48 months
62570 USD/year
62570 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Earth Institute - in collaboration with Columbia College, the School of General Studies, the School of International and Public Affairs, and the Departments of Earth and Environmental Science; Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology; and Earth and Environmental Engineering of Columbia University - offers a major and a special concentration in Sustainable Development.


About the programme

These programs are designed to: engage students in this emergent interdisciplinary discussion, provide knowledge of the theory and practice of sustainable development, stimulate a critical examination of historical and conceptual antecedents, provide experience in the complex challenges of sustainable development through direct engagement, and help them imagine alternative futures for our rapidly changing world. With help from the Earth Institute faculty, courses are specifically created to address the very real and complex issues of development as they relate to the interactions of the natural and social systems.

The Sustainable Development major from Columbia University focuses heavily on the sciences and provides students with a working knowledge of issues on a range of interacting subject areas. After declaring the major, students are assigned an academic adviser from within the Earth Institute, who advises on class selection and career development. Students benefit from a support system of faculty, advisers, and program managers, and have access to the multitude of resources for internships, study abroad programs, and career development.The special concentration is intentionally more flexible, but its structure allows students to benefit from the cross-disciplinary courses and to build the expertise to allow them to address the fundamental issue of how to move towards a trajectory of sustainability.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Environmental Policy and Governance
  • Challenges of Sustainable Development
  • Economic and Financial Methods for Sustainable Development
  • Workshop in Sustainable Development
  • Ethics of Sustainable Development

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 48 months

Start dates & application deadlines


120 SCH


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

Student insurance

Make sure to cover your health, travel, and stay while studying abroad. Even global coverages can miss important items, so make sure your student insurance ticks all the following:

  • Additional medical costs (i.e. dental)
  • Repatriation, if something happens to you or your family
  • Liability
  • Home contents and baggage
  • Accidents
  • Legal aid

We partnered with Aon to provide you with the best affordable student insurance, for a carefree experience away from home.

Get your student insurance now

Starting from €0.53/day, free cancellation any time.

Remember, countries and universities may have specific insurance requirements. To learn more about how student insurance work at Columbia University and/or in United States, please visit Student Insurance Portal.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Autobiographical information
  • Lists and descriptions of a student’s achievements, activities, employment and summer activities
  • Personal essay
  • An official high school transcript from all high schools attended
  • One high school counselor’s recommendation and school profile
  • The completed Mid-Year Report
  • SAT or ACT
  • Applicants may self-report their scores
  • English proficiency examination score (if necessary)
  • These recommendations must come from teachers who taught you in academic disciplines
  • For engineering applicants, one must come from a math or science teacher

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    62570 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 31285 USD per semester during 48 months.
  • National

    62570 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 31285 USD per semester during 48 months.

Living costs for Manhattan

2638 - 5751 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

Sustainable Development
Columbia University


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