Environment Courses

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Like so many of the big challenges taken on at MIT, environmental issues demand an interdisciplinary perspective.

From declining fisheries to acute urban pollution to record-breaking global temperatures, the evidence of human impact on the environment continues to mount. And at the same time, the environment shapes us, as human society and institutions are built upon our connection to the weather, land, water, and other species. What can we learn from ecological systems and cycles? What are the right solutions to our urgent environmental challenges?

MIT scholars, students and alumni are working to understand and help us make progress toward a more sustainable and just world. This core mission draws upon all of the fields represented at MIT: not just science, engineering, and technology, but also the humanities, arts, economics, history, architecture, urban planning, management, policy, and more.

Use OCW materials from across these fields to expand your horizons and learn more about our relationship with the environment. The course list below is particularly inspired by two interdisciplinary MIT programs. Many of the undergraduate courses fall within the undergraduate Environment and Sustainability Minor devised by MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI); the OCW course list employs the undergraduate minor’s four topic pillars. Many of the graduate-level courses are part of the MIT Sloan School of Management Sustainability Certificate curriculum.

Environment Courses


Earth Systems and Climate Science

Course # Course Title Level
1.018J Ecology I: The Earth System Undergraduate
1.020 Ecology II: Engineering for Sustainability Undergraduate
1.061 Transport Processes in the Environment Undergraduate
2.016 Hydrodynamics (13.012) Undergraduate
5.60 Thermodynamics & Kinetics Undergraduate
8.21 The Physics of Energy Undergraduate
12.000 Solving Complex Problems (Fall 2009) Undergraduate
12.000 Solving Complex Problems (Fall 2003) Undergraduate
12.001 Introduction to Geology Undergraduate
12.002 Physics and Chemistry of the Terrestrial Planets Undergraduate
12.003 Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics Undergraduate
12.007 Geobiology Undergraduate
12.009J Theoretical Environmental Analysis Undergraduate
12.085 Seminar in Environmental Science Undergraduate
12.086 Modeling Environmental Complexity Undergraduate
12.090 The Environment of the Earth's Surface Undergraduate
12.097 Chemical Investigations of Boston Harbor Undergraduate
12.102 Environmental Earth Science Undergraduate
12.103 Strange Bedfellows: Science and Environmental Policy Undergraduate
12.109 Petrology Undergraduate
12.110 Sedimentary Geology Undergraduate
12.114 Field Geology I Undergraduate
12.163 Surface Processes and Landscape Evolution Undergraduate
12.307 Weather and Climate Laboratory Undergraduate
12.333 Atmospheric and Ocean Circulations Undergraduate
12.335 Experimental Atmospheric Chemistry Undergraduate
12.340 Global Warming Science Undergraduate
20.102 Macroepidemiology (BE.102) Undergraduate
20.104J Chemicals in the Environment: Toxicology and Public Health (BE.104J) Undergraduate
20.106J Systems Microbiology Undergraduate
1.63 Advanced Fluid Dynamics of the Environment Graduate
1.72 Groundwater Hydrology Graduate
1.725J Chemicals in the Environment: Fate and Transport Graduate
1.731 Water Resource Systems Graduate
1.76 Aquatic Chemistry Graduate
1.84J Atmospheric Chemistry Graduate
1.89 Environmental Microbiology Graduate
10.571J Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry Graduate
12.740 Paleoceanography Graduate
12.842 Climate Physics and Chemistry Graduate
15.023J Global Climate Change: Economics, Science, and Policy Graduate

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Engineering for Sustainability

Course # Course Title Level
1.011 Project Evaluation Undergraduate
1.101 Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering Design I Undergraduate
2.00AJ Exploring Sea, Space, & Earth: Fundamentals of Engineering Design Undergraduate
2.60 Fundamentals of Advanced Energy Conversion Undergraduate
2.627 Fundamentals of Photovoltaics Undergraduate
3.003 Principles of Engineering Practice Undergraduate
3.080 Economic & Environmental Issues in Materials Selection Undergraduate
3.094 Materials in Human Experience Undergraduate
4.401 Introduction to Building Technology Undergraduate
4.411 Building Technology Laboratory Undergraduate
4.42J Fundamentals of Energy in Buildings Undergraduate
5.92 Energy, Environment, and Society Undergraduate
7.347 Fueling Sustainability: Engineering Microbial Systems for Biofuel Production Undergraduate
11.S196 Global Freshwater Crisis Undergraduate
12.000 Solving Complex Problems (Fall 2009) Undergraduate
12.000 Solving Complex Problems (Fall 2003) Undergraduate
15.772J D-Lab: Supply Chains Undergraduate
22.01 Introduction to Nuclear Engineering and Ionizing Radiation Undergraduate
22.033 Nuclear Systems Design Project Undergraduate
22.081J Introduction to Sustainable Energy Undergraduate
EC.701J D-Lab I: Development Undergraduate
EC.711 D-Lab: Energy Undergraduate
EC.715 D-Lab: Disseminating Innovations for the Common Good Undergraduate
EC.716 D-Lab: Waste Undergraduate
EC.720J D-Lab II: Design Undergraduate
1.201J Introduction to Transportation Systems Graduate
1.252J Urban Transportation Planning Graduate
1.253J Transportation Policy and Environmental Limits Graduate
1.34 Waste Containment and Remediation Technology Graduate
1.731 Water Resource Systems Graduate
1.77 Water Quality Control Graduate
1.782 Environmental Engineering Masters of Engineering Project Graduate
1.85 Water and Wastewater Treatment Engineering Graduate
1.964 Design for Sustainability Graduate
2.500 Desalination and Water Purification Graduate
4.183 Sustainable Design and Technology Research Workshop Graduate
4.406 Ecologies of Construction Graduate
4.430 Daylighting Graduate
10.626 Electrochemical Energy Systems Graduate
11.308J Advanced Seminar: Urban Nature and City Design Graduate
11.479J Water and Sanitation Infrastructure in Developing Countries Graduate
11.479 Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Planning in Developing Countries Graduate
11.601 Introduction to Environmental Policy and Planning Graduate
22.812J Managing Nuclear Technology Graduate
ESD.123J Systems Perspectives on Industrial Ecology Graduate
ESD.72 Engineering Risk-Benefit Analysis Graduate

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Environmental Governance

Course # Course Title Level
5.92 Energy, Environment, and Society Undergraduate
11.001J Introduction to Urban Design and Development (Spring 2006) Undergraduate
11.007 Resolving Public Disputes Undergraduate
11.123 Big Plans and Mega-Urban Landscapes Undergraduate
11.165 Infrastructure and Energy Technology Challenges Undergraduate
11.166 Law, Social Movements, and Public Policy: Comparative and International Experience Undergraduate
11.S196 Global Freshwater Crisis Undergraduate
12.103 Strange Bedfellows: Science and Environmental Policy Undergraduate
14.42 Environmental Policy and Economics Undergraduate
14.44 Energy Economics Undergraduate
15.031J Energy Decisions, Markets, and Policies Undergraduate
15.772J D-Lab: Supply Chains Undergraduate
17.181 Sustainable Development: Theory and Policy Undergraduate
17.441 International Politics and Climate Change Undergraduate
17.559 Comparative Security and Sustainability Undergraduate
17.906 Reading Seminar in Social Science: The Geopolitics and Geoeconomics of Global Energy Undergraduate
20.104J Chemicals in the Environment: Toxicology and Public Health (BE.104J) Undergraduate
21A.342 Environmental Struggles Undergraduate
EC.701J D-Lab I: Development Undergraduate
EC.711 D-Lab: Energy Undergraduate
EC.715 D-Lab: Disseminating Innovations for the Common Good Undergraduate
EC.716 D-Lab: Waste Undergraduate
EC.720J D-Lab II: Design Undergraduate
1.252J Urban Transportation Planning Graduate
1.253J Transportation Policy and Environmental Limits Graduate
2.964 Economics of Marine Transportation Industries Graduate
10.805J Technology, Law, and the Working Environment Graduate
11.301J Introduction to Urban Design and Development (Fall 2016) Graduate
11.362 Environmental Management Practicum: Brownfield Redevelopment Graduate
11.363 Civil Society and the Environment Graduate
11.364 International Environmental Negotiation Graduate
11.366J Planning for Sustainable Development Graduate
11.368 Environmental Justice Graduate
11.370 Brownfields Policy and Practice Graduate
11.373 Science, Politics, and Environmental Policy Graduate
11.375 Role of Science and Scientists in Collaborative Approaches to Environmental Policymaking Graduate
11.384 Malaysia Sustainable Cities Practicum Graduate
11.479 Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Planning in Developing Countries Graduate
11.493 Legal Aspects of Property and Land Use Graduate
11.941 Urban Climate Adaptation Graduate
11.941 Disaster, Vulnerability and Resilience Graduate
11.943J Urban Transportation, Land Use, and the Environment Graduate
14.475 Environmental Economics and Government Responses to Market Failure Graduate
15.014 Applied Macro- and International Economics II Graduate
15.023J Global Climate Change: Economics, Science, and Policy Graduate
15.972 Professional Seminar in Sustainability Graduate
15.975 U-Lab: Leading Profound Innovation for a More Sustainable World Graduate
15.992 S-Lab: Laboratory for Sustainable Business Graduate
17.410 Globalization, Migration, and International Relations Graduate
17.422 Field Seminar in International Political Economy Graduate
22.812J Managing Nuclear Technology Graduate
ESD.72 Engineering Risk-Benefit Analysis Graduate
ESD.S43 Green Supply Chain Management Graduate
STS.320 Environmental Conflict and Social Change Graduate

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Environmental Histories and Cultures

Course # Course Title Level
3.094 Materials in Human Experience Undergraduate
3.987 Human Origins and Evolution Undergraduate
4.001J CityScope: New Orleans Undergraduate
5.92 Energy, Environment, and Society Undergraduate
11.016J The Once and Future City Undergraduate
11.122 Environment and Society Undergraduate
14.42 Environmental Policy and Economics Undergraduate
14.44 Energy Economics Undergraduate
20.102 Macroepidemiology (BE.102) Undergraduate
21A.265 Food and Culture Undergraduate
21A.303J Anthropology of Biology Undergraduate
21A.338J Gender, Power, and International Development Undergraduate
21A.342 Environmental Struggles Undergraduate
21H.206 American Consumer Culture Undergraduate
21H.207 The Energy Crisis: Past and Present Undergraduate
21H.380J People and Other Animals Undergraduate
21H.383 Technology and the Global Economy, 1000-2000 Undergraduate
21H.421 Introduction to Environmental History Undergraduate
21L.449 End of Nature Undergraduate
21W.730-3 Writing and the Environment Undergraduate
21W.730-4 Writing on Contemporary Issues: Food for Thought: Writing and Reading about the Cultures of Food Undergraduate
21W.775 Writing about Nature and Environmental Issues Undergraduate
24.03 Good Food: The Ethics and Politics of Food Choices Undergraduate
EC.701J D-Lab I: Development Undergraduate
EC.715 D-Lab: Disseminating Innovations for the Common Good Undergraduate
STS.009 Evolution and Society Undergraduate
STS.034 Science Communication: A Practical Guide Undergraduate
STS.038 Energy and Environment in American History: 1705-2005 Undergraduate
STS.089 Technology and Innovation in Africa Undergraduate
4.163J Urban Design Studio: Providence Graduate
4.241J Theory of City Form Graduate
11.308J Advanced Seminar: Urban Nature and City Design Graduate
15.975 U-Lab: Leading Profound Innovation for a More Sustainable World Graduate
15.992 S-Lab: Laboratory for Sustainable Business Graduate
21H.968J Nature, Environment, and Empire Graduate
MAS.666 Developmental Entrepreneurship Graduate
STS.320 Environmental Conflict and Social Change Graduate

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