Environmental Studies

  • Seattle University offers an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies that includes natural science, social science, and humanities and emphasizes social and environmental justice and fieldwork.

    Program Benefits

    • Undergraduate, interdisciplinary Environmental Studies degree
    • Personal attention from faculty
    • Undergraduate research opportunities
    • Choice of specializations
    • 150-hour internship
    • Opportunities for education abroad
    • Community engagement
    • Located in Seattle, WA, a leader in environmental research and policy

    Emphasizing personal attention, internships, undergraduate research, and social justice, the Environmental Studies program offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with coursework in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, plus Geographic Information Systems, and opportunities to specialize and acquire pre-professional experience in Ecological Systems, Politics and Public Policy, Urban Sustainability, Environmental Education, and Environmental Justice, Values, and Awareness.

    Seattle University - Environmental Studies

    Here are just a few of the questions students address as Environmental Studies majors at Seattle University: How do ecosystems work? What is the connection between poverty and pollution? What can individuals, cities and countries do to curb climate change and tread more lightly on the Earth? Does nature have intrinsic value? Can a more sustainable lifestyle lead to a more meaningful life?

    Truly interdisciplinary in nature, the Environmental Studies major combines the expertise of professors from 17 departments, as well as education abroad programs, to look at humanity's relationship to the environment through many lenses, including ecology, politics, history, philosophy and religion. By allowing students to specialize in one of five areasEcological Systems, Politics, Policy and Justice, Urban Sustainability, Environmental Education, the Environmental Studies Program helps students find their place in this vast, compelling field and discover where they can make a difference as stewards of the Earth.

    Why pursue an Environmental Studies degree? The daily headlines sound the call--environmental disasters, climate change, renewable energy, sustainable living and eating, protecting wilderness and wildlife. Environmental Studies will equip you to meet some of the most crucial challenges of the modern world by exploring all these issues and many more.

    Students who major in Environmental Studies can take their careers in countless directions: environmental education, urban planning, journalism, natural resource management, park management, ecological restoration, sustainable agriculture, corporate sustainability, and law school or graduate school, among many other options.

    Degrees Offered

    BA Environmental Studies

    • Specialization in Ecological Systems
    • Specialization in Environmental Education and Communication
    • Specialization in Politics, Policy, and Justice
    • Specialization in Urban Sustainability 

    Minor in Environmental Studies

    The uniquely Seattle University experience offers both breadth and depth. It strikes a broad interdisciplinary balance by incorporating up-to-date ecological science, enlightened environmental politics and public policy, and rigorous historical and philosophical analysis. And it also, in the life-affirming spirit of the Jesuit-Catholic tradition, recognizes the sacredness of creation. Thus, while many environmental studies programs focus largely on how to solve environmental problems, the Seattle University program emphasizes not only that, but also how our own depth of spirit can find a healing resonance in the depth of nature, forming a bond and igniting a spark that can inspire thoughtful and impassioned environmental action.

    Environmental Studies majors often rank their required 150-hour internship as one of their most important educational experiences. Students have developed valuable professional skills in internships at the Environmental Protection Agency, the City of Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, the King County Department of Public Health, People for Puget Sound, the Seattle Aquarium, Jubilee Farm, Earth Ministry, and many others.

    As a culminating experience, Environmental Studies majors complete a senior research project working closely with a faculty advisor. Student research projects in the past have ranged from studies of the environmental movement in China and farm therapy to the health of urban streams and environmental education.

    Because of Seattle University's location, students also have the opportunity to explore the spectacular Pacific Northwest bioregion-home to three spectacular national parks, two mountain ranges, and pristine salt and freshwater areas-and to live in Seattle, Washington, one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the country.

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