Why Environmental Studies?

Hillside and LA skyline

Many environmental questions, and almost all of the environmental crises with which we are confronted, are inherently interdisciplinary. While students interested in environmental issues may well go on to pursue focused studies as scientists, economists, historians, or other specialists, a responsible background in environmentalism requires basic fluency with a wide diversity of approaches. With that in mind, students in the program examine the natural environment from the perspectives of the humanities, social sciences, and environmental sciences, and apply these perspectives in an innovative capstone seminar. Environmental Studies gives students a broad foundation in the environment, preparing them to approach pressing environmental questions and complex environmental issues from multiple angles.

What Do Environmental Studies Majors Do?

Environmental Studies majors and minors will examine issues such as global climate change; biodiversity conservation; sustainable development; the rights and value of non-human animals and nature; population and resource consumption; the role of the environment in local, national, and international politics; and environmental justice and environmental racism.

Is This Major Right For You?

You might be an Environmental Studies major if you:

  • Are fascinated by the ways in which humans and environment shape one another
  • Value understanding the environment from scientific, policy, ethical, historical, and social perspectives
  • Want to learn more about pressing issues such as global warming and climate change action
  • Are committed to justice for the environment, animals, and humans
  • Have interest in careers such as environmental planning, law, and advocacy

About Our Faculty

Our departmental and affiliated faculty members have expertise in topics and fields including urban green spaces, sustainable agriculture, local environmental planning, urban wildlife ecology, women and environmental justice, food security, religion and the environment, American and Chinese environmental history, and global climate policy.

Our faculty are active in research and publication, contribute to the community through public scholarship and service on local commissions, and heavily incorporate their research and activism into their teaching.

About Our Students and Graduates

LMU students majoring or minoring in Environmental Studies have many opportunities to become involved in environmental research and activism beyond their coursework. Environmental Studies students often intern with LMU's Center for Urban Resilience, which conducts research on a variety of topics including wetlands habitat restoration, public environmental education, and urban tree canopy distribution. Students may volunteer at LMU's community garden, organize events for campus vegetarians and vegans, and join Alternative Breaks trips to learn about sustainable living around the world.

Recent graduates have gone on to fellowships with state environmental agencies, graduate school programs to pursue interests in environmental law and environmental geography, and employment with city planning departments.

Representative Courses

Our courses have included:

  • Environmental Planning & Policy
  • Sustainable Cities
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Women & Environmental Justice
  • Mediterranean Cities
  • Environmental History
  • Urban Ecology
  • Environmental Ethics

More Resources