Academics & Research


Sustainability is not just about how we operate. It’s infused in what we teach and research at the University at Albany.

UAlbany offers a range of sustainability-related courses, degrees and other educational opportunities. The Office of Sustainability also partners with various academic departments to give students the ability to engage in diverse environmental issues from a variety of disciplines.

Additionally, the Director of Sustainability is available to visit classes to discuss a variety of sustainability issues and/or offer a guided tour of the Heritage Garden behind Indigenous Quad. To schedule, please email [email protected].

Visit the Division for Research & Economic Development website to learn more about sustainability-related research efforts at UAlbany.


Academic Programs

The following academic programs and courses include sustainability-related student learning objectives and/or curriculum components. Learn more about academics at UAlbany.


The Office of Sustainability provides a list of courses with a sustainability element, which students can browse prior to making their course selections.

Explore Fall 2023 courses with a sustainability component. For the most up-to-date information on each course, please use the Schedule of Classes.


Living Labs

A living lab is a place where problem-based teaching, researching and applied work combine to develop actionable solutions that make that place more sustainable. These living labs accelerate transitions through joint commitments from students, faculty, staff and local residents to design, implement, adapt and teach new approaches that address issues of equity, economy and ecology.

Living labs that couple academic rigor with experiential learning on sustainability-related infrastructure projects and policy recommendations for the campus and its surrounding community provide an opportunity for UAlbany to address area challenges and give students real world experience.

Examples of Past Living Labs
  • The Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Science invited staff from the Office of Sustainability for a series of visits with first-year classes to discuss various initiatives and provide a campus tour. Discussions covered topics such as alternative transportation, stormwater management, energy efficiency of the geothermal and lighting systems, water efficiency, use of non-potable water for irrigation, recycled content and air quality.

  • A first-year seminar collaborated with University Auxiliary Services to create visuals to showcase the local forms that supply food to UAlbany's dining services. These signs were placed in and around the Indigenous Quad dining hall.

  • A Biodiversity, Conservation and Policy master's student conducted bee and wasp counts on campus for his thesis. After comparing data from UAlbany's meadow, landscaped garden and retention pond with data collected at The Doane Stuart School's green roof and the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, he discovered UAlbany's bee and wasp population was higher but its biodiversity was lower.

  • Students in an Urban and Metropolitan Transportation Planning course analyzed access points on campus and in the surrounding community to identify infrastructure upgrades that would create a safer pedestrian environment. Students also identified on- and off-campus residential development where the addition of green infrastructure would provide better storm water management and safer pedestrian routes.