Sustainability at Mason

Sustainability is one of Mason's core values. We educate leaders, conduct interdisciplinary research, invest in sustainable infrastructure, and promote and support socially conscious entrepreneurship. Join us in solving the complex challenges of today to create a better world tomorrow.

environmental science student works with floating raft of plants in Mason Pond



If you want to build a career in sustainability, Mason has a variety of degree programs, minors, and classes in the field, such as Environmental ScienceConservation Biology, and Food Systems. Many are designated Green Leaf Programs and Courses, focusing on sustainability.


Yellow frog in natural habitat


Institute for a Sustainable Earth

The ISE supports interdisciplinary research by connecting experts in various fields with each other and to policymakers, businesses, civic organizations, and communities. The power of this collaboration leads to discoveries and innovation that might otherwise take years to reach. We're making an impact now. 


Interior of Mason greenhouse


Mason Campuses

Our practices include: constructing LEED buildings; managing stormwater runoff; growing food in our greenhouse; planting bee pollinator gardens and teaching apiary management; making carbon-neutral/green purchases; being energy efficient; composting; and reducing waste.


Students on roof of Mason's Merten Hall with solar grid, plants to hold water


Office of Sustainability

Mason is commited to carbon neutrality by 2050. We’re building a culture of sustainability on our campuses through strategic planning and partnerships, and program and project management. By leveraging our strengths, we give students, faculty, and staff the knowledge, skills, and tools to create a sustainable future.   

Cloud Leopard at Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation


Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation

At SMSC, learn from Smithsonian scientists in a program that is unique in the nation. Safeguard vanishing species through hands-on, interdisciplinary conservation programs for undergraduates, graduate students, professionals, and high schoolers.

Exterior view from the river of the Potomac Science Center


Potomac Science Center

This 50,000-square-foot facility, a destination for environmental science research along the Chesapeake Bay watershed, hosts collaborations with government agencies and private industry. It’s home to the Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center and the Center for Geospatial Intelligence.

Sustainability Research at Mason

Much of the research conducted at Mason is connected in some way with sustainability. 

Our researchers in different disciplines collaborate to find solutions to global problems.

In addition to the Institute for a Sustainable Earth and the university-wide Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities, nine of our schools and colleges have affiliated research centers that focus on an aspect of sustainability. Mason is one of the top research universities in the nation, holding an R1 designation from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

Study: Prepare to Make a Difference in the World

Mason provides students interested in sustainability an immersive experience that will allow you to craft a career in any field.

Mason professor and students in coastal marshlands

Celso Ferreira, right, a civil engineering professor, and his students research how vegetation in coastal marshes protects communities from waves and flooding

Work: Craft a Career that Will Let You Make Your Mark

You don't have to wait for a degree to start your career in sustainability. Mason offers students, faculty and staff, and members of the community opportunities to work and build a business now.

Student works with printer in the MIX at Mason

The Mason Innovation Exchange (The MIX) hosts workshops, competitions, and accelerator programs.

Live: Incorporate Your Values into Your Life

Your personal time can also be productive — and fun.

Mason students hiking a mountain

GMU Outdoors takes advantage of Mason's proximity to national parks to take you into the natural world.



We know we’re a sustainable university. Others know it, too.

Mason student wearing sustainability T shirt holding shovel

Mason student Alex Williams leads a volunteer workshop in organic gardening.