UC Berkeley’s 2021 Sustainability Curriculum & the UN Sustainable Development Goals

November 3, 2021

Following UC Berkeley’s reception of a Platinum Rating in the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, the UC Berkeley Office of Sustainability aimed to further explore UC Berkeley’s role as an institute of higher education in promoting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

This course list mapping is a second evaluation of the 2017-2020 UC Berkeley Course List in relation to the UN SDGs. The last course list mapping, published in 2020, assessed the UC Berkeley courses in the 2015-2018 period. The evaluation was conducted by Office of Sustainability student fellows Mikayla Tran, Kung Chen, and Varsha Madapoosi. The complete earlier report can be found here.

The 2017-2020 UC Berkeley Course Mapping is an extension of UC Berkeley’s 2021 Sustainability Course Inventory, a result of UC Berkeley’s 2021 submission to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System v.2.2 (STARS). The Sustainability Course Inventory narrowed down the UC Berkeley full course list from 6854 courses to 3221 courses that have a sustainability connection. 

This report inspires to expand on the findings of over 3000 sustainability courses by mapping the list to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the process of SDG-specific keyword sorting, the 3000 sustainability course list was narrowed down to 2079 courses, each identified by their applicable SDGs. 

SDG Data Analysis Waffle Chart

Although every UN SDG was covered by the UC Berkeley STARS course list, some SDGs were more represented than others, with UN SDG 16: Peace and Justice being the most represented at 18.5%, UN SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth being the second most represented at 14.8%, and UN SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being being the third most represented at 9.4%. The UN SDGs that were the most underrepresented in the UC Berkeley STARS course list were UN SDG 10: Reduced Inequality, UN SDG 2: Zero Hunger, and UN SDG 1: No Poverty, represented at 2.7%, 2.4%, and 1.4%, respectively.

Read our full report & analysis here.

Access the public-facing SDG course spreadsheet here.

In order to properly evaluate the effectivity of this analysis, please fill out our faculty feedback form here.