Project Description


The intersection of earth systems and human systems presents the leading challenges and opportunities for the 21st century and beyond for all species on the planet. Given the breadth of the disciplines required to answer even narrow questions at this crossroads, both the study and application of environment and sustainability are exercises in the engaged liberal arts. At this intersection lies central questions of environmental management and environmental justice, of global function, global changes, and global interactions. Engagement on these questions presents an opportunity for learning, for expanding the frontiers of basic knowledge, for building positive collaborations across society, and for inspiring positive change.

The occupational outlook for this field is strong and will become ever more so as deepening environmental crises intersect with unsustainable population growth, resource degradation, water scarcity, land use changes, and global losses in species biodiversity. The Environment and Sustainability Major prepares students for careers in environmental and ecological science, environmental policy and public engagement, environmental law, environmental communications, civic and municipal sustainability, and social and environmental activism.

Build Your Future

The Environment and Sustainability Major pursues a robust interdisciplinary approach to the study of human relationships with the environment. The goals of the major are to endow students with the necessary knowledge, wisdom, and experience to understand the complex, interrelated systems that determine how humans interact with their environments and to research and develop more sustainable relationships between humans and the non-human natural world. As such, the major emphasizes scientific, humanistic, and social science literacies across disciplines in order to foster critical thinking, global awareness, personal efficacy, and complex systems analysis in the service of pragmatic solutions to global environmental issues. Core courses in the major establish a foundation in the biological and earth sciences and introduce students to the cultural, social, economic, and political dimensions of human-environment interactions. While intermediate and upper-division coursework varies depending upon the student’s chosen degree track, experiential learning in the lab and in the field is a core value to both the B.A. and the B.S.

Two Tracks: Customized Paths for Your Success

The Environment and Sustainability Major offers two tracks, a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. Both tracks explore the natural and social sciences to prepare students to reach across discipline lines to solve the most pressing environmental issues. With a B.S in Environment and Sustainability, coursework will emphasize the natural sciences with supplementary coursework in the social sciences. With a B.A in Environment and Sustainability, coursework will emphasize the social sciences with supplementary coursework in the natural sciences.

Bachelor of Science in Environment and Sustainability

The goal of the bachelor of science (B.S.) degree is to train students to become proficient in the biological, chemical, physical, and earth sciences, and to develop social and cultural awareness of complex environmental problems. The bachelor of science preparation requires two full years of introductory biology, chemistry, physics, and data science to develop a student’s technical, quantitative, ecological, and analytical skills. Upper-division studies, while still interdisciplinary and flexible, limit the number of social science and humanities courses a student may take. The majority of the environment and sustainability electives emphasize the physical and natural science disciplines to enhance the student’s understanding of earth system sciences and the role they play in environmental problems

Bachelor of Arts in Environment and Sustainability

The bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree encourages interdisciplinary inquiry by providing the necessary flexibility for students to explore the social, cultural, and scientific issues pertaining to the environment. B.A. students must develop college-level scientific literacy in biology, earth sciences, and chemistry as a platform for upper-division coursework in the physical sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. At the upper-division level, students may choose from an array of social science and humanities electives in order to apply sophisticated, appropriate, and practical solutions to global problems using diverse, interdisciplinary perspectives.

Students may advance through the degree in a broad-based manner, but our expectation is that they will focus on a particular concentration, for example:

  • Environment and Health
  • Conservation Science
  • Environmental Leadership
  • Computational Sustainability and Data Science



Receive an Information Packet about The Environmental Program

Find out more about the program, including courses, requirements and culture

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