Environmental problems are pressing and complex. Solving them will require expertise rooted in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Creative and sustainable approaches to climate change, environmental justice, natural resource depletion, public health, and hunger, depend on our ability to understand the interactive components of natural, built, and social environments. The goal of our environmental studies curriculum is to produce professionals who can do just that. EVST graduates will have a strong foundation in key areas and will "speak the language" of the multiple disciplines involved in environmental problem solving.
In the Environmental Studies degree programs, students are broadly prepared across disciplines, but are also required to focus and specialize through the selection of a minor or a second major. The curriculum incorporates experiential and service learning, collaborative problem solving, and meaningful interactions with environmental professionals. Academic credit is given for research, internships, and international travel experiences.
One of the popular misconceptions about Environmental Studies is that it is, essentially, a “science” program. While there are certainly many opportunities for students interested in the natural sciences to focus in that area, the substantial breadth of the program also allows majors to align with the humanities and social sciences.
SEaS is uniquely positioned to meet the challenges of educating students for environmental careers in this century. Increasingly government agencies, businesses, and nonprofit organizations recognize the need for a workforce that understands the connections between the physical environment, society, and culture. About a third of our graduates continue with graduate studies. The others find employment, mostly within three months of graduation. Our students have made careers in areas as diverse as environmental research, community planning, and environmental law.
Research and Community Engagement
Community engagement is a hallmark of Environmental Studies, as students study local environmental problems and engage in local environmental politics. Our students hold internships and complete co-ops in businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits, gaining experience in the work of sustainability.
Environmental Studies students are broadly prepared across disciplines, but they are also required to focus and specialize through the selection of a minor or a second major. The curriculum incorporates experiential and service learning, collaborative problem solving, and meaningful interactions with environmental professionals. In addition to researching at the UC Center for Field Studies or engaging with local community gardens, students can learn through travel abroad to Iceland, the Amazon and German’s Ruhr Valley.