Apr 18, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Studies with a Specialization in Ecological Systems, BA

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Environmental Studies

Gordon L. Miller, PhD, Environmental Studies Program Director
Web: http://www.seattleu.edu/artsci/departments/environmental/


The human presence within the natural world is both full of promise and fraught with peril. The Environmental Studies Program equips students with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand the multiple dimensions of today’s daunting environmental problems. We thus empower new leaders to envision and enact sustainable forms of human-nature relations, not only for the benefit of our own species but also for the millions of other species with which we share the earth. We value and nurture as well the prospects for greater human meaning and purpose afforded by such optimal relations with nature, and we promote a concern for social and environmental justice in accord with the Jesuit-Catholic mission of the university. The program is “ecological” in orientation with regard to both subject matter and intellectual style, instilling an understanding of relationships within and between ecosystems and human systems while cultivating a critical capacity for interdisciplinary thinking. Students acquire a broad foundation by taking environmental courses in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities and gain a more focused depth of knowledge and expertise by completing a specialization in a chosen area.

 In addition to learning in the classroom, students engage in a variety of field studies through which they develop observational skills, methods of ecological inquiry, and firsthand knowledge of local and regional habitats. Opportunities for education abroad extend these experiences into ecosystems and social systems in other countries. Students also complete an internship with an environmental agency or organization in order to gain pre-professional experience in the dynamics of environmental policies, problem solving, research, education, and advocacy.

 A major in environmental studies provides a firm foundation for graduate education in many related fields and prepares students for rewarding careers with municipal, state, or federal environmental agencies, with a wide range of environmental nonprofits, and with businesses and industries.


In order to earn the bachelor of arts degree with a major in environmental studies, students must complete a minimum of 180 credits with a cumulative and a major grade point average of at least 2.00, including the following:

I. Core Curriculum Requirements

II. College of Arts and Sciences Requirements

History requirement satisfied by HIST 3510 *
Modern Language 1150, 1250, 1350, or equivalent (15)

NOTE: All students with a major in the college of Arts and Sciences must demonstrate competency through the level of 1350 in a language other than English. This competency is ordinarily achieved by successful completion of the three-course sequence: 1150, 1250, 1350.  Because these courses are a college requirement, no courses in the sequence may be taken on a pass/fail, correspondence, or audit basis.  Placement into other than the beginning course of the sequence is achieved by acceptable performance on the Modern Language Competency Examination.  See the Modern Languages Department for details on the examinations.  Courses used to satisfy the College of Arts and Sciences modern language requirement may not be used to fulfill environmental studies major requirements.

*Included in major GPA

III. Major Requirements

78 credits, including:

Area III: Humanities: 10 credits, including:

Area V: Internship: 3 credits


Courses included in a specialization cannot satisfy requirements elsewhere in the major.  The choice of a specialization should be made before the completion of 90 credits toward the degree and must be certified by submitting an “Addition of Another Major, Degree, Specialization, or Certificate” form to the Office of the Registrar.

Specialization in Ecological Systems

NOTE: Lower-division courses—1000 and 2000 level—should be completed before upper-division courses—3000 and 4000 level

Area VII: Specialization Requirements

Choose two courses in physical science: (10)

 See department for options.

Choose two of the following courses in ecological science: (10)

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