The School of Environmental Studies coordinates environmental education and sustainability initiatives on the Bellarmine campus. Recent growth in green business ventures and environmentally sustainable practices suggest that future economic opportunities—for both individuals and cities—will be heavily influenced by environmental concerns. The school’s formation is the realization of Bellarmine’s commitment to educate students for the 21st century, as well as its mission to enhance the intellectual, social, and environmental quality of life in the region. The formation of the School of Environmental Studies is an important step toward the realization of Vision 2020, the institution’s bold plan to be the premier independent Catholic university in the South and the leading private university in the region. The School houses an academic department (Environmental Studies) offering two academic majors and an academic minor:
B.S. in Environmental Science
The B.S. in Environmental Science examines ecological processes, the causes and consequences of human impacts on the natural world, and technologies needed to minimize or mitigate environmental problems. This is a science degree, integrating life and physical sciences to develop a capacity for environmental research and technological problem solving. Graduates of this degree program are best prepared for graduate work and careers in environmental technology, environmental monitoring, conservation biology, and environmental science research.
B.A. in Environmental Studies
The B.A. in Environmental Studies emphasizes the political, economic, and sociological aspects of environmental issues. Environmental studies students need sufficient natural science background to understand the consequences of human impact on the natural world, and sufficient social science background to develop and implement effective policy solutions. This is an integrated studies degree with a strong international dimension, including intermediate competency in foreign language. Because it draws more extensively from economics, sociology, political science, and global languages and cultures, the B.A. degree is more appropriate for students intending graduate study and careers in environmental planning, international development, environmental communications, and environmental education.
Minor in Environmental Studies
The Minor in Environmental Studies emphasizes fundamental principles of environmental science, field study, examination of environmental issues from a social science perspective, and a senior capstone experience applying environmental study to real-world problems. The minor is designed to enrich majors in business, education, professional studies, health sciences, or arts and sciences majors.