Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies

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The Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies offers students an interdisciplinary perspective on environmental problems. While receiving a strong background in environmental science, students will be exposed to a broad range of interdisciplinary course work that examines the legal, economic, social, literary, historical and philosophical perspectives on both local and global sustainability issues. This major will prepare students interested in pursuing diverse and contemporary careers such as environmental law, policy, management, planning and teaching in the public, private, academic and nonprofit sectors. An important component of the Environmental Studies major is a capstone experience that emphasizes service to the community while exposing the student to potential future employers and positions.

Two required “bookend” seminars, taken by entering juniors and graduating seniors, introduce students to scientific research, writing and funding processes. The senior capstone experience allows students to get practical experience in individual or team research or internship positions.

Students with a BA degree can go on to pursue careers in education, policy and other fields that mesh natural and social sciences and humanities.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this degree will:

  • Demonstrate a basic scientific literacy tied to core content in scientific disciplines vital to understanding environmental issues.
  • Exhibit advanced capabilities for interpreting and communicating information related to environmental issues in written and oral forms appropriate to both scientific and non-technical audiences.
  • Cultivate skills critical to interpreting scientific concepts for public understanding, including familiarity with the scientific method, information literacy, statistical data analysis, hypothesis formulation and conceptual modeling, research project design and working collaboratively.
  • Be conversant in the theoretical and applied concepts in the humanities and social sciences, and the interdisciplinary connections between these subjects and the natural sciences, in order to understand and solve environmental issues.
  • Recognize the interconnectedness and interdependence of political, economic and social complexities inherent in environmental problem solving, and demonstrate the ability to apply this interdisciplinary training to environmental problems of local, regional, national or global significance.
  • Understand the role of individuals and participate in the creation of solutions for environmental problems.
  • Participate in engaged inquiry as a means of connecting classroom learning to real-world environmental problem solving and establishing the skills needed for life-long learning.

Our student learning objectives follow the model set forth by Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP). LEAP is an initiative that champions the value of a liberal education—for individual students and for a nation dependent on economic creativity and democratic vitality. The initiative focuses campus practice on fostering essential learning outcomes for all students, whatever their chosen field of study.