University of Vermont

Sustainability Learning Outcomes for all undergraduate students


University of Vermont


North America



founding year


student body



Institutional Approach

The University of Vermont has implemented a university-wide general sustainability education requirement for all undergraduate students. The university has also widely disseminated learnings and best practices for the implementation of such a model. In 2015, the ‘Sustainability Learning Outcomes’ were implemented, where students meet the sustainability requirement via designated courses, curricula, or experiential learning opportunities. The outcomes specify that upon graduation, all students can 1) have an informed conversation about the dimensions and complexity of sustainability; 2) evaluate sustainability using an evidence-based approach, integrating economic, ecological and social perspectives; 3) think critically about sustainability across cultural values and scales of relevance (local or global); and 4) recognize and assess how sustainability impacts their lives and how their actions impact sustainability. Furthermore, they have written and experimented widely on innovative pedagogical approaches to teaching about sustainable food systems, for example by 'Kitchen-based learning' - a course on sustainable food systems taught within a kitchen and using cooking and food as an overarching structure to engage in sustainability from personal to global systemic perspectives. Operationally, Vermont has engaged in community-wide visioning exercises to implement sustainability goals and strategies since 2007; resulting in social, ecological and built environment priorities being set via joint deliberation and co-production. The sustainability office maps a wide variety of on-campus efforts and living lab approaches to sustainability.


Discover more

Universities for Sustainable Futures

Add to the Atlas

Submit an institution

This atlas is intended to grow and evolve in a spirit of co-creation with the international higher education community. We encourage you to submit examples of sustainability approaches or initiatives at your own or other institutes.

Add to the Atlas