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College of Arts & Sciences

Environmental Studies

Why choose environmental studies at North Central College?

The environment is one of the most talked about issues that faces humanities future. With hot button issues like climate change, energy consumption and waste management, environmental experts are more sought after than ever. Environmental studies students have diverse interests and learn how to be skilled scholars, researchers and stewards of the environment.

At North Central College, you’ll be situated in a complex landscape of urban, suburban, agricultural, prairie, wetland and woodland habitats. You’ll also choose between three tracks: Science and the Environment, Society and the Environment or Sustainability. In this hands-on program, you’ll be prepared for a wide range of career choices in biology/ecology, urban planning, sustainability, education or law.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN

  • Addressing concerns of population, consumption, energy, biodiversity and climate change
  • Investigating the scientific and humanitarian aspects of environmental issues
  • Promoting environmental management practices like a sustainable lifestyle

then a degree in ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES might be for you.

Why study environmental studies at North Central College?

In the Classroom

Coursework topics:

  • American Culture and The Environment
  • Animal Biology
  • Botany
  • Cultural Ecology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Diversity, evolution and ecology
  • Economics and Social Issues
  • Environmental Cost Analysis
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Environmental Policy
  • Field Biology
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Infectious Disease
  • International Environmental Issues
  • Sustainability in a Changing World

Beyond the Classroom

As an Environmental Studies major, you can:

  • Apply for internships and jobs through robust faculty and alumni networks or the Center for Career and Professional Development.
  • Use the campus as your laboratory, studying our green initiatives, such as geothermal heating systems, solar panel arrays and a restored prairie.
  • Make connections to local resources. North Central interacts with two national laboratories, Argonne and Fermi, that are both within 15 miles of campus. Students can work in the forests, prairies and wetlands managed by the DuPage County Forest Preserve. We also have relationships with local environmental nonprofit groups, government agencies and businesses.
  • Make connections to the world. Through our award-winning Center for Global Education, students have many opportunities to study environmental issues around the world. Recent North Central students have taken classes and conducted independent research on environmental issues in Costa Rica, Australia, Africa and China.
  • Apply what you learn. The program requires an experiential component; students can conduct independent research, and participate in environmental advocacy and internships that will help prepare them for careers in the environment and sustainability. Opportunities also exist to work in the College’s Office of Sustainability

More Department information

Environmental Science Education, B.S.

Environmental Studies/Science gives students a detailed understanding of complex environmental issues at the local, regional, national and global level using the diverse tools and perspectives of the natural sciences, as well as social sciences, humanities and business. This interdisciplinary approach offers a valuable major to students seeing to understand the full complexity of environmental issues. Our goal is to prepare students to be environmental leaders in their chosen field by cultivating an awareness of local to global issues, an appreciation of cultural and historical factors, as well as new technological developments.

The B.S. environmental science-education major prepares a student for employment as a secondary school educator. It allows students more breadth to their college degree where they pair their environmental science studies with requirements from the education discipline. This degree track is tailored to be compatible and must be completed with a secondary education, B.A. major.

Core Courses

Electives

Two of the Following:

Advanced Electives

Eight credit hours in either Biology, Chemistry or Environmental Studies with at least four credit hours of coursework needing to have a lab component:

Completion of the Secondary Education major requirements with EDUC 446 taken as the methods course.

Environmental Studies, Science and the Environment Track, B.A.

Environmental Studies gives students a detailed understanding of complex environmental issues at the local, regional, national and global level using the diverse tools and perspectives of the natural and social sciences, humanities and business. 

For additional information and courses in this program, see Environmental Studies.

Environmental Studies Core Courses

*Note: Experiential Component tied to ENVI 375/475

All students must complete an Experiential Component in order to gain hands-on experience in some aspect of Environmental Studies outside of the classroom, such as an independent research project, an activism project or an internship. A professor from the Environmental Studies faculty will serve as the faculty mentor for each project. See the Environmental Studies program coordinator for the proposal and project approval process.

Students enroll in ENVI 375 - Symposium in Environmental Experiential Component to participate as an observer and questioner. Students then enroll in ENVI 475 - Symposium in Environmental Experiential Component to present the findings from their experiential project.

Electives

Twenty-four credit hours to include at least twelve at the 300-level from the following:

Science and Environment

Sixteen credits from the following, at least four of which are at the 300-level or above:

Sustainability or Society and the Environment Electives

Eight credit hours from the following:

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Environmental Studies, Society and the Environment Track, B.A.

Environmental Studies gives students a detailed understanding of complex environmental issues at the local, regional, national and global level using the diverse tools and perspectives of the natural and social sciences, humanities and business. 

For additional information and courses in this program, see Environmental Studies.

Environmental Studies Core Courses

*Note: Experiential Component tied to ENVI 375/475

All students must complete an Experiential Component in order to gain hands-on experience in some aspect of Environmental Studies outside of the classroom, such as an independent research project, an activism project or an internship. A professor from the Environmental Studies faculty will serve as the faculty mentor for each project. See the Environmental Studies program coordinator for the proposal and project approval process.

Students enroll in  ENVI 375 - Symposium in Environmental Experiential Component to participate as an observer and questioner. Students then enroll in ENVI 475 - Symposium in Environmental Experiential Component to present the findings from their experiential project.

Electives

Twenty-four credit hours to include at least twelve at the 300-level from the following:

Society and the Environment

Sixteen credit hours from the following, at least four of which are at the 300-level or above:

Science and the Environment or Sustainability

Eight credits from the following:

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Environmental Studies, Sustainability Track, B.A.

Environmental Studies gives students a detailed understanding of complex environmental issues at the local, regional, national and global level using the diverse tools and perspectives of the natural and social sciences, humanities and business. 

For additional information and courses in this program, see Environmental Studies.

Environmental Studies Core Courses

*Experiential Component tied to ENVI 375/475

All students must complete an Experiential Component in order to gain hands-on experience in some aspect of Environmental Studies outside of the classroom, such as an independent research project, an activism project or an internship. A professor from the Environmental Studies faculty will serve as the faculty mentor for each project. See the Environmental Studies program coordinator for the proposal and project approval process.

Students enroll in  ENVI 375 - Symposium in Environmental Experiential Component to participate as an observer and questioner. Students then enroll in  ENVI 475 - Symposium in Environmental Experiential Component to present the findings from their experiential project.

Electives

Twenty-four credit hours to include at least twelve at the 300-level from the following:

Sustainability

Sixteen credits from the following, at least four of which are at the 300-level or above:

Science and the Environment or Society and Environment

Eight credit hours from the following:

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Environmental Studies Minor

An Environmental Studies Minor provides a basic interdisciplinary understanding of national and global environmental issues. Students study a core of four environmental courses that combine the disciplinary perspectives of the humanities, social sciences, sciences and business and take two upper-level courses in any other environmental studies course of their choice. Students who choose an Environmental Studies Minor typically use it as a complement to a minor in a related academic discipline, such as political science, history, biology, chemistry or business. 

For additional information and courses in this program, see Environmental Studies.

A minimum of 24 credit hours, including:

Core Courses

Electives

Two Environmental Studies courses, with at least one at the 300-level.

Environmental Studies Internships and Jobs

A North Central education integrates career preparation with rich academic study. Our faculty encourages you to refine and apply your knowledge in an interconnected world. Here you'll learn to think independently and work globally to solve problems and lead.

Internships

Recent graduates in environmental studies interned at:

  • Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield, IL
  • Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL
  • Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, Naperville
  • U.S. Park Service, Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Parks
  • The Shedd Aquarium, Chicago
  • Willowbrook Wildlife Center, Glen Ellyn, IL

Careers

Recent graduates in environmental studies served as:

  • Biologist/ecologist
  • Urban and regional planner
  • Sustainability coordinator
  • Teacher/environmental educator
  • Environmental lawyer
  • Engineering
     

Invest in your future

Choosing the right college is a big decision. Don’t make it alone. North Central’s admission and financial aid team is here to help you design a financial aid solution that works best for you and your family.

Merit scholarships, grants, loans, campus employment - these are just some of the resources available to you. Over 95 percent of students and 100 percent of all eligible students receive aid. Let our team partner with you in finding the best value for your education.

Learn more about financial aid and costs for North Central College

Apply to North Central College

The first step to becoming a North Central Environmental Studies student is reading the application instructions specific to you. Find out everything you need to know about applying by selecting the group you belong to below.