Applied Sustainability

Applied Sustainability Major

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Learn how to cultivate a sustainable future for people, planet, and prosperity.

The way we think about the environment can never be fully separated from the way we think about people, and vice versa. Our environments and social systems—communities, governments, economies—are complex and interdependent. 

In Champlain's Applied Sustainability major, you'll look at the various connections between people and planet from different perspectives, learning to create effective action plans and ask the right questions. 

Why Study Applied Sustainability at Champlain College?

In our Applied Sustainability major, you won't be confined to environmental studies; you'll focus on social justice, environmental health, and economic welfare, examining the intersections of each one with the others. 

  • Champlain's Upside-Down Curriculum gets you into sustainability courses in your first year. 
  • Our learn-by-doing approach to education means you get to take everything you learn in the classroom and use it on real projects and meaningful internships. 
  • You don't have to already know exactly what you want to do when you graduate; Champlain will help you get there. Your dedicated career coach will help you explore your options and create opportunities. 
  • You can choose a concentration to focus your studies, building specific skills for the type of work you're most interested in.
  • Live your values in Burlington, one of the first cities to source 100% renewable energy and an incubator for new practices in sustainable futures.
  • Access to change agents is one-of-a-kind with small classes and close ties to the Statehouse. Our students have even helped pass climate laws.



The 2021 Fiske Guide to Colleges selected Champlain as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.


Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" by U.S. News & World Report (for the seventh consecutive year!) in its "America's Best Colleges" 2022 rankings.


Burlington, Vermont, our hometown, is ranked the #1 Best College Town by Travel + Leisure magazine.


Sustainability on Campus

Sustainability on Campus

In Champlain’s Center for Service & Sustainability, you’ll find many ways to serve the community and take on leadership roles. You can become an Eco-Rep, participate in Sustain Champlain initiatives, take care of bees in our campus apiary, grow vegetables in the community garden, and find all kinds of volunteer work both on and off campus.

Applied Sustainability Internships


Here in Burlington, Vermont, you'll be able to choose from quite an array of organizations that offer valuable internships. You could have opportunities to work with the Fair Trade Alliance, Peace & Justice Center, or Audubon Society. From local community gardens to the Ben & Jerry's sustainability department, we'll help you find learning experiences that stick with you for life.

Applied Sustainability Social Impact Scholars

Social Impact Scholars

Can't wait to take action? In the Social Impact Scholars program, you can collaborate with students from other majors to research issues of social justice and work on solutions. Among other things, you can participate in service days, take certain classes designated for Social Impact Scholars, and go on educational field trips.


Create a rewarding and fulfilling career by living your values every day.

Our Applied Sustainability program is an optimal pathway into a career that makes you proud; this major is centered on the professional skills you'll rely on in any field you choose. Working with your faculty advisor and career coach, you'll explore careers you might enjoy (some of which you've never even heard of!) and create the educational experience to set you up for success.

You'll be well qualified to work with nonprofits and activist organizations, and the career opportunities don't end there: More and more businesses, from small companies to large corporations, are recognizing the need to make their operations sustainable. "The career field for those who wish to pursue a degree in sustainability is vast," reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Upon graduation, you'll be able to...

Demonstrate understanding of the ways that humans and other living beings/species cohabitate on the planet and apply principles and applications that promote shared coexistence.

Apply and evaluate scientific analysis as it relates to sustainability.

Recognize manifestations of privileges, power, and white supremacy in local, regional, and global contexts to actively ensure diverse perspectives and worldviews (including legal, cultural,  and spiritual) are held in equal regard when considering, developing, and implementing sustainability solutions.

View all learning outcomes for graduates of the Applied Sustainability major.

Possible job placements for graduates include:

  • Climate policy specialist
  • Conservation planner
  • Corporate sustainability strategist/director 
  • Education program coordinator/director 
  • Energy analyst
  • Green product manager
  • Land conservation program manager
  • Legislative project manager
  • Public relations specialist
  • Sustainability consulting
  • Transportation planner
  • Urban planner

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Thanks for getting in touch—stickers and information will be on their way shortly. Please reach out anytime if you have any questions about Champlain; you can call or text us at 802.625.0201 or email us at

In the meantime, check out our list of majors, schedule your visit or event, and enjoy The View, for the latest news and updates from the College!