Environmental Studies and Sustainability

Major: Environmental Studies and Sustainability
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 183.0
Co-op Options: Three Co-op (Five years); One Co-op (Four years); No Co-op (Four years)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 03.0103

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 19-2041

About the Program

The BA in Environmental Studies and Sustainability (ENSS) is administered in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES). It is a multidisciplinary degree that takes advantage of existing courses in both the Arts and Sciences to educate graduates who will be able to work in government agencies, corporations, and nonprofit organizations who develop, implement, or are affected by environmental policies.

Objective

The objective of this major is to educate students so that they will be successful in finding solutions to environmental challenges that all societies will face in the 21st century. Graduates will be educated with the goal of thinking in terms of cross-cultural ideas and dialogue. In that way they will be encouraged to help people of all cultures understand environmental problems and act in the area of environmental stewardship.

The BA in Environmental Studies and Sustainability will provide graduates with a broad understanding of environmental science, policy development, needs of decision makers, attorneys and engineers, urban and international concerns, and current environmental issues. Important to any future position  in fields of environmental policy, planning, and sustainability, the program builds on communication skills, collaboration abilities and team building, a “customer” orientation, creativity and innovative thinking ability, analytical ability, critical thinking and problem solving ability, a work orientation with professionalism and a positive attitude, occupation-specific skill and knowledge through co-op, and leadership ability. Students may opt to specialize in different study tracks including Policy, Government, and Business; Social Awareness and Action, and Scientific Inquiry.

Drexel Advantage

There is a distinct advantage to a student in undertaking an Environmental Studies and Sustainability degree at Drexel. Drexel University was one of the first universities in the nation to establish an undergraduate environmental science degree in the late 1960s. Since that time, Drexel has expanded to areas of environmental policy and sustainability. Over the long history of the program, Drexel has established an extensive network of co-op employers who value Drexel students, including federal and state governments, consulting firms, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and industry, with work ranging from biological field sampling to developing policy with governmental decision makers, action plans for non-profit organizations, or model environmental strategies with industrial sustainability offices. Drexel students take advantage of the co-op program to both get more extensive experience and get paid while doing so. By graduation, students' resumes include real-world experiences.

Degree Requirements

General Requirements
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development *1.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
or ENGL 111 English Composition I
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
or ENGL 112 English Composition II
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
or ENGL 113 English Composition III
MATH 101Introduction to Analysis I4.0
MATH 107Probability and Statistics for Liberal Arts3.0
UNIV S101The Drexel Experience1.0
UNIV H201Looking Forward: Academics and Careers1.0
Social and Behavioral Sciences
SOC 101Introduction to Sociology3.0
or ANTH 101 Introduction to Cultural Diversity
PSY 101General Psychology I3.0
PSCI 110American Government4.0
Social Behavior elective3.0
Physical and Natural Sciences
BIO 109Biological Diversity, Ecology & Evolution3.0
BIO 110Biological Diversity, Ecology and Evolution Laboratory1.0
ENVS 101Introduction to Environmental Science5.0
ENVS 230General Ecology3.0
ENSS 275Global Climate Change3.0
or ENVS 289 Global Warming, Biodiversity and Your Future
GEO 201 [WI] Earth Systems Processes3.0
Humanities and Fine Arts
Humanities & Fine Arts Electives6.0
COM 317 [WI] Environmental Communication3.0
or COM 320 Science Writing
PHIL 340Environmental Ethics3.0
or PHIL 341 Environmental Philosophy
Diversity Electives6.0
International Studies6.0
Foreign Language8.0
Students must complete at least 8 credits of a foreign language and, at minimum, must complete the 103 level of the target language (or beyond if they place higher).
ENSS Core Requirements
ECON 201Principles of Microeconomics4.0
ECON 202Principles of Macroeconomics4.0
ENSS 120Introduction to Environmental Studies3.0
ENSS 283Introduction to Environmental Policy3.0
ENSS 244Sociology of the Environment4.0
ENSS 285Introduction to Urban Planning3.0
ENSS 326Cities and Sustainability3.0
ENSS 346Environmental Justice4.0
ENVS 260Environmental Science and Society3.0
PBHL 101Public Health 1013.0
PSCI 284Environmental Politics4.0
Modeling and Research
ENVS 308GIS and Environmental Modeling3.0
SOC 241Research Design: Qualitative Methods4.0
SOC 242Research Design: Quantitative Methods4.0
ENSS Electives21.0
Senior Sequence
ENVS 441 [WI] Issues in Global Change I: Seminar2.0
ENVS 442Issues in Global Change II: Research2.0
ENVS 443Issues in Global Change III: Synthesis2.0
Free Electives24.0
Total Credits183.0

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.

Sample Plan of Study

4 year, No co-op

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ENGL 101 or 1113.0BIO 1093.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0VACATION
ENSS 1203.0BIO 1101.0MATH 1073.0 
ENVS 1015.0CIVC 1011.0SOC 101 or ANTH 1013.0 
MATH 1014.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0Foreign Language4.0 
UNIV S1011.0PSY 1013.0Free elective4.0 
 Foreign Language4.0  
 16 15 17 0
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ENSS 2833.0ENSS 2444.0COM 3173.0VACATION
ENVS 2603.0ENSS 275 or ENVS 2893.0ECON 2014.0 
PBHL 1013.0ENVS 2303.0ENSS 2853.0 
PSCI 1104.0ENVS 3083.0UNIV H2011.0 
 Free Elective3.0Free Elective3.0 
 13 16 14 0
Third Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ECON 2024.0PHIL 340 or 3413.0ENSS 3263.0VACATION
GEO 2013.0SOC 2414.0SOC 2424.0 
PSCI 2844.0ENSS Elective3.0ENSS Electives6.0 
ENSS Elective3.0Free Elective3.0Diversity Elective3.0 
Humanities/Fine Arts Elective3.0Humanities/Fine Arts Elective3.0  
 17 16 16 0
Fourth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
ENSS 3464.0ENVS 4422.0ENVS 4432.0 
ENVS 4412.0ENSS Elective3.0ENSS Elective3.0 
ENSS Elective3.0Diversity Elective3.0International Elective3.0 
SOC/Behavior Elective3.0International Elective3.0Free Electives6.0 
Free Elective3.0Free Elective3.0  
 15 14 14 
Total Credits 183

 4 year, 1 co-op

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ENGL 101 or 1113.0BIO 1093.0COOP 1011.0VACATION
ENSS 1203.0BIO 1101.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0 
ENVS 1015.0CIVC 1011.0MATH 1073.0 
MATH 1014.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0SOC 101 or ANTH 1013.0 
UNIV S1011.0PSY 1013.0Foreign Language4.0 
 Foreign Language4.0Free Elective3.0 
 16 15 17 0
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ENSS 2833.0ENSS 2444.0COM 3173.0ECON 2024.0
ENVS 2603.0ENVS 2303.0ECON 2014.0GEO 2013.0
PBHL 1013.0ENVS 275 or 2893.0ENSS 2853.0PSCI 2844.0
PSCI 1104.0ENVS 3083.0UNIV H2011.0ENSS Elective3.0
 Free Elective3.0Free Elective3.0Humanities/Fine Arts Elective3.0
 13 16 14 17
Third Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
PHIL 340 or 3413.0ENSS 3263.0COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCE
SOC 2414.0SOC 2424.0  
ENSS Elective3.0ENSS Electives6.0  
Humanities/Fine Arts Elective3.0Diversity Elective3.0  
Free Elective3.0   
 16 16 0 0
Fourth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
ENSS 3464.0ENVS 4422.0ENVS 4432.0 
ENVS 4412.0ENSS Elective3.0ENSS Elective3.0 
ENSS Elective3.0Diversity Elective3.0International Elective3.0 
SOC/Behavior Elective3.0International Elective3.0Free Electives6.0 
Free Elective3.0Free Elective3.0  
 15 14 14 
Total Credits 183

  5 year, 3 co-op

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ENGL 101 or 1113.0BIO 1093.0COOP 1011.0VACATION
ENSS 1203.0BIO 1101.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0 
ENVS 1015.0CIVC 1011.0MATH 1073.0 
MATH 1014.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0SOC 101 or ANTH 1013.0 
UNIV S1011.0PSY 1013.0Foreign Language4.0 
 Foreign Language4.0Free elective3.0 
 16 15 17 0
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ENSS 2833.0ENSS 2444.0COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCE
ENVS 2603.0ENSS 275 or ENVS 2893.0  
PBHL 1013.0ENVS 2303.0  
PSCI 1104.0ENVS 3083.0  
 Free Elective3.0  
 13 16 0 0
Third Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
COM 3173.0ECON 2024.0COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCE
ECON 2014.0GEO 2013.0  
ENSS 2853.0PSCI 2844.0  
UNIV H2011.0ENSS Elective3.0  
Free Elective3.0Humanities/Fine Arts Elective3.0  
 14 17 0 0
Fourth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
PHIL 340 or 3413.0ENSS 3263.0COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCE
SOC 2414.0SOC 2424.0  
ENSS Elective3.0ENSS Electives6.0  
Humanities/Fine Arts Elective3.0Diversity Elective3.0  
Free Elective3.0   
 16 16 0 0
Fifth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
ENSS 3464.0ENVS 4422.0ENVS 4432.0 
ENVS 4412.0ENSS Elective3.0ENSS Elective3.0 
ENSS Elective3.0Diversity Elective3.0International Elective3.0 
SOC/Behavior Elective3.0International Elective3.0Free Electives6.0 
Free Elective3.0Free Elective3.0  
 15 14 14 
Total Credits 183

Career Opportunities

The largest job opportunities exist in the areas of environmental communication, sustainability, environmental policy, community action, water quality, parks and outdoor recreation, ecotourism, natural resources and conservation, international environmental policy, renewable energy, and climate change.

This major will educate individuals who seek careers and/or additional academic training in the following fields:

  • Sustainability planning and implementation
  • Urban, regional, and community planning
  • Geographic information systems
  • Environmental communications
  • Environmental journalism
  • Environmental law
  • Park management and outdoor recreation
  • Environmental consulting
  • Environmental policy analysis
  • Natural resource management

Environmental Studies and Sustainability Faculty

Ted Daeschler, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) Associate Curator of Vertebrate Zoology; Vice President for Systematic Biology and the Library: Academy of Natural Sciences. Associate Professor. Vertebrate fauna of the Late Devonian Period in eastern North America; fossil collecting; systematic work focusing on freshwater vertebrates; nature of early non-marine ecosystems.
Jon Gelhaus, PhD (University of Kansas) Curator, Department of Entomology: Academy of Natural Sciences. Professor. Systematic expertise in crane flies (Tipuloidea); phylogenetic reconstruction; historical and ecological biogeography; biodiversity measures and evolution of morphological character systems.
Danielle Kreeger, PhD (Oregon State University). Research Associate Professor. Trophic interactions in aquatic ecosystems.
Stefanie Kroll, PhD (SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry) Project Science Director, Academy of Natural Sciences. Assistant Research Professor. Aquatic macroinvertebrate ecology, bioindicators of human stressors on aquatic ecosystems, monitoring the effects of watershed conversation, management and restoration.
Marie J. Kurz, PhD (University of Florida) Biogeochemistry Section Leader, Academy of Natrual Sciences. Assistant Research Professor. Interactions between geochemical, ecological & hydrologic processes in freshwater systems. Availability, transport and cycling of stream solutes; Stream ecosystem structure & function; Groundwater-surface water interactions; Adaptive management & restoration of water resources & aquatic ecosystems.
Tatyana Livshultz, PhD (Cornell University) Assistant Curator of Botany. Assistant Professor. Expertise of the milkweed and dogbane family (Apocynaceae); evolution and species diversity of the genus Dischidia; differences in floral form and function.
Amanda Lough, PhD (Washington University in St. Louis). Assistant Professor. Volcanic seismicity and the relation to magma plumbing systems; glacial seismicity and the seismicity of Antarctica; intraplate seismicity.
Richard McCourt, PhD (University of Arizona) Associate Curator of Botany, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University; 2010-2012: Program Director, Division of Graduate Education, National Science Foundation. Professor. Biodiversity, evolution, ecology, and systematic of green algae, specifically charophyte algae.
Michael O'Connor, MD, PhD (MD, Johns Hopkins University; PhD, Colorado State). Professor. Biophysical and physiological ecology, thermoregulation of vertebrates, ecological modeling.
Sean O'Donnell, PhD (University of Wisconsin-Madison). Professor. Tropical ecology, focusing on geographic variation and elevation effects on ecology and behavior of army ants and ant-bird interactions; neurobiology, focusing on brain plasticity and brain evolution in social insects.
Marina Potapova, PhD (Russian Academy of Sciences) Assistant Curator. Assistant Professor. Taxonomy, ecology, and biogeography of freshwater diatoms; methods of quantifying morphological characters of diatom frustules based on geometric morphometrics; systematic of monoraphid freshwater diatoms.
Gary Rosenberg, PhD (Harvard University) Pilsbry Chair of Malacology. Professor. Magnitude and origin of species-level diversity in the Mollusca.
Jacob Russell, PhD (University of Arizona). Professor. Microbiomes and metagenomics; ecology and evolution of symbiosis.
Alexis Schulman, PhD (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Director of the Environmental Studies and Sustainability Program. Associate Research Professor. Environmental policy and politics, Urban planning Sustainability and resilience transitions, Policy implementation,Local knowledge and community science
Jocelyn A. Sessa, PhD (Penn State University) Assistant Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology: Academy of Natural Sciences. Assistant Professor. Paleoecology; paleobiology; extinction recovery dynamics; climate change; isotope geochemistry; fossil and modern mollusks
Loyc Vanderkluysen, PhD (University of Hawaii). Associate Professor. The cyclicity of volcanic eruptions, volcanic degassing processes, and large igneous provinces.
Dane Ward, PhD (Drexel University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Urban agriculture and sustainability both in Philadelphia and Cienfuegos, Cuba, as well as insect community structure and population ecology of reptiles and amphibians in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.
Elizabeth B. Watson, PhD (University of California, Berkeley). Associate Professor. The implications of global and regional environmental change, and unraveling the interacting effects of multiple anthropogenic stressors on coastal ecosystems to promote more informed management, conservation, and restoration.
Jason Weckstein, PhD (Louisiana State University) Associate Curator of Ornithology. Associate Professor. Avian phylogenetics, comparative biology and evolutionary history; biodiversity surveys of birds and their parasites and pathogens; coevolutionary history of birds and their parasites.

Emeritus Faculty

Susan S. Kilham, PhD (Duke University). Professor Emeritus. Aquatic ecology: phytoplankton; physiological ecology, especially of diatoms in freshwater and marine systems; large lakes; food webs; biogeochemistry.
John G. Lundberg, PhD (University of Michigan). Professor Emeritus. Diversity and diversification of fishes; documenting and interpreting the morphological, molecular, and taxonomic diversity of living and fossil fishes in the interrelated fields of systematic, faunistics and biogeography and paleobiology; exploration and collecting in poorly-known tropical freshwater habitats and regions.
Daniel Otte, PhD (University of Michigan) Senior Curator, Systematics and Evolutionary Biology. Professor Emeritus. Taxonomy and biogeography of Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids and their relatives).
James R. Spotila, PhD (University of Arkansas) L. D. Betz Chair Professor. Professor Emeritus. Physiological and biophysical ecology, thermoregulation of aquatic vertebrates, biology of sea turtles.
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