At the academic center of NYU's broader intellectual agenda for sustainability issues is the Environmental Studies Program. This program offers both an undergraduate major and a minor, equipping students with the knowledge and skills necessary for resolving environmental problems and working to create a sustainable future. It utilizes problem-oriented study and draws on a broad range of courses from various disciplines and NYU colleges and schools, including environmental science, environmental policy and law, public health, and environmental justice. Student enrollment in the program has grown from 30 to 160 students since its inception in 2007. In that time, six new full-time faculty positions have been created, many as joint hires with other NYU departments, colleges, and schools. Environment-focused course offerings for undergraduate students across the university have more than tripled since 2007.
Beyond the Environmental Studies program, environmental coursework and research is integrated throughout the University. From the Bioethics Program and the Food Studies Department to the world-renowned Center on Environmental and Land Use Law and the Wallerstein Collaborative (the first environmental education program in the US), environment-focused courses exist in nine NYU colleges across more than a dozen different programs. More than 50 NYU faculty actively teach courses directly relevant to sustainability.
Through the Educating for Sustainability lecture series, established in 2007, NYU has brought to campus distinguished environmental studies scholars and leaders every semester. Each speaker has delivered a major public lecture - on topics ranging from melting Arctic sea ice to environmental economics to calculating carbon footprints - and conducted a research seminar with NYU faculty and students. The series is cosponsored by the Environmental Studies program and the Sustainability Task Force.