This study was conducted in order to identify in which level teacher candidates comprehend sustainable development concept and the change of level which they link the indicators of this concept to sustainability according to grade levels The study was carried out with 240 teacher candidates who study science and technology education. The sample was consisted of 50 candidates in first grade, 59 candidates in second grade, 60 candidates in third grade and 71 candidates in fourth grade from Karadeniz Technical University and Artvin Coruh University. 55 indicators of sustainable development in UN report was arranged as a survey form in open-ended questions and applied to the sample. Moreover, their opinion was got by interviewing in a semi-constructed manner with the candidates who participated in the research. Data that gathered from the study performed in a cross-sectional way from the progressive research method was analyzed with qualitative analysis. It was established that the candidates could not relate sustainable development indicators to sustainability in desired level, that they did in just peripheral and economic level and that there existed differences in terms of grade levels. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.