If you are passionate about environmental issues and society’s responsibilities to engineer sustainable solutions, consider a career in environmental studies. The Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ENVST) major is a STEM interdisciplinary program that offers students an opportunity to consider human-nature relationships across time and culture and at varied levels of environmental scale. Students explore the relationship between humans and nature from the perspectives of the natural sciences, the social and health sciences, and the humanities and fine arts. The ENVST curriculum includes courses in earth systems and social science, with an emphasis on human impact on the environment, policy making, ethics, community engagement, and sustainability; required internship and capstone courses further enforce these broad ENVST topics. The U’s program strives to foster an understanding of ecological systems and the consequences of human-environment interactions: through systemic analysis, peer learning, and community engagement, you will learn the importance of social responsibility, leadership, and having a science-based focus on solutions and integrated problem solving. Students can also complete one of the following emphases:
- Air, Water, and Health (BA/BS)
- Climate and Energy (BA/BS)
- Ecological Literacy and Social Change (BA/BS)
- Food Systems and Community Resilience (BA/BS)
- Land Management, Conservation, and Place (BA/BS)
The Student Experience
A student internship is required for ENVST majors as part of experiential learning and courses like the ENVST 2000 Field Course and Capstones allow students to engage in service as well as propose plans for change - even getting grant funding. For additional degree enrichment, consider completing an undergraduate research project or the Study Abroad in Costa Rica opportunity. Have an idea for a sustainable system or solution? Present it at the Alta Sustainability Leadership Awards. If you want to network and meet fellow ENVST students, join one of the department clubs: the Sustainability Leadership Committee, the EnviroClub, and Scan (the Student Clean Air Network) all offer excellent involvement opportunities.
Studying ENVST will prepare you for careers in activism (as a lobbyist against environmental degradation), business (as an environmental consultant), education, nonprofit (as a program manager), and the government (as a member of the EPA). Graduates of the program have found work as adjudication specialists, consultants, botanists, renewability coordinators, and technical writers. If you want to go to graduate school, programs and eventual work in the fields of environmental and other sciences, business administration, social work, and law are also possible.
- Environmental & Sustainability Studies Program
- College of Social & Behavioral Science
- Department Advising
- Career & Professional Development Center
- Getting Ready Transfer Guide