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Programs & Centers

The following are a selection of environment- or sustainability-related academic programs, departments, and centers at NYU:


Environmental Studies
The new Environmental Studies Program aims to provide students with the breadth of understanding and skills necessary for resolving environmental questions and creating a sustainable future on scales ranging from local to global. It emphasizes integrated, problem-oriented study and a broad range of courses across disciplines and schools.

The Biology department offers students the opportunity to explore the various areas of current biology in an integrated yet diverse program that builds from a solid foundation of the basic elements of molecular and cellular biology, genetics, evolution, organ systems, and population studies. The department also offers a series of discrete minors in the life sciences, specifically in the areas of molecular and cell biology, genetics, genomics and bioinformatics, and environmental biology.

Animal Studies Initiative
The Animal Studies Initiative promotes and supports research and teaching in the emerging area of Animal Studies. It does so by administering an undergraduate minor in Animal Studies, supporting research and teaching, and sponsoring public events and workshops.


The program promotes a broad conception of bioethics encompassing both medical and environmental ethics through conferences, workshops, public lectures, and graduate courses.

Center on Environmental and Land Use Law (NYU School of Law)
This center emphasizes legal research and problem-solving in three principal subject areas: Environmental Regulation, International Environmental Law and Sustainable Development, and Land Use Law and Regulation.

Environmental Conservation Education (NYU Steinhardt)
An intensive interdisciplinary MA program that involves students in a consideration of social, philosophical, political, and educational perspectives on the environment. The ECE program is the oldest graduate program in environmental studies in the U.S. with a foundation in environmental philosophy rather than science.

Master of Urban Planning (NYU Wagner)
This program not only provides students with an understanding of the economic, technological and social forces that shape metropolitan areas at home and abroad, it also equips them with the tools needed to confront the key challenges facing urban communities across the globe.

Certificate in Sustainable Design, Construction, and Development (SCPS Schack Institute of Real Estate)
This certificate program was created to clear a career path for those interested in equipping themselves to serve a vital public purpose and master an invaluable field of knowledge for future real estate practice.

CUSP (Center for Urban Science and Progress)
The Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) is a unique public-private research center that uses New York City as its laboratory and classroom to help cities around the world become more productive, livable, equitable, and resilient. CUSP observes, analyzes, and models cities to optimize outcomes, prototype new solutions, formalize new tools and processes, and develop new expertise/experts. These activities will make CUSP the world's leading authority in the emerging field of "Urban Informatics."

Other programs with elective courses that focus on environmental issues:

Individualized Concentrations (NYU Gallatin)
Though Gallatin does not offer a degree with an explicit environmental focus, its interdisciplinary, individualized undergraduate and graduate degree programs have often lent themselves to environmental study. Students have access to courses across several different NYU schools, and many choose to develop sustainability-related concentrations by combining resources throughout the university. Gallatin itself also offers several environment-focused courses.

Interactive Telecommunications Program (NYU Tisch)
ITP challenges students to apply their creativity and imagination to the latest digital tools and techniques and push the boundaries of interactivity in the real and digital worlds. The development and use of interactive technologies can place heavy demand on our environment, but on the other hand, these technologies can be used to make a positive impact as well. Several sustainable design and renewable energy-related courses are offered.

Master of Science in Global Affairs (SCPS)
This M.S. Program offers a context for understanding critical issues in international politics, economics, dispute settlement, law, human rights, energy, the environment, and related areas. The program's environmental courses focus on global warming and natural resources.

Science, Health & Environmental Reporting (NYU Arts and Sciences, Journalism)
SHERP is a 16- month graduate-level science journalism program. It emphasizes intensive training in research, reporting and writing as well as immersion in a wide range of cutting-edge scientific issues, from genetics to global climate change.

Department of Environmental Medicine (NYU Medicine)
One of the nation's oldest and foremost centers for research into the health effects of environmental pollution. Research divisions include Biostatistics, Human Exposure and Health Effects, and Epidemiology. The department offers a graduate program in Environmental Health Science.

Food Studies
Food Studies offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of food as a bio-cultural system focused on the urban environment.

Other Programs and Initiatives

Environmental Health Clinic
The Environmental Health Clinic at NYU is a clinic and lab, modeled on other health clinics at universities. However the project approaches health from an understanding of its dependence on external local environments; rather than on the internal biology and genetic predispositions of an individual.

Center for the Sustainable Built Environment (NYU SCPS)
The Center for the Sustainable Built Environment (SBE) at the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate fills the critical need to improve decision-making and sustainable practices in real estate and construction industries. The goal of SBE is to foster innovation in building technologies, public policies, and financial and regulatory mechanisms that will accelerate and expand the deployment of sustainable practices in the real estate and construction industries.

New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy (ACRE) (NYU-Poly)
The New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy (NYC ACRE) helps clean technology and renewable energy companies in New York City grow, advancing the City as a role model for environmental sustainability and smart growth. NYC ACRE is seeded by a four year, $1.6M grant from the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) to NYU-Poly aimed at growing an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, international companies, and innovative local businesses that are providing solutions to climate and energy issues while growing the cleantech/renewable energy sector and creating jobs in NYC.

Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education (NYU Steinhardt)
The Collaborative provides a year-round program which stimulates public school teachers in the metropolitan New York City region to bring environmental education into the classroom. The Collaborative also provides increased environmental education opportunities for pre-service teachers through direct experience in the urban environment.

GLOBAL Design NYU has as its mission to bring together current designers, educators, and innovators who are clustered in certain locations, but whose work is far-reaching in outlook. The GLOBAL Design lecture series are comprised to showcase potent innovation processes as it relates to visionary architecture, urbanism, ecological planning, and how this process of innovation ties to education.

Marron Institute
New York University's Marron Institute on Cities and the Urban Environment is an interdisciplinary and international effort to advance vital new research and teaching on cities and the urban environment.

Institute for Public Knowledge
The Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK) brings theoretically serious scholarship to bear on major public issues. Located at NYU, it nurtures collaboration among social researchers in New York and around the world. It builds bridges between university-based researchers and organizations pursuing practical action. It supports communication between researchers and broader publics. And it examines transformations in the public sphere, social science, and the university as a social institution as these change the conditions for public knowledge.