Please note: The Global Sustainability Emphasis and the Southwest Biocultural Diversity Emphasis will become focus areas within the major beginning Fall 2019.
Students who are interested in the environment and the issues at its crux will enjoy the pursuit of this degree. Crucial issues of sustainability, diversity, and change are interwoven through the program. A language proficiency requirement bolsters understanding beyond English-speaking perspectives.
Issues of sustainability, climate change adaptation and mitigation, environmental justice, biodiversity, and increasing demand for finite food, water, and energy resources become more critical every day. To better understand-and improve-our relationship with the natural world, consider the environmental studies program at Northern Arizona University.
Here, you will study ecosystems and the ways humans interact with them using the perspectives of the natural and social sciences and the humanities. You will work extensively with full-time professors who have practical experience in the environmental sciences and sustainability. You'll have many opportunities for field study and research; our faculty members include undergraduate students in all research projects, and you will be required to complete an undergraduate research project or internship. You will learn how to develop solutions for these issues and prepare for a career in research, industry, education, government, or public service.
To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.
In addition to University Requirements:
Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.
|Minimum Units for Completion||120|
|Highest Mathematics Required||MAT 114|
|Emphasis, Minor, Certificate||Required|
|University Honors Program||Optional|
|Bachelor/Juris Doctor 3+3||Optional|
|AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-A||Recommended|
|Progression Plan Link||View Progression Plan|
The Environmental and Sustainability Studies program at NAU constructs an interdisciplinary base of knowledge and skills that integrates humanistic disciplines and perspectives with natural and social scientific approaches to develop real-world solutions to our environmental and sustainability challenges, from the local to the global.
Our BS/BA degree program begins with a firm grounding in natural systems, to ensure all students understand how physical and biological processes maintain life, and how humans are affecting, and are affected by, the natural world. In addition to the natural sciences, students will also obtain a solid understanding of the environment through focusing on the social sciences and humanities in order to develop a critical appreciation of the historical, political,economic and ethical forces that have shaped our current environmental issues. This will prepare students for work in non-profit, government and community-action organizations.
Students will work together in field and lab environments to apply rigorous qualitative and quantitative methods to environmental and sustainability issues, exploring interdisciplinary impacts and solutions that range across space and time. Interdisciplinary experience is centered around focus areas or specific environmental problems, rather than disciplines. This structure produces students well-trained in both the fundamentals of multiple disciplines as well as specific knowledge needed to understand, analyze and become engaged in particular issues and professions. Additionally for the BA degree, students will attain foreign language competency and experience with cross-cultural communication to better understand the impact of environmental issues on global communities.
This issue-based approach allows students to attain a wide knowledge base in order to approach the solution of specific problems by working individually and together with other students. To culminate learning in the program, students develop an individually designed research project or internship addressing an environmental issue of importance to them, which helps to further prepare students for a range of professional or graduate opportunities.
Student Learning Outcomes
Take the following 56 units with a Grade of "C" or better in each course (or "Pass" in Pass/Fail courses):
Core Requirements (38 units)
Southwest Environments and Biocultural Diversity (18 units)
Natural Sciences, select at least one from:
Social Sciences, select at least one from:
Humanities, select at least one from:
Global Sustainability (18 units)
Natural Sciences, select at least one from:
You must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English that is equivalent to four terms of university coursework in the same language. You may satisfy this requirement by taking language courses or through credit by exam.
Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.
You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Program
This program is available as an Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan. Accelerated Programs provide the opportunity for outstanding undergraduates working on their bachelor’s degree to simultaneously begin work on a master’s degree. Departments may allow students to complete both degrees in an accelerated manner by approving up to 12 units applicable toward both degrees. Students must apply to the accelerated program and the master’s program by the application deadline, and meet all requirements as listed on the Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Programs to be considered for admission. Admission to programs is competitive and qualified applicants may be denied because of limits on the number of students admitted each year. Be sure to speak with your advisor regarding your interest in Accelerated Programs.
Bachelor/Juris Doctor 3+3 Program
This plan is eligible for NAU’s 3+3 program offered in conjunction with the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. This program allows outstanding students to substitute their final year of undergraduate studies with their first year of law school and earn an undergraduate (BS or BA) and law (JD) degree in six years instead of seven years. Please refer to the Bachelor/Juris Doctor 3+3 Program for more information.