College of Arts and Sciences

BA in Environmental Studies

If you have an interest in shaping environmental policy, addressing sustainability issues, and taking on environmental challenges, consider our interdisciplinary program in environmental studies.

About the Major

In our BA in environmental studies, you choose from two concentrations, one focused on environmental policy and the other centered on environmental communication. Both options provide you with the benefit of working with our expert faculty across a wide range of subject matter.

The program will help you develop cross-cutting and interdisciplinary skills to prepare you to address environmental issues through policy initiatives and/or communication strategies.

Career Options and Outlook

student speaking

At UHart, you will have opportunities to do research with faculty and have access to internships to prepare you for a rewarding career addressing sustainability and environmental issues for industry, government, and nonprofit organizations. You can also consider applying to law school or to graduate programs in communication, economics, public policy, or public administration.

Examples of careers include

  • Environmental consultant or policy analyst
  • Sustainability coordinator
  • Corporate social responsibility officer
  • Energy auditor 
  • Natural resource officer
  • Remediation specialist 
  • Public relations specialist for an environmental organization

The average annual pay for an Environmental Policy Analyst in the United States is $81,747 as of Feb. 2023 according to Zip Recruiter.

Employment of environmental communication specialists with a bachelor’s degree is projected to grow 11%, faster than the 7% average for all occupations with a median pay of $62,810 annually according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The median pay for an environmental geographer with a bachelor’s degree is $85,430 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Degree Requirements

You must complete a total of 38-40 credits. A total of eight required core courses (26-27 credits) provides you with a foundation in various approaches to the environment—environmental science and ecology, biostatistics, environmental ethics, environmental policy, and environmental communication. A required internship and required capstone experience offer real-world, hands-on opportunities that help students prepare for postgraduate careers.

Eight Core Courses

  • Intro to Environmental Science
  • Fundamentals of Environmental Studies
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Communication
  • Biostatistics
  • Environmental Internship
  • Environmental Capstone

For more information, and to see a complete list of requirements, visit the Course Catalog. 

Electives and Concentrations

You complete an additional 12-13 credits in your area of interest. You select from two areas of concentration.

Environmental Policy

You take the following courses

  • American Environmental Policy
  • American Public Policy
  • Plastic Pollution Policy

Choose an additional elective such as

  • Connecticut Environmental Regulation and Policy
  • Political Communication
  • Conservation Biology
  • Any Economics Course

Environmental Communication

You take the following courses

  • Intro to Digital Media Production
  • Intro to Radio & Audio, or Intro to TV Production
  • Writing for the Media
  • Topics in Media Production

Choose an additional elective such as

  • Media Marketing and Promotion
  • Conflict and Communication
  • Media Industries
  • Video Field production

For more information, and to see a complete list of requirements, visit the Course Catalog. 

Minor Requirements

Our interdisciplinary minor in environmental studies complements a variety of majors including art, business, history, politics and government, sociology, and more.

You must complete 19-21 credits including the following courses:

  • Fundamentals of Environmental Studies  
  • Environmental Studies Capstone  

In addition, electives are required in the Environmental Studies and Environmental Sciences categories. Examples include:

  • Environmental Communication
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Latin America Environment and Development
  • American Environmental Policy
  • Introduction to Environmental Science  
  • Conservation Biology
  • Ecology  
  • Environmental Chemistry

For more information, and to see a complete list of minor requirements, visit the Course Catalog.

Myalia Durno

Psychology, Environmental Studies and Math Minors , '24

Myalia cannot neglect her passion for the environment. She was awarded the well-respected Connecticut Sea Grant to support her research about Connecticut restaurants’ use of single-use plastics. Myalia reached out to nearly 100 restaurants along the Connecticut coast and 60 restaurant owners in Hartford, Middletown, and Glastonbury. So far, she’s discovered it’s challenging for them to find non-plastic or non-single use alternatives that are affordable.  

Myalia is planning to apply to graduate school to study for a master’s degree in psychology and says she may do more research in plastics in the environment. 

Read more.

This project is incredibly important because it gets to the bottom of the issue of why we aren't stopping the use of plastics and what is preventing us from being able to use alternatives.

Learning Outcomes

Students working with soil

Students graduating with an BA in Environmental Studies will be able to:

  • Understand and apply key concepts from economic, political, and social analysis as well as the ecological and physical sciences to address environmental issues.
  • Think critically by integrating multiple disciplines that intersect with environmental concerns to solve environmental problems.
  • Demonstrate an awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of the ethical, cross-cultural, and historical context of environmental issues and the link between human and natural systems.
  • Identify the fundamental environmental, social, and economic issues underlying sustainability and communicate effectively about them with stakeholders.
  • Apply skills of quantitative literacy by analyzing environmental data to assess environmental issues.

Start your UHart journey today. Take the next step.