BA in Environmental Studies Program By Brandeis University |Top Universities

BA in Environmental Studies

BA in Environmental Studies

Brandeis University

Brandeis University, Waltham, United States
  • QS World University Rankings
    =455
  • Degree BA
  • Study Level Bachelors
The Environmental Studies program prepares students to tackle the critical environmental issues that face our world today—from global warming and pandemics to toxic exposure and conflicts over shrinking natural resources—through a broad interdisciplinary approach that integrates course work across the natural and social sciences and humanities. Several of the courses offer extensive hands-on learning through fieldwork and direct involvement with communities in local and regional environmental issues. Individually tailored internships place students in an extensive network of government, public interest, and industry groups in the Boston area and beyond, working alongside environmental professionals in the field. Environmental studies majors also learn research, report writing, oral communication, advocacy, mapping, website development, and problem-solving skills that equip them for their later work and studies—whether or not they pursue a career in an environmental field. In order to help students integrate their studies, we strongly recommend that students undertake one of the excellent approved environmental field study abroad programs, and/or one of our distinctive experiential learning programs; Environmental Health and Justice Community Field Semester or Environmental Field Semester. These are coherent, semester-long programs consisting of four or five integrated courses and include guided field research and work with local communities. Learning Goals Humankind faces numerous significant problems, many of which are environmental in nature: global climate change, habitat and biodiversity loss, air and water pollution, dwindling fossil fuel and mineral resources, and overpopulation. While these problems may appear very different at first glance, they are similar in that each one is extraordinarily complex and each requires a combination of natural science and social science responses. Our students will need a wide range of skills and knowledge to address these problems. The other key fact is that new and different environmental problems are always arising. Since the mid-twentieth century, every generation has faced a new set of environmental problems, many of which were created by our responses to other problems. There was no problem of DDT poisoning our ecosystems and killing raptors until we invented pesticides to kill insect pests; and there was no hole in the ozone layer until we created chlorofluorocarbons for our refrigerators and aerosol cans. We know that tomorrow will bring new issues with which to wrestle, as well as new responses to today’s problems. As a result, it is essential that environmental studies students learn to be flexible and have the confidence and skills to master new environmental issues as they arise. We want our students to be able to approach environmental issues from multiple perspectives. They need to recognize that environmental problems will not be solved with narrowly defined technical or societal responses, but will require interlocking responses from multiple disciplines. In addition, we want our students to understand that environmental solutions require inputs from a wide range of stakeholders. Our graduates should appreciate the diverse values, needs, and goals of all actors in environmentally difficult situations, recognizing that each party brings strengths and needs to the table that must be considered in proposed resolutions.