Environmental Studies and Sustainability, BA

The Environmental Studies and Sustainability (ESS) BA Program at UMass Boston prepares students to engage in complex, integrated decision processes that directly inform adaptive policy and management decisions in effectively managing human-nature system interfaces.

Requirements | About the School for the Environment | About Interdisciplinary Environmental and Sustainability Education

Requirements

The ESS BA major requires a total of 120 credits, including 34 credits from 14 core requirement courses, and 12 credits from 4 elective courses. (Students have 24 elective courses from which to pick.)

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the ESS BA major, the core requirement courses and the upper level elective courses are distributed across the five core academic areas of environmental studies/science:

  1. natural sciences/mathematics
  2. natural resources
  3. social sciences
  4. humanities
  5. economics/economic development

There's also a seminars area (i.e., second-year, third-year, and fourth-year seminars), and a capstone area.

About the School for the Environment

The School for the Environment integrates the natural and social sciences, liberal arts, governance, and business to generate and apply new knowledge about the quality of our environment and the sustainable use of its resources. The research sites of our faculty and students range from local to global, from enabling coastal community resilience right here in Boston Harbor to the impacts of climate change on coral reef ecosystems off the cost of Djibouti. We work in collaboration with many other institutions, including the New England Aquarium, Provincetown for Coastal Series, Urban Harbors Institute, and the EPA.

About Interdisciplinary Environmental (IE) and Sustainability (IES) Education

Interdisciplinary Environment (IE) and Sustainability (IES) education has grown since the early 1990s and has coupled human - natural system interfaces through the application of interdisciplinary knowledge and integrated skills.

Nationally, it is generally accepted that there are three prototypical approaches to IES education:

  1. system science
  2. policy and governance
  3. adaptive management

The Environmental Studies and Sustainability (ESS) BA Program at UMass Boston focuses on the adaptive management prototype.