environmental Grand Challenges: What Impact Will You Have?

      This online course students will address questions about sustainability science and effective leadership within complex grand challenges (both social and environmental). Students will be able to interrogate abstract conceptions of sustainability through site visits and interviews with sustainability leaders.

    • GCC 1909: Introduction to Ecosystem Health: Challenges at the Intersection of Human, Animal, and Environmental

      This course will focus on the emerging discipline of Ecosystem Health, and associated approaches and technologies that support solutions to grand challenges of health at the interface of humans, animals, and the environment; introduce a toolset for approaching, defining, and responding to these grand challenges, including systems thinking, complexity science, and integrative leadership; interrogate the conflicts that exist between differing conceptions of health, through the study of several complex cases.

    • GCC 3011: Pathways to Renewable Energy

      The course will closely examine the Realpolitik of energy and the technical, legal, regulatory, and policy underpinnings of renewable energy in the US and Minnesota.

    • GCC 3013: Making Sense of Climate Change: Science, Art, and Agency

      This course will examine climate change science, with a particular focus on how climate change is expected to affect key ecological systems such as forests and farms and resources for vital biodiversity such as pollinators.

    • GCC 3016: Science and Society: Working Together to Avoid the Antibiotic Resistance Apocalypse

      This course provides an overview of how antibiotic use leads to antibiotic resistance, including in depth discussions of antibiotic resistant microorganisms and the impact of globalization on this exploding problem.

    • GCC 3025: Living the Good Life at the End of the World: Sustainability in the Anthropocene

      This course will attempt to answer questions of how to live “the good life” in a time of rapid climate changes, mass extinction of plant and animal species, and the increasing pollution of our oceans, atmosphere, and soil, how to to live sustainably, as individuals and societies, in what scientists are calling the Anthropocene, and whether or not sustainability requires that we sacrifice the gains humanity has made in our quality of life.

    • GCC 3031: The Global Climate Challenge: Creating an Empowered Movement for Change

      The course will use a strategy of grassroots empowerment to help students connect to the heart of what they really value; to understand the threat of climate change; to examine how they feel in the light of that threat; and to take powerful action together.

    • GCC 3043: Regenerative Game Studio: Playing for the Future

      In this course, students will design games where winning is achieving multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals, which prepares them to become system teachers, leveraging organizations and networks for change.

    • GCC 5501: Knowledge to Impact: Creating Action with Your Grand Challenge Project Idea

      This experiential course will help students learn the skills to develop solutions that address a specific problem that they have worked on in a previous GCC course or a similar project-based class. By the end of the course, students will create a design and implementation plan for a solution that could take many forms, depending on students’ interest and the nature of the problem.

    The HECUA Environmental Sustainability Program is offered both fall and spring semesters and composed of four required courses, for a total of 16 credits. Courses apply systems thinking and environmental justice studies to real world case studies. Though one of the courses, you will also intern at a placement site and partner with organizers transforming communities and restoring ecosystems. We encourage students to apply for an Ecolab Scholarship to receive up to $2,500 in funding for this program.

    • HECUA 3591: Environmental Sustainability – Sci, Public Policy, & Cmty Action Climate & Environment Justice

      In this course, students will explore the question: how to respond to climate change, restore degraded ecosystems, and promote a sustainable quality of life in human settlements, how might we do this in an environmentally just approach?

      Concurrent registration is required in 3592, in 3593, and in 3594, Fall semester. Dept consent required.

    • HECU 3592: Environmental Sustainability: Ecology and Socio-ecological Systems Change

      In this course, we will integrate questions regarding sustainability challenges of water, forest, wetland, climate, soil, with those involving people, cultures, politics, and economy in a comprehensive, integral framework. This investigation will build students’ ability to see complex dynamics more clearly, and prepare students to be part of efforts to create ecologically wise policy and practices for a more sustainable future.

      Concurrent registration is required in 3591, in 3593, and in 3594, Fall semester program. Dept consent required.

    • HECU 3593: Environmental Sustainability Sci, Public Policy, & Cmty Action Field Research Method & Investigation

      The Field Methods course provides students with practical skills to assess and improve ecosystems and decision-making in socio-ecological systems. This course engages Lily Springs Farm as a field-learning site. We work with a permaculture designer and farmer on-site to use a variety of techniques to assess the landscape and to design and implement ecologically restoration strategies for: a lake; a wetland; a farm system, a pine plantation being slowly converted to an oak savanna mimic; and 30 acres of forest that has been largely undisturbed for the past thirty years.

      Concurrent registration is required in 3591, in 3592, and in 3594, Fall semester program. Dept consent required.

    • HECU 3594: Environmental Sustainability Sci, Public Policy, & Cmty Action Internship

      The internship provides concentrated practice at an organization whose core work addresses issues raised in this program. At the internship, students integrate and refine their theoretical understanding, build and develop skills, and grow in their understanding of future career paths. Facilitated reflection, written assignments, and activities that include time at another student’s internship site, integrate the internship experiences with the other courses. Students work a minimum of 160 hours at their placement, 12-15 hours/week for 12 weeks during the program.

      Concurrent registration is required in 3591, in 3592, and in 3593, Fall semester program. Dept consent required.

    Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management courses train the next generation of environmental professionals and leaders through a strong focus on interdisciplinary knowledge, research, and enrichment experiences. We have highlighted several courses below – check out schedule builder to see all ESPM courses!

    • ESPM 3601: Sustainable Housing: Community, Environment, and Technology

      This course will focus on how sustainable housing practices build community, how community growth has impacted the environment and how natural events impact our communities, and what science and technology is required to build high performance houses.