Students coming to the University of Denver have seemingly endless opportunities to build an experience - both inside and outside of the classroom - that fulfills their curiosity, allows them to pursue their passions, and translates to a future they can be excited for. Students who are interested in sustainability as part of, or even the focus of, their time at DU will find myriad ways to live, learn, experience, and research these topics in different ways as they make their way through their four years here.
Students coming to the University of Denver for their first year will have the opportunity to commit to a deep experience in sustainability before they ever arrive on campus by applying to be part of one DU’s themed living communities. The Environmental Sustainability Living and Learning Community and the Social Justice Living and Learning Community offer students class-based opportunities to live and work with students sharing similar values. The Just Sustainability themed residence pod will offer a blend of both topics in an experience-based living community.
One of the most important things students need to do to make DU feel like home is to find a group of people that become your personal community within the larger DU Community. Many students find this in their residence halls, while others find their people in a student group. First year students have the opportunity to meet the different student groups during Orientation, but if they are interested in sustainability, they can also check out the different clubs dedicated to making DU more just and sustainable and start making an impact right away.
Find a Major
Many students come to college knowing exactly what they want to study, while others will take more time to explore before committing to a major. For students hoping to get a deep understanding of sustainability topics - from ecology and geography to politics and law, there are a variety of majors that will give students an academic experience they will never forget.
Find an Internship
Many students find that they get some of their most exciting experiences at college in projects or internships they pursue outside of the classroom. The Center for Sustainability hires a team of highly motivated and passionate students every year. These students start out at the Center for Sustainability by supporting the various programs and projects there, getting a wide range of experience and learning. Students who begin working at the Center for Sustainability early in their college career are likely to stay with the program for the rest of their years at DU, offering the chance for many leadership, professional, and personal development opportunities.
In their first year, students often join clubs or other organizations to find a community to which they belong. Second year students can use those experiences to inform decisions about how to get even more involved in DU communities by growing those clubs, taking on leadership roles at DU, and even creating new communities that bring people together to work towards a common goal of making DU a more just and sustainable campus. Students can bring sustainability into any community they are part of - from their fraternities, sororities, and sports teams, to clubs, residence halls, and campus jobs.
Begin a Research Project
Students who are interested in the research side of academia have the opportunity to work with faculty at DU in laboratories on a wide variety of topics in sustainability. These faculty research projects are a great way for students to develop the tools and experience that will allow them to pursue personal research projects later in their college careers.
DU’s Study Abroad program is a huge draw for students to this campus, and there are international opportunities to fit nearly any interest that students have. For those who are hoping to continue a deep dive into sustainability topics they began in their first two years at DU, there are a huge number of study abroad programs related to different sustainability topics all over the world. Not only will you be able to see a new part of the world and immerse yourself in a new culture, you can also use the opportunity to get a global perspective on a topic you’ve already explored in some depth in the domestic or local context.
Experience Into Leadership
As students return from study abroad experiences, they are uniquely positioned to start turning their passions and previous experiences into true leadership opportunities at DU. They can take an executive position in one of the student groups at DU, get hired as a Team Leader at the Center for Sustainability, and find opportunities to collaborate with campus and community partners to apply their learning.
Many fourth year classes at DU include projects that require students to work with community partners or create a real-world project around a topic that they are passionate about. The Center for Sustainability partners with several faculty to create opportunities for students to complete such projects using real data from our campus, to solve real problems through your classwork, and to apply your learning to hyperlocal problem-solving with tangible solutions.
Sometimes a project reaches beyond a single class project, with enough depth to be the sole topic of an independent study class. The Center for Sustainability partners with several departments at DU to create unique, tangible, and deeply experiential learning opportunities through independent study courses. These courses allow students to thoroughly examine a real problem at DU or in Denver and then explore intersectional and interdisciplinary solutions to that problem. These courses typically pull together 6-10 students from different majors to study a topic together.
Interested in pursuing an independent project?Contact Chad King
Sharing Your Learning
After nearly four years of learning and doing, students at DU are in a unique position to teach others about their experiences and lessons learned. Students can share their expertise through workshops hosted by the Center for Sustainability, through presentations at national conferences, such as the AASHE Annual Conference, or more locally at such opportunities as the Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Showcase every spring.