How to complete an Environment & Sustainability Minor at MIT

The MIT Environment & Sustainability (E&S) Minor combines two core required classes with three to four electives from a diverse menu of more than 100 other subjects. The required classes, titled “People and the Planet,” give all students in the Minor a common language and toolkit for understanding sustainability, across the fields of history, engineering, governance and science. Electives in the Minor let students approach their environmental studies through those areas of greatest relevance to their majors and future careers, exploring topics in depth or gaining a broad understanding of an environmental theme or approach to sustainability.

See suggested roadmaps for completing the E&S Minor.

Core classes

Students must take 21 units from two core subjects:

  1. People and the Planet: Environmental Governance and Science (12.387, 15.874J, IDS.063J) – Offered fall semester (9 units)
  2. People and the Planet: Environmental Histories and Engineering (11.004, STS.033J) – Offered spring semester (12 units, HASS-E). NOTE: Students may currently substitute a D-Lab class for this requirement. See more information below.

If a core subject is not offered in a particular semester, or if a student is unable to enroll, other classes may occasionally be substituted for these requirements. If you are struggling to fit these classes into your schedule, please contact Sarah Meyers to discuss possible substitutes.

* NOTE: The spring semester core subject “People and the Planet: Environmental Histories and Engineering” will not be offered in 2020-2021 or 2021-2022. Students minoring in Environment & Sustainability may substitute any of the following classes for this requirement:

Elective classes

Students must take a minimum of 36 units from elective subjects (generally 3 or 4 subjects).

Pick from 110+ electives across 17 different departments (including D-Lab and Terrascope, with many CI-H options). Search the full list of electives in the Environment and Sustainability Minor here. Please note that not all electives in the minor are offered every academic year. Please visit the MIT Subject Listing for a comprehensive and up-to-the-minute list of offered classes.

In addition to the listed subjects, students may be able to count additional environment and sustainability-related classes toward the minor, including IAP classes. Please contact Sarah Meyers to discuss the eligibility of any relevant courses that are not listed above.

A minimum of four subjects (or 48 units) taken for the Environment and Sustainability Minor cannot also count toward a student’s major or other minor. In other words, only one subject that counts toward a student’s major or other minor degree may also count toward the E&S Minor elective requirement. In addition, only two Terrascope subjects can be counted toward the E&S Minor.

Getting started

Learn how to apply for the E&S Minor


Email the Environmental Solutions Initiative at

Return to the E&S Minor homepage