Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies

Begin your career in environmental planning, communications or education with our B.A. in Environmental Studies.

Why earn your B.A. in Environmental Studies at Bellarmine?

Our 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 sustainability, environmental planning, international development, environmental communications, and environmental education.

Program Highlights

Our program requires mastery of basic knowledge and skills in the life sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences necessary to approach environmental issues from a position of interdisciplinary strength. We train our students in the principles of environmental science, environmental policy and sustainability, professional orientation through internships, and senior-level communication skills.

Career Prospects

Because it draws more extensively from economics, sociology, political science, and international studies, the B.A. in Environmental Studies degree is more appropriate for students intending to pursue graduate study and careers in environmental planning, environmental law, environmental justice and advocacy, sustainability consulting, sustainable development, international development, environmental communications, and environmental education.

Terra Learning Community

The Terra Learning Community (TLC), formerly the Rachel Carson Learning Community, at Bellarmine University is a program for 20 first-year residents and commuters majoring in environmental disciplines or demonstrating exceptional interest in sustainability. These students will support each other in the courses they take together, in environmentally conscious living, in service projects benefitting the greater community, and in co-curricular experiences such as hiking and canoeing. TLC students will also take care of the Bellarmine fruit and vegetable garden, and will get a chance to to prepare some of the harvest for their own meals.

Learn more about the Terra Learning Community.

Internships

Internships are an integral part of our curriculum. We have secured agreements for a variety of local internship opportunities with non-profit environmental organizations, government agencies, and environmental businesses. Internships typically take place over a single semester in the junior or senior year.

Study Abroad

Bellarmine offers a wide variety of study abroad options around the globe. Learn what opportunities are available to you below.

On Campus Experiences

Because of the international context of many environmental issues, study abroad is encouraged for environmental studies students. Bellarmine has partnered with over 150 universities in 50 different countries, offering students a wide variety of options for study abroad. Students unable to study abroad can still enrich their education by participating in a variety of clubs and organizations on campus. The department works closely with the Environmental Committee of Student Government, the Outdoors Club, and with a number of service organizations at Bellarmine.

The BA in Environmental Studies requires a capstone course as part of the major requirements. Students in the capstone course will be involved in finding environmental solutions to local problems. The program also organizes co-curricular events and service projects focused on environmental protection and improvement.

Facilities

Our program recently received a grant from Louisville Gas and Electric to build and equip a new environmental research laboratory in Newman Hall. Students in our program will have access to this facility to learn technical skills needed for environmental monitoring, and to gain experience in environmental research.

Opportunities for outdoor education at Bellarmine are enhanced by a wildlife refuge within walking distance of the campus. An outstanding system of city parks, the Louisville Zoo, a regional aquarium, botanical gardens, state and national parks, the Hoosier National Forest, and Ohio River access points are all within convenient distance for field trips.

Faculty

Here is a quick snapshot of a few of our faculty members. View our full faculty listing page.

Kate Bulinski, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
kbulinski@bellarmine.edu, 502.272.7972

Martha Carlson Mazur, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
mmazur@bellarmine.edu, 502.272.8998

Rob Kingsolver, Ph.D.
Professor
kingsolver@bellarmine.edu, 502.272.7628

Accreditation

Bellarmine University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s and doctorate degrees.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the job opportunities for someone with a degree in Environmental Studies?
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs in the environmental sector will continue to grow faster than average in the next ten years. A Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from Bellarmine provides students with multiple avenues for employment including, but not limited to: environmental law, environmental justice, environmental policy, climate change policy, food systems, renewable energy, sustainability consulting and sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, environmental and urban planning, international development, environmental communications, environmental education and interpretation.

What are the requirements to complete a degree in Environmental Studies? What kind of courses would I take?
The Environmental Studies degree prepares students for a vibrant career that involves environmental problem-solving through integrated coursework and skill-building. Students electing the Environmental Studies major take a set of general education courses that prepare them for courses in the environmental discipline, such as Planet Earth, Principles of Biology, American Government, and Introduction to Academic Writing. The courses in the discipline include our introductory course for majors; a life-science, physical-science, and social-science core, and a set of upper-level requirements that serve to advance and integrate understanding while further developing technical skills. Career preparation is further strengthened with an internship experience.

Can I earn a minor in Environmental Studies?
Yes, we offer a minor that pairs well with many majors. The six courses for the minor include two introductory courses, a field course, and three upper-level courses. See the course catalog for more detail.

Can I do a double-major or a different minor with a major in Environmental Studies?
Yes, the Environmental Studies degree has sufficient electives for students to take a double-major or a minor. Common double majors with Environmental Studies include Economics, Sociology, and Political Science. Minors or tracks that pair well with Environmental Studies include pre-law, anthropology, peace studies, communications, international relations, and criminal justice studies.

What types of extra-curricular activities are available for a student with an interest in the environment?
Students interested in the environment will want to consider being part of the Terra Learning Community in their first year at Bellarmine. Related student organizations include the Sustainability and Environmental Club, Food Recovery Network, Vegan and Vegetarian Outreach, Biology Club, Chemistry Club, Bass Fishing Team, and the Student Government Association’s Environmental Committee.

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