Aurora University

Environmental Studies and Sustainability (BA)

Why Environmental Studies and Sustainability?

We live in a time of astonishing technological advances and profound transformation. But we also live on a single planet, a complex and beautiful world of ecosystems on which human civilization depends. Global challenges such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic underscore this truth. Addressing such challenges effectively requires that we think differently and understand our lives, societies, and systems as embedded within the natural world.

The Environmental Studies and Sustainability major is designed with this aim in mind. It is an ideal supplementary major to prepare for a wide variety of exciting and vital careers.

Why major in Environmental Studies and Sustainability at AU?

The conservationist Aldo Leopold once described his fear that education is a process of "learning to see one thing by going blind to another." In learning to see the world through the specialized lenses of academic disciplines and professional careers, he was pointing out, people often lose sight of the whole—in particular, of that fundamental reality that the world is not a backdrop to human life, but a complex, wonderful planet on which that life depends.

Expertise is essential to addressing the profound environmental challenges of our time. But these challenges are so deep, their nature so complex, and their scope so global that tackling them also requires visionaries who can appreciate, integrate, and communicate across different fields and industries.

Aurora University’s BA in Environmental Studies and Sustainability is an exciting major that takes this foundational principle as its starting point. It combines a grounding in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities with an integrative focus on learning experiences designed to nurture students’ ability to communicate across disciplines and tackle real-world problems. Students in the program explore regional and global environmental issues through a variety of lenses, seeking not only to understand their place in the natural world, but to chart paths forward.

With its broad curriculum, the Environmental Studies and Sustainability major is intended to supplement another field of study, such as Business Administration, Political Science and Public Policy, Communication, Biology, Parks and Recreation Leadership, and Human-Animal Studies, among others. By earning a double major in the program, you will be prepared for graduate study in a variety of fields and be poised to address environmental issues within whichever sector you ultimately seek employment. And even with a second major, you will still be able to graduate in four years.

When we understand the earth’s beauty and intrinsic value, we better understand ourselves and the steps to take as we move forward. Kaitlyn Tamburrino ’22, Biology and Environmental Studies and Sustainability Double-Major
$76,530

2021 annual median salary for environmental scientists and specialists

8%

2020-2030 projected job growth rate

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Curriculum Highlights
  • Advocacy
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Documentary filmmaking
  • Ecology
  • Environmental history
  • Environmental justice
  • Environmental literature
  • Ethics
  • Politics
Campus Opportunities
  • AU Eco Club
  • AU Human Performance Club
  • Aurora University HOSA - Future Health Professionals

One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between man and nature shall not be broken. Leo Tolstoy, Russian novelist
Experiential learning

Experiential learning

The Environmental Studies and Sustainability program offers students abundant opportunities for hands-on experiences, including immersive experiences and travel courses. AU’s Eco Club also brings together students across campus who share a passion for the environment.