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School of Urban and Public Affairs

School of Urban and Public Affairs

Minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies

ESS Courses | Undergraduate Catalog Description

The minor offers undergraduates across the campus-- from Liberal Arts and Architecture to Science and Interdisciplinary Studies-- a set of tools for understanding the social, political, humanistic, and scientific dimensions of climate change and other environmental problems. Taking advantage of the many courses on sustainability and the environment offered throughout the university, this broadly interdisciplinary program provides students a powerful way to enrich their education and more effectively apply their major field of study to some of the most complex and crucial problems of the new millennium.

In an era when concerns about the atmosphere, oceans, biodiversity, energy, urban sprawl, human health, and environmental justice are dramatically intensifying, the ESS program opens important new career paths and responds to the need for environmentally savvy citizens in all areas of contemporary society.

The 18 credit hour ESS minor can be combined with most majors and in some cases completed coursework will qualify for credit. SUPA and the interdisciplinary group of faculty members overseeing the minor expect it to be particularly appealing to students majoring in Liberal Arts, Architecture, Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Sciences (especially Environmental Science).

The broadly interdisciplinary ESS minor differs from most minors in two important respects. First, it comprises courses in diverse fields. Second, courses offered for ESS credit often simultaneously satisfy requirements in the student's major field of study. Together, these differences give students considerable flexibility to construct their degree plans in ways that do not significantly increase the overall number of credit hours they must take to complete their undergraduate degrees. Many students who begin the minor early in their years at UT Arlington are expected to be able to complete it by adding only one or two courses beyond the requirements of their majors.

Students interested in adding the Minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies should send inquiries to

Students are required to take one core course, ESST 2300: Introduction to Environmental and Sustainability Studies, which surveys topics and methods in interdisciplinary studies of sustainability and the environment. This course should be taken in the freshman or sophomore year.

An additional 15 hours of coursework is to be completed from the list of courses below (or others approved by the ESS advisor). At least one course must be taken in each of the two groups. Students are encouraged to inquire about other courses that might qualify for credit. At least 6 hours must be taken as 3000- or 4000-level courses. Additional courses are expected to be approved each semester, so students are encouraged to consult regularly with the advisor.

Courses in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Minor

(Note that these courses are not offered every semester. Topics courses must be identified by the specific topic and the instructor, not just the course number. Click here to see a current list of ESS approved classes available by semester.)

GROUP 1 - Liberal Arts, Social Sciences and Business

ANTH 3325 Ethnography of South America
ARCH 3331
 Architecture and Environment (Prerequisites: ARCH 2552 and Declared in Architecture or consent of department.)
ART 3357
Sustainable Design (Prerequisite: ART 2354 or permission of the advisor.)
ECON 4302
Environmental Economics
(Various courses, various course numbers, depending on the topic.)
GEOG 1302
Introduction to Human Geography
HIST 3355
 Environmental History of the United States (Also listed as GEOG 3355; credit will be granted only once.)
HIST 4388
 Topics in History: Issues in Environmental History
INTS 4388
 Special Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies: Justice, Democracy, and Metropolitan Environments (Please ask ESS advisor to waive prerequisites.)
INTS 4388 
Special Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies: Interdisciplinary Research in Environmental and Sustainability Studies (Please ask ESS advisor to waive prerequisite.)
PHIL 3324 
Topics in Applied Ethics (*if the topic is related to environmental or sustainabiity studies.)
SOCI 3324 
Social Movements (*if the social movements included are relevant.)
CIRP 4320 
Sustainable Communities

GROUP 2 - Natural Sciences and Engineering

BIOL 2343 Evolution and Ecology (Prerequisite: BIOL 1441)
BIOL 3355 Toxicology
BIOL 3457 General Ecology
BIOL 3356
Environmental Systems, Biological Aspects (Prerequisites: BIOL 1441, 1442, 2343)
BIOL 3357
Marine Biology (Prerequisites: BIOL 1441, 1442)
CHEM 1445 Chemistry for Non-Science Majors
CHEM 1446 Chemistry II for Non-Science Majors (Prerequisite: CHEM 1445 or equivalent with a grade of C or better. CHEM 1446 cannot be used to fulfill the 1441/1442 requirement in any degree program.)
GEOL 1450 Introduction to Oceanography
GEOL 1430 Global Warming
GEOL 2401 Weather and Climate (Offered as GEOG 2401 and GEOL 2400; credit will be granted only once.)
GEOL 2414 The Global Environment and Human Health
GEOL 2406 Natural Resources and Sustainability
GEOL 4308 Environmental Geochemistry
GEOL 4325 Paleoclimate and Climate Change
PSYC 3316
 Environmental Psychology (Prerequisite: PSYC 1315)

Civil Engineering
CE 3334
Principles of Environmental Engineering
CE 4323
Landfill Design
CE 4350
Introduction to Air Pollution
CE 4351
Physical Unit Processes
CE 4354
Introduction to Solid and Hazardous Waste Management
CE 4355
 Design of Water and Wastewater Treatment Facilities

Mechanical Engineering
MAE 4301 - 002
 Special Topics in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering: Wind Energy or Solar Thermal Energy (these topics only.) 

Information about the Minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.

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ESS Information

Please contact the coordinator of the ESS Minor for more information.
Dr. Stacy Alaimo

Students interested in adding the ESS Minor should send inquiries to

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Disciplines unite for environmental education