Graham Sustainability Institute

Graham Scholars Take the Next Step In Their Leadership Journey

The co-curricular Graham Scholars program is complementary to many academic programs, including the Program in the Environment, the Program in Sustainable Engineering, and the Business and Sustainability Concentration.

New in 2021-22: The program will be three semesters, beginning in the Fall of the Junior year, and ending the Fall Semester of the Senior year.

  • Focus on collaboration, interdisciplinary team projects, and community engagement
  • Develop the necessary skills to be a sustainability leader in any discipline
  • Connect with other like-minded scholars interested in sustainability topics
  • Open to current undergraduate and transfer students attending the Ann Arbor campus
  • The Graham Scholars Program supports up to 50 undergraduate students annually


U-M Sophomores & Transfer Students:
Become A Sustainability Leader

Become part of an interdisciplinary sustainability program and receive financial support for a field-based experience (in alignment with your major/minor). Gain leadership skills through a dynamic team-based project with a client external to UM. 

  • Begin participation and get to know your cohort at the Fall Retreat (first Saturday after Labor Day), become a certified Planet Blue Ambassador, and learn about sustainability projects.
  • Attend professional development seminars, scheduled on Thursdays (5:00 PM - 6:30 PM) from September-April; three required seminars and one optional community-building event per semester.

“You're interacting with and learning from local people all of the time, whether that's through a guest speaker, community event, or informal interaction at the Mercantile. You learn about why people choose to live in the valley, why they love it, its deep cultural and homesteading history, the challenges and joys of living among so much wildlife.” — Graham Scholar

Participation in co-curricular activities provides an opportunity to further develop multi-cultural engagement, project management, and other skills applicable to all career paths. 

  • A critical component of the program, each scholar is eligible to receive support for a field-based experience (remote or in-person)
  • Interaction with students across campus is what sets this program apart from others
  • Participating in seminars, discussion, and other opportunities builds a sustainable community of Scholars
  • Join a growing cohort of more than 1,500 U-M Sustainability Fellows and Scholars advancing their careers
  • The Graham Scholars Program was established in 2010 through the generosity of our donor Donald Graham and the UM Provost Office

Scholars comments about their field-based experiences

  • “This study abroad program exposes you to a wide array of perspectives, cultures, climates, people, food, and experiences, giving you a better understanding of the global system, the diversity of approaches to environmental management, and the varying perspectives and responses to climate change.”
  • “… the academic coursework often consisted of synthesizing these experiences in relation to the concepts we'd learned in the classroom. The opportunity to design and conduct an independent public health research study was incredibly valuable, and in my experience is a rarity in the course of undergraduate education. I feel capable of designing and carrying out independent research, which I could not have said before this program.”

Above: Graham Scholar Keny Patel in Switzerland with other students, see the field-based course experiences for more information.

Learn More About Sustainability at U-M 

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