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experience learning


In the Classroom

In addition to the 141 undergraduate courses and 53 graduate courses that relate to sustainability from a variety of departments, in the fall of 2012, the University of Tennessee began offering a Sustainability major. Students studying sustainability aim to develop the skills necessary to create a society that reduces its impact on the natural environment, creates a healthy economy, and meets the social and emotional needs of its citizens.

UT also offers a certificate in Sustainability Science as well as an interdisciplinary PhD program which researches challenges related to research of sustainable energy.

Download a list of all sustainability related courses

In Action

Experiential learning is heavily emphasized in the sustainability related courses and majors. Whether it be hands on projects, field trips, volunteering, or interning for an environmental organization, students are encouraged to actively engage in sustainability initiatives throughout their studies.

Venture LLC–reVOLve Thrift Shop

In the Spring of 2014, UT Sustainability and UT Recycling partnered with a group of students in the Venture Living and Learning Community for their Business 102 course. The students worked throughout the semester to develop the business plan for a student-run mobile thrift shop in order to increase awareness of consumption issues and provide students access to a more sustainable option. The students were tasked with developing the financial, management, and marketing plans for this endeavor which they named reVOLve.

Practicum Internships

Students studying sustainability participate in internships as a part of their practicum experience in their junior or senior year. Students connect with environmental organizations both on and off campus to complete this internship experience. Students are encouraged to seek out opportunities that give them hands on experience in areas of sustainability they would eventually like to work in. The Office of Sustainability’s practicum interns are currently conducting large scale data collections and surveys for Grounds and Transportation.


For more information about UT–affiliated sustainability research, demonstrations, etc., visit the sustainability resources page maintained by the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment and the Sustainable Energy Education and Research Center.

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