Apr 14, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental and Sustainability Studies, BA

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We live in a world with environmental and sustainability challenges, many of which do not have easy solutions and require communicators to help bridge different areas. This major will provide students with the skills that they need to lead change in the fields of environmental and sustainability studies. Students will learn about the environment, policy, and the intersection of these fields with the arts, communication, and social justice and activism. This interdisciplinary field will prepare students for jobs that are outside and connected to solving the problems of our world. Students in this major are strongly encouraged to complete a minor in a complementary area of study. Elective course choices are intentionally designed to align with minors in Communication, Sustainable Fashion, Fashion Studies, Biology, Environmental Studies, Art History, Fine Arts, Photography, Cinema and Television Arts, Arts Management, Public Relations, and Social Media and Digital Strategy. In their capstone course, students will work in groups to integrate their knowledge of environmental and sustainability issues with an informed creative statement about sustainability that will demonstrate environmental advocacy and inspire local, national, and/or global communities to act on environmental issues in an equitable manner. 

Jobs related to the environment and sustainability are one of fastest growing areas of the job market. Through the interdisciplinary nature of this program students will get to work with experts in environmental and sustainability studies as well as experts in their paired field in the arts and communication areas. This mix of specialists who are active in all areas of this degree is unique to this program and will give students many opportunities for training as they complete their degree. Career options befitting students pursuing the BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies include environmental journalism and communication, environmental photography and photojournalism, documentary TV and film making, sustainable fashion, design, and architecture, environmental law and policy, advocacy, social justice, and activism, among numerous others. 

As a result of successfully completing program requirements, students should be able to: 

  • articulate the relationship between people and global sustainability issues, and understand how creative and diverse perspectives can prepare them for a career that focuses on the integration of sustainability and arts and communication; 

  • identify and respond to how socio-political and economic choices of privileged groups place an inequitable environmental burden on developing countries, indigenous people, persons of color and other under-represented groups throughout the world; 

  • conduct scholarly work and develop interdisciplinary and innovative approaches to impactful environmental advocacy and activism through community-based research projects; and

  • use creative written, oral, visual, electronic media, and other formats to inform and educate local communities within and beyond Chicago about how to act as an advocate for themselves, their communities, and the environment.

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