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Those who enroll in Columbia University's Master of Science in Sustainability Science program obtain a world-class education, based on a practical, hands-on curriculum, which will allow them to advance in their professional careers and become leaders in their fields. Students with technical backgrounds will learn the use of cutting-edge scientific methods, instruments, and tools that they can employ to help organizations address environmental impacts and risks, pollution control, and remediation.


The curriculum was developed by Columbia University’s Earth Institute, which conducts and applies interdisciplinary scientific research while training a new generation of leaders to tackle sustainability issues in all facets of society. Students have access to Columbia’s unparalleled resources and professional network, along with its global alumni base.


Graduates are prepared for management and leadership positions in which they oversee science and other technical staff.  Examples of typical job titles of Sustainability Science graduates include: ​

  • Director, Division of Environmental Science and Assessment

  • Program Manager of Environmental Technologies

  • Supervisor, Environmental Monitoring

  • Environmental Engineer

  • Environmental Compliance Specialist

  • Chief Scientist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The program is customized for working professionals and is offered as both a full- and part-time course of study. Students have the flexibility to choose from a variety of courses to position themselves for career advancement. New York City serves students as a living laboratory for developments in sustainability practice, and as a source of many employers who hire program graduates.

Fast Facts


Columbia’s Earth Institute is the largest university-wide research organization in the world dedicated to sustainability research, practice, and education. 


Columbia offers more than 200 environmental and sustainability courses each year, more than any other university.


The National Research Council ranks the graduate programs in Earth Science at Columbia number one in the United States.

Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is ranked first worldwide in the Earth Sciences and is the scientific home to the largest concentration of academic earth and climate scientists in the United States.

Fusing Sustainability and Education in New York City Schools

Oren Pizmony-Levy is an associate professor in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. His research focuses on the socio-politics of education policy movements and he has been part of an ongoing partnership between the New York City Department of Education Office of Sustainability and Teachers College (TC) that strives to improve school engagement with sustainability.

Making Scientific Models Accessible For Communities

Isabela Brown wants to use her graduate degree to integrate social, political, and scientific frameworks into environmental models.

Lamont Climatologist Testifies on Capitol Hill About Sea Level Rise 

In a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Environment, Radley Horton delivered sobering remarks about how climate change will impact our coastlines, economy, and society at large.

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