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Environment, Sustainability & Geography B.A.

Program Type: 
Bachelor of Arts
Geography and Philosophy

The purpose of the environment, sustainability and geography degree is to prepare students to create sustainable communities for present and future generations. This program provides students with the tools to understand the physical and social systems of the earth to become informed change makers locally and globally. Sustainability challenges are all around us: from climate change, to vulnerabilities in the industrial food system, to the way we design cities. One of the fundamental hurdles in a transition toward sustainability is bridging the ecological and social sciences with decision-making. The program trains students to analyze the interwoven nature of social and ecological systems, and translate that knowledge into policies to enact change. Meaningful engagement with the world outside the classroom prepares students to comprehend and address these challenges. To this end, the program provides students with theoretical and hands-on instruction in ecological and social processes, mentoring, as well as opportunities for professional and real-world experiences through internships and applied research.

The program has three tracks that students may choose from: 1) Environment and Sustainability, 2) Geography, 3) Urban and Regional Studies.

Are you concerned about the environment? Addressing climate change? Looking for an applied degree focused on sustainability? Concerned about justice and equity in society? Environment, Sustainability & Geography is the degree for you! We seek students who are creative, inquisitive, ambitious, and most importantly, interested in the world around us. Many of our students enjoy spending time in the outdoors, while others are interested in cities and urban environments. What they have in common is an interest in thinking about how humans affect environments and how choices today affect future generations. In order to provide the opportunity for real-world applications of skills learned in the classroom, our students do internship at local organizations, from urban planning agencies to environmental firms. 

Career Possibilities

  • Sustainability Coordinator
  • Community Organizer
  • Agriculture Specialist
  • Environmental Manager
  • Environmental Advocate
  • Water Resource Specialist
  • Urban Planner

Admissions and Scholarships

CAHSS is proud to be able to offer over 90 alumni and donor funded scholarships to our students each year.  In total over $190,000 is awarded out to CAHSS majors and some minors as well. Each department facilitates the process for their specific scholarships and students are also encouraged to apply for CAHSS-wide scholarships offered to students in any field.

Graduate Report

Recent UMD Graduates Job Placement Data & Employers

Here's a sampling of positions and graduate programs Environment, Sustainability & Geography grads have attained six months to one year after graduation.

  • Environmental Technician - Gerbig Engineering, Burnsville, MN
  • Plant Health Care Technician - Rainbow Treecare, Minnetonka, MN
  • Planning Technician - Rice County, Faribault, MN
  • Outdoor Recreation School Educator - Three Rivers Park District, Plymouth, MN
  • Planner & Designer - Northwest Associated Consultants, Minneapolis, MN
  • Planning & Zoning Specialist - Waseca County, Waseca, MN

For ideas about Environment, Sustainability & Geography and other majors visit Career & Internship Services