Graham Sustainability Institute

Open to undergraduate students across U-M, this program engages participants in collaborative, co-curricular activities that foster interdisciplinary sustainability leadership, collaboration, and community engagement.

Become part of this program and receive financial support for a field-based experience and a dynamic team-based project. Learn more about requirements, field experiences, co-curricular activities, and how you can get involved.

Taking the Next Step In Their Leadership Journey

U-M Sophomores: Become A Sustainability Leader

Support for a field-based course and interaction with students across campus are the highlights of the program, in addition to the fall retreat, networking, and discussion. Read what students have to say about their field-based study 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.”
  • “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, it's deep cultural and homesteading history, the challenges and joys of living among so much wildlife.”

Events & Activities Overview

Participation in courses and co-curricular activities provides an opportunity for scholars to further develop leadership skills and foster a sense of identity in and among cohorts, see the events and activities overview below. A critical component of the nine (9) credit course of study and co-curricular activities, each scholar is eligible to receive support to pursue a field-based experience.


  • Junior Seminar: Skills Session - Required
  • Project Pitches & Rating


  • Juniors/Seniors: Winter Retreat
  • Junior Seminar: Interdisciplinary Sustainability Project Assignments (teams of 4-5, three disciplines)


  • Junior and Seniors: Annual Graham Scholars Symposium (Senior Project Presentations) - Required
  • Celebration dinner for graduating scholars & certificates


  • Junior Seminar: Skills Session - Required
  • Welcome dinner for new scholars


  • Junior Seminar: Skills Session - Required

-------------   June-July: Summer Break


  • New Junior Cohort: Fall Retreat, a two-day event off-campus, the last week (Tuesday and Wednesday) of August - Required
  • Seniors: Assist with retreat — facilitate discussion and coordinate activities (vegetarian dinner cook-off competition)
  • Juniors/Seniors: After completing your field-based course, submit the Graham Undergraduate - Field-based Experience Form to share your reflections with peers


  • Seniors: UC 427 (seminar only offered Fall term)
  • Junior Seminar: 9-12-19 - Planet Blue Ambassador training & personal sustainability goals


  • Junior Seminar: Interact with Seniors through a poster session highlighting field-based examples, and dinner - Required
  • See additional details about Field Experiences


  • Juniors: Select Field-based Course Options & begin applying
  • Junior Seminar: Project Management Skills Session, Team-based project guidelines, and resources - Required — Graham North Seminar Room
  • Seniors: UC 427 
  • Juniors/Seniors: Register for ENVIRON 391 Practicum - Campus Sustainability Course (only offered Winter term)


  • Junior Seminar: Skill Session - Required


------------- Year-end Break

Learn More - Sustainability at U-M