Department of Sustainable Environments

Thomas Jefferson University’s Department of Sustainable Environments leads education and research in solving some of the most challenging problems we face today. Research centers such as the Institute for Smart & Healthy Cities, and the Lab for Urban & Social Innovation, provide students the opportunity to pursue a PhD and engage in cutting edge research or community outreach programs. The Department of Sustainable Environments is housed in the Sustainability, Energy Efficiency and Design Center (SEED) on our East Falls campus, where students and faculty work together in creating a better future to improve life for all.


The Department of Sustainable Environments educates tomorrow’s leaders and changemakers in designing and developing sustainable buildings, cities, and landscapes to create a better future for all.

Students working on a virtual showcase

Welcome to the Department of Sustainable Environments

Dean and Acting Department Chair:
Barbara Klinkhammer, RA (DEU), Dipl.-Ing.

Department of Sustainable Environments Highlights

Across all scales of the built environment, our programs offer students the opportunity to learn analytical skills that drive decision making, apply a system-thinking approach to address social, economic, and ecological drivers, as well as to develop excellent design and development skills to create sustainable and beautiful spaces for all people. Driven by an inclusive design philosophy, our students work with communities and neighborhoods around the world and apply their knowledge and learning through real-world projects.
  • Focus on resiliency and sustainability
  • Transdisciplinary research opportunities with expert faculty in labs, research centers and institutes
  • Hands-on, collaborative experiences
  • Real-world projects and community engagement
  • Wide network of industry partners and non-profit organizations
  • Multiple study abroad opportunities
  • Internship opportunities and STEM designation of all programs (3-year Optional Practice Training for international students)
Thomas Jefferson University faculty member Peng Du, PhD

Expert Faculty

Our department’s expert faculty offer a wide-range of programs and graduate certificates to achieve professional goals for future leaders and change-agents. Climate change, rapid urbanization, and social inequality require solutions co-developed by highly trained experts with an understanding and analytical acumen of the complexity of today’s problems alongside stakeholders.