Sustainability-related Courses


Purdue University offers a number of courses and programs related to social, environmental, and economic aspects of sustainability. Participating colleges include the Colleges of Agriculture, Education, Health & Human Sciences, Liberal Arts, Science, and Technology. The School of Civil Engineering and the School of Environmental & Ecological Engineering also offer relevant courses. Topics covered comprise, but are not restricted to: sustainable engineering, green construction, health impacts, environmental policy, corporate sustainability, population ecology, environmentally conscious behaviors, and environmental literary thought.

Below are examples of key courses focusing on sustainability offered during the Fall 2013 semester. If you are a student enrolled at Purdue University, you can look up all current and forthcoming courses at, after logging in with your Purdue ID. For a complete list of courses focused on and/or related to sustainability, please contact us at

AGEC20400: Introduction To Resource Economics And Environmental Policy — The course provides an overview of microeconomic theory and its application to issues related to evaluating resource economic issues and environmental policy.  Topics discussed include efficiency, sustainability, valuation, externalities, governmental policies, and benefit cost analysis.

ANTH33700: Human Diet: Origins And Evolution — This course will survey humans evolving relationship with food over the last few million years; from our Pilo-pleistocene origins (foraging) through the origins of agriculture to modern industrial food production. Students will learn that humans, and every other organism on the planet, construct and maintain themselves from environmental building blocks, and over time come to change their environments as they are changed by them.

BCM41900: Sustainable Construction — A study of sustainable construction meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  This includes evaluating the consumption of resources and environmental depletion and degradation; examining subsidiary issues of materials, energy, water, land use, and the integration of the natural and built environments, including an overview of emerging delivery systems for high performance green buildings.

CE35500: Engineering Environmental Sustainability — An introduction to the examination of global-scale resource utilization, food, energy and commodity production, population dynamics, and their ecosystem impacts. Students will collect and analyze appropriate data, and perform necessary quantitative analysis to develop original and innovative management strategies for real-world sustainability problems.

EAPS32700: Climate, Science And Society — This course will examine the broad problems of climate change by examining the relationship between science, politics, and society by using climate change as a lens through which to examine larger issues.  Students will be encouraged to identify similar themes in their own experiences as emerging scientists, engineers and global leaders.

HSCI20200: Essentials Of Environmental, Occupational, And Radiological Health Sciences — This course is designed to introduce the essential concepts of Environmental, Occupational, and Radiological Health Science.  The principles of these three fields including the environmental impacts on human health and disease, environmental toxicology, occupational health concerns, contemporary occupational health issues, radioactivity, and the human health effects of exposure to ionizing radiation will be discussed.