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Best Global Universities for Sustainability Studies in 2022-2023

May 12, 2022

Top collges and universities for Sustainability Studies and Development in the world

About Sustainability Studies

Environmental degradation and climate change are global emergencies. The demand for people in the sustainability field is greater than ever. Sustainable studies is a branch of Environmental Studies & Earth Sciences that focuses on solving problems of Ecology, Biodiversity, and Conservation, tapping into the earth’s natural resources and using them to their full potential responsibly.

Sustainable study is an interdisciplinary field that involves knowledge from Environmental Economics, Policy Making, and Resource Management. Best universities for sustainable studies will bring your focus to the global goals and long-term actions that can be taken to protect nature against harmful, unsustainable activities and build a career around it.

Areas of study under Sustainability Studies

A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Sustainable Development covers courses and concepts connected to Sustainability Risks and Opportunities, Natural, Environmental and Social Sciences, Ecology, and other subjects. The following are a couple of areas of study under sustainability studies.

  • Sustainable Leadership
  • Sustainable Energy
  • Sustainable Change
  • Climate Change
  • Pollution
  • Global Change
  • Sustainable Development
  • Environment
  • Natural Resources

Popular degrees under Sustainability Studies

For Bachelor Level

  • Bachelor in Sustainable Environmental Management
  • BSc in Global Responsibility & Leadership
  • Global Development and Sustainability BSc (Hons)
  • Bachelor in Sustainable Solutions
  • BBA in Sustainability Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Justice and Sustainability
  • BSc in Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
  • BA(Hons) in Sustainable Product Design

For Master Level

  • MS Sustainability Management
  • MSc in Urban Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change
  • MSc in Sustainability Transformation
  • Master of Science in Global Challenges for Sustainability
  • Master in Leadership for Sustainability
  • Master in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability

Duration of Programs in Sustainability Studies

Country Bachelor’s Degree Master’s Degree Doctoral Degree
USA 3-4 years 1-3 years 3-5 years
UK 3-4 years 1-2 years 3-4 years
Canada and Australia 3-4 years 1-2 years 3-4 years
Others 3-4 years 1-2 years 3-4 years

Top 50 global universities for Sustainability Studies based on popular rankings 

QS rank THE Ranking University Country Bachelors Masters
1 4 University of Oxford Uk Click Here Click Here
2 3 University of Cambridge USA Click Here Click Here
3 6 Harvard University USA Click Here Click Here
4 9 University of California, Berkeley (UCB) USA Click Here Click Here
5 1 Stanford University USA Click Here Click Here
6 12 Yale University USA Click Here Click Here
7 11 Columbia University USA Click Here Click Here
8 17 New York University (NYU) USA Click Here Click Here
9 10 The University of Edinburgh UK Click Here Click Here
9 13 University of California, Los Angeles USA Click Here Click Here
11 5 UCL UK Click Here Click Here
12 34 National University of Singapore (NUS) Singapore Click Here Click Here
13 2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) USA Click Here Click Here
14 8 University of Chicago USA Click Here Click Here
15 7 Princeton University USA Click Here Click Here
16 39 The University of Melbourne Australia Click Here Click Here
16 26 University of Toronto Canada Click Here Click Here
18 28 The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) UK Click Here Click Here
18 21 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Berlin Click Here Click Here
20 32 The University of Hong Kong Hong Kong Click Here Click Here
21 36 University of Amsterdam Netherlands Click Here Click Here
22 46 The University of Sydney Canada Click Here Click Here
23 NA Sorbonne University France Click Here Click Here
23 53 The University of Tokyo Japan Click Here Click Here
25 29 The Australian National University Australia Click Here Click Here
26 47 Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne France Click Here Click Here
27 30 King’s College London UK Click Here Click Here
28 26 Freie Universitaet Berlin Germany Click Here Click Here
29 16 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor USA Click Here Click Here
30 59 University of British Columbia Canada Click Here Click Here
31 24 Leiden University Netherlands Click Here Click Here
31 14 University of Pennsylvania USA Click Here Click Here
33 NA Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico Click Here Click Here
34 85 The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Hong Kong Click Here Click Here
35 101-125 Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) Singapore Click Here Click Here
36 21 Cornell University USA Click Here Click Here
37 35 McGill University Canada Click Here Click Here
37 101-125 Seoul National University Korea Click Here Click Here
39 80 Sapienza University of Rome Italy Click Here Click Here
40 18 Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Germany Click Here Click Here
41 26 Durham University UK Click Here Click Here
42 83 Monash University Australia Click Here Click Here
43 21 Peking University China Click Here Click Here
43 38 University of Vienna Austria Click Here Click Here
45 44 The University of Manchester UK Click Here Click Here
46 25 KU Leuven Belgium Click Here Click Here
46 NA The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) Australia Click Here Click Here
46 NA Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin Ireland Click Here Click Here
49 36 University of St Andrews UK Click Here Click Here
50 50 University of Texas at Austin USA Click Here Click Here

Top Universities for Sustainability Studies in the USA

The demand for sustainability professionals and experts is the highest in the USA. With the increase in companies who are wishing to become sustainable, the demand is only going to go higher. Therefore, for sustainability enthusiasts, studying in the USA is a pristine choice.

Bachelor degrees in the USA are offered by some of the oldest and most prestigious institutions in the world like Harvard University, Columbia University, Yale University, etc. Master degrees in the USA are usually coupled with great research the universities have been carrying out.  

QS rank THE Ranking University Country Bachelors Masters
2 3 University of Cambridge USA Click Here Click Here
3 6 Harvard University USA Click Here Click Here
4 9 University of California, Berkeley (UCB) USA Click Here Click Here
5 1 Stanford University USA Click Here Click Here
6 12 Yale University USA Click Here Click Here
7 11 Columbia University USA Click Here Click Here
8 17 New York University (NYU) USA Click Here Click Here
9 13 University of California, Los Angeles USA Click Here Click Here
13 2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) USA Click Here Click Here
14 8 University of Chicago USA Click Here Click Here
15 7 Princeton University USA Click Here Click Here
29 16 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor USA Click Here Click Here
31 14 University of Pennsylvania USA Click Here Click Here
36 21 Cornell University USA Click Here Click Here
50 50 University of Texas at Austin USA Click Here Click Here

Top Universities for Sustainability studies in the UK

The United Kingdom is one of the most sustainability-conscious countries. The degree programs offered by universities in sustainability studies are a great reason to study in the UK. 

Bachelor degrees in sustainability studies in the UK cover a wide range of specializations like sustainable energy, development,  leadership, change, management, product design, etc. Master degrees in the UK are generally 1-2 years long and offered in several specializations. 

QS rank THE Ranking University Country Bachelors Masters
1 4 University of Oxford Uk Click Here Click Here
9 10 The University of Edinburgh UK Click Here Click Here
11 5 UCL UK Click Here Click Here
18 28 The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) UK Click Here Click Here
27 30 King’s College London UK Click Here Click Here
41 26 Durham University UK Click Here Click Here
45 44 The University of Manchester UK Click Here Click Here
49 36 University of St Andrews UK Click Here Click Here

Academic requirements for studying Sustainability Studies

Sustainability studies cover a lot of things, issues, and specializations. As there are many different specializations available in this field of study, the admission requirements for each program would be different. The following mentioned requirements are to give the candidates a general idea of the requirements for studying sustainability studies.

For Bachelor Level

  • IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
  • High School Diploma
  • Motivation letter, essay
  • Academic Transcript  

For Master Level

  • IELTS, TOEFL or PTE English Language Proficiency Test
  • Minimum 3 years of Undergraduate degree 
  • Official certified transcripts and diplomas of Bachelor’s studies, with certified translation (if not originally in English).
  • CV/Resume indicating both complete education and any work experience in reverse chronological order.
  • Motivation Letter 
  • Interview

Career Scope in Sustainability Studies

The sustainable development sector is a rapidly growing area full of new opportunities and career paths. Experts anticipate a $600 billion investment into sustainable infrastructure projects over the next 10 years in the UK alone. The emotional factor in a career in the sustainability sector comes with the involvement in the social and environmental issues, and the financial one is related to the fast-growing job market. These two combined, form the baseline of a successful and happy life.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage across various sustainability careers is $166,910. After graduation, students will find jobs in a wide range of careers, including job titles such as 

  • Project manager
  • Sustainability analyst
  • Sustainable design professional
  • Energy efficiency analyst
  • Operations manager. 

Average salary of Sustainability Studies graduates

Country Average Annual Salary in USD*
United States 69,865
United Kingdom 42,263
Canada 59,750
Australia 63,011

* Please note that average have been converted from their local currencies to USD at the current exchange rates. Exchange rates are subject to periodic change.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Under different specializations in Sustainability studies, one can study sustainable development, sustainable energy, product development, leadership, change, etc. 

A humanities graduate can earn up to 70,000 USD in the early career stages. The pay increases to 100k-150K in 3-7 years’ time.

Countries like the USA, UK, Canada, etc require candidates to take an English language test like IELTS or TOEFL to study sustainability studies.

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