CFAES Give Today

School of Environment and Natural Resources


Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability

The Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability (EEDS) major prepares students to address some of the most pressing challenges facing society today, like unprecedented environmental change, resource scarcities, and growing social inequalities. Students gain practical skills in managing economic, social, and environmental change.  

The EEDS course of study is systems-focused and provides students with the tools to manage change, think holistically, and assess sustainable development in a variety of settings. EEDS graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to launch a career in sustainability in the private, public or non-profit sectors.




Students may choose 1 of the following 3 specializations as a focus area:

Sustainability and Business- This specialization addresses why and how businesses and organizations are incorporating sustainability into their practices, both on the strategic and operational levels.

Environmental Economics and Policy Analysis- Students in this specialization will gain the knowledge and skills needed to determine and express the monetary value of ecosystem services in our market-based policies, environmental regulations, and international agreements.

Community and International Development- This specialization provides a detailed understanding of community planning, local economies, and social change. Students will learn how to best implement positive social, economic, and environmental change within a community. International development focuses on the reduction of long-term poverty by developing approaches that promote improved, secure and sustainable livelihood strategies for those whose basic survival depends directly on the natural environment.

View EEDS major requirements here.


The conceptual framework underlying sustainable living and thinking is not new and has existed across cultures for hundreds of thousands of years. As a professional focus, however, sustainability is only recently gaining mainstream traction. Industries ranging from sports and fashion, to agriculture and auto manufacturing are feeling the social and economic pressure to reduce their harmful impacts on ecosystems. Likewise, universities and business are appointing sustainability-related positions to assist in waste reduction, transfer to renewable energy, and more. Cities are also in need of consultants and advocates to help them balance their economic, environmental, and social wellbeing.  

Due to its emerging status, sustainability as a professional field is broad and often rewards those with a pioneering spirit. Though more positions are emerging with "sustainability" in their titles, students graduating with a degree in EEDS should look “outside the box” for jobs that allow them to apply their new skills and knowledge through many forms of community, business, and non-profit development. Students should work with the Career Advisor to find internships and other experiences to strengthen their resumes and build professional networks.

On average, 95%of students in this major have acquired employment or enrolled in graduate or professional school within 6 months of graduation with an average starting salary of around $52k. In a typical year, 11% of EEDS grads go directly into graduate or professional school. 

Here are some examples of positions acquired by EEDS graduates immediately following graduation:

Americorps, Food Security Coordinator, Maine
Avery Dennison, Sustainability Project Leader, Ohio
City of Indianapolis - Office of Sustainability, Sustainability Intern, Indiana
Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Field Instructor Fellow, Ohio
Creative Green Marketing, Environmental Solutions Analyst, Ohio
Edison Energy, Energy Manager, Ohio
Franklinton Farms, Volunteer Coordination VISTA, Ohio
GT Environmental Inc, Environmental Planner, Ohio
HelloFresh, Supply Chain Analyst, New York
LORD Green Real Estate Strategies, Associate Project Manager - Green Building Certifications, Texas
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Research Project Lead, Maryland
National Security Agency, Staff Officer, Maryland
Polar Bears International, Programs and Sustainability Intern, Montana
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Environmental Sustainability Associate, New York
Savour Food Safety International, Supply Chain Coordinator, Ohio
Sierra Club Ohio Chapter, Conservation Coordinator, Ohio
Tesla, Energy Specialist, Colorado
Trillium Farms, Procurement Manager, Ohio
U.S. Navy, Ensign, Ohio
City of Columbus, Sustainability Intern, Ohio
Columbus Public Health Department, Environmental Protection & Sustainability Intern, Ohio
GMG EnviroSafe, Compliance Coordinator, Illinois
Nationwide Insurance, Energy and Environment Project Coordinator, Ohio
Peace Corps, Volunteer, Togo
The National Lime and Stone Company, Environmental Compliance Specialist, Ohio
EPA Boston, On-Scene Coordinator/ Life Scientist, Massachusetts
Real Food Challenge, Regional Field Organizer, Ohio
Third Sun Solar LLC, Solar Consultant, Ohio

Selected graduate programs pursued by EEDS students upon graduation in the past 5 years:

Columbia University, Earth and Environmental Engineering
Georgetown University, Environmental Meteorology and Policy
Georgia Tech, City and Regional Planning
Texas A&M, Energy
The Ohio State University, Landscape Architecture
University of California-Davis, Energy Systems
Vermont Law School, Doctorate of Environmental Law
Yale School of the Environment, Environmental Science

Full employment and graduate school outcome reports are available here.