Environmental sustainability is an interdisciplinary field that integrates natural and social sciences, humanities, arts and education to address complex environmental problems. It attempts to balance human needs and ecological well-being, viewing humans as embedded within environmental systems.
As a student in the environmental sustainability program, you’ll learn how to understand the complex linkages between social and ecological systems and bring together knowledge from many different perspectives and disciplines. You’ll analyze environmental issues, collect data, connect the local and the global, apply various forms of theory, gain technical and applied skills and work collaboratively with others to find solutions to real-world environmental problems.
Bachelor of Arts
To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Sustainability, you’ll complete six (6) courses within the major core and an additional 10 courses within your desired concentration.
Take all of the following courses:
You may choose from one of these four (4) concentrations listed below to focus your studies.
This thematic focus provides you with the necessary foundational knowledge in educational theory and methodology combined with practical leadership and skill development to prepare you for work in a variety of outdoor and environmental education contexts. A minor in a natural science is strongly recommended.
Take both of the following:
Four (4) of the following education or leadership* courses:
Three (3) of the following natural science courses (at least two must be above 202):
*other courses may be considered by petition
This thematic focus provides you with the knowledge and skills needed to understand both the climate and policy systems that allow experts to translate scientific knowledge into governmental action. The collection of courses will prepare future leaders who are capable of crafting realistic alternatives for mitigating and adapting to the climate crisis.
All of the following politics courses:
Two (2) of the following additional science courses:
One (1) of the following additional politics or society courses:
One (1) of the following statistics, mathematics or methods courses, chosen in consultation with your adviser:
Natural Resource Conservation
This focus examines the distribution, quality, and protection of natural resources. It examines the nature and structure of environments, uses scientific research to explore the ways environmental change occurs, and investigates natural resources as valuable commodities. This focus will prepare you to research human impacts on environmental systems and propose management solutions.
All of the following environmental science courses:
One (1) of the following politics and society courses:
Two (2) of the following upper-level environmental science courses:
One (1) of the following human perspectives courses:
Environmental Culture and Justice
This track focuses on a humanistic exploration of the environment. It explores the ways we conceptualize and represent the environment as well as relations between environment and cultural world views, values, life experiences, identity, and social structures. It includes significant attention to issues of social and environmental justice.
All of the following courses:
Four (4) additional courses with significant culture or justice content:
No more than one of the following
One (1) of the following methods courses:
For a minor in environmental sustainability, you must take:
29% of environmental sustainability majors were enrolled in grad school within six months of graduation.
93% of work seekers who majored in a cross-divisional major between 2018-2022 were employed, pursuing graduate school or volunteering within six months of graduation.
Recent graduates have been admitted to graduate programs in veterinary medicine, environmental policy and management, energy and earth resources, ecology, evolution and behavior, and museum education.
Can I do off-campus study
Environmental sustainability majors are encouraged to participate in off-campus study, faculty-student research experiences and internships. Recent majors have studied in New Zealand, done research in Iceland and other European countries and interned at the Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy, Conserve National Forests, San Andres Education Programs and Cope Environmental Center.
Learn more about available programs via our Center for Global and Career Education.