Sustainability
Where Passion Meets Grit

Academics & Research

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Lehigh is a premier residential research university, internationally recognized for research excellence and a distinctive student experience. Part of that is preparing students to address the grand challenges of our time by understanding the complex convergence of environmental, social, and economic factors underlying today's challenges and by creating sustainable solutions for our resource-strapped future.

Through the creation of a campus that is a model of sustainability in practice, teaching, and research, Lehigh will enhance awareness and knowledge of sustainable practices and ensure hands on learning is woven into Lehigh's educational experience.

At a Glance

Learning Inside the Classroom

students learning inside classroom

Lehigh University currently offers 110 Undergraduate and Graduate courses that are either based in sustainability, or includes sustainability related topics, and each of the four colleges offer at least 7 of these courses.  Through these courses, Lehigh students have the opportunity to leverage their inherent curiosity, engage with content, ask questions, and seek answers through discussion inside the classroom.

Undergraduate Courses By College:

Graduate Courses By College:

***See "Undergraduate Courses by College" for a combined list of sustainability classes in the College of Business and Economics. 

Learning Outside the Classroom

Lehigh's immersive, experiential learning opportunities give students a hands on learning experience outside of the traditional classroom.  Lehigh works hard to integrate sustainability into the educational experience through hands-on, inderdisciplinary experiential learning opportunities outside the classroom.  Through these experiences, Lehigh fosters creative learning environments where students come together to increase their capacities for independent inquiry, take intellectual risks, and learn from faciulty and staff on the journey toward tangible, sustainable impact.  

  • Lehigh's Experimental Forest
    Lehigh’s lost forest began as a forestry research project, conceived and implemented over 100 years ago. Thousands of trees belonging to dozens of species were planted. The forest was rediscovered in 2011 and is now a working lab for student learning.
  • Trembley's Tangled Bank
    Behind Williams Hall, there’s a stretch of forest that was created in the late 60’s when Lehigh stopped mowing the land. It created an outdoor learning space for students. Ecology students come to this space to do botanical surveys of the area.
  • Repurposing Wood from Fallen Trees
    Students work on wooden furniture for a conference room. The wood comes from 200-300 year old trees that fell during hurricane Sandy and were salvaged. The wood is being repurposed using Lehigh shops and students.
  • Pop-up Parklets
    A group of students worked on developing and installing parklets - parks in miniature - throughout South Bethlehem. The parklets are meant to reduce driving and promote walkability. They serve as spots for outdoor dining, enjoying art, and socializing.
  • Installation of Solar Panels to Enhance Sustainable Farming
    A team of students, faculty, and staff installed 16 solar panels at the Goodman Campus Community Garden. The team was working toward achieving a fully energy-independent food growing enterprise.

Other Opportunities

Creative Inquiry and Mountaintop Initiative

The Office of Creative Inquiry supports a wide range of interdisciplinary initiatives that help students and faculty pursue new intellectual, creative, and artistic pathways that lead to transformative new innovations, expressions, and questions.  The Mountaintop Initiative, one snapshot of Creative Inquiry, is an integrated learning, research, and engagement program that supports real, authentic, and meaningful projects on their winding journeys toward tangible and sustainable impact.

Learn More ⇒

Studying Abroad

Studying abroad is an experience like no other. By living and learning in a different culture, you'll broaden your understanding of the world and even gain a different perspective on your own country.

Learn More ⇒

Campus-Community Partnerships

Lehigh has many partnerships with the local community to enrich students' learning through context, while fostering the relationship between Lehigh University and Bethlehem.  Some of these partnerships include Service Learning Projects and the Community Service Office.