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The University of Texas at ArlingtonThe University of Texas at Arlington

Environmental and Sustainability Studies Minor

A Smart Career Move: Get Your Minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies! 

The ESS Minor is open to students in ALL majors and encompasses courses from colleges across the campus. It is part of CAPPA--the College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs.

Wind turbine on a hill

  • Whatever your career plans are, having an understanding of the environmental problems that face our planet will give you a competitive edge, because these problems affect decisions made in every profession.  Whether you establish a business, engineer a structure, teach students, treat patients, or design something, getting the ESS Minor equip you with important tools.  Foremost among these will be the ability to evaluate how the five domains of sustainability – environmental, economic, technological, socio-cultural, and public policy – will have an impact upon your career. 
  • 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 21st century.

  • 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 well-informed citizens in all areas of contemporary society.

  • The 18 credit hour ESS minor can be combined with most majors and, in some cases, already completed coursework will qualify for credit.

  • 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 The University of Texas at Arlington are expected to be able to complete it by adding only one or two courses beyond the requirements of their majors

Requirements:

  1. Take one of the following courses, which will count as the required core course for the minor: 1) ESST 2300 Introduction to Environmental and Sustainability Studies OR 2) CE 2300 Introduction to Sustainable Engineering. It is recommended that students take either of these courses in the first or second year of study.
  2. Take 15 more hours of courses approved for the ESS Minor, consisting of at least one course from the Field of Interest Group (Group One or Group Two) and least one course from the alternate group:
    • Ex: 4 courses from Group One (CAPPA, COB, COLA, SSW) and at least one course from Group Two (COS, COE); 
    • Or: 4 courses from Group Two (COS, COE) and at least one course from Group One (CAPPA, COB, COLA, SSW).
  3. At least 6 hours must be taken in 3000 or 4000 level courses.

You may already be close to having this minor:

  • The same classes may count toward your major and the ESS Minor! If your major does not offer many ESS-approved courses, you can use them to fill other university requirements or take ESS-approved courses as your electives.
  • You may have already taken courses that count for this minor.
  • You can transfer credits from previous courses taken elsewhere if the course content aligns with that of tn ESS-approved course.

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

APPLICATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL & SUSTAINABILITY STUDIES MINOR)

Click Here for Minor Advising Appointment 


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.

REQUIRED CORE COURSES -- 3 hours

  • ESST 2300: Intro to Environmental and Sustainability Studies (may not be offered every semester). Required core course for the Minor (usually cross listed) (3-0) Introduces major topics, questions, issues and methods within interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary environmental studies. Includes a study of some of the most significant texts, studies, practices, and creative works from at least four different fields as they pertain to questions of environment, ecology, and sustainability.

>OR<

  • CE 2300: Introduction to Sustainable Engineering (may not be offered every semester). Introduction to key sustainability concepts and challenges. The engineering design process and consideration of sustainability. Techniques for generating creative and innovative alternative solutions to sustainability problems. Use of life cycle assessment to quantify environmental, economic, and social impacts of various alternatives. Methods to incorporate life cycle assessment into alternatives evaluation. Case study project.

FIELD OF INTEREST (SELECT GROUP) -- 12 hours

FIELDS OF INTEREST: 

  • GROUP 1 - CAPPA, COB, COLA, SSW
  • GROUP 2 - COS, COE

ALTERNATE GROUP - 3 hours*

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. 

* Students may be allowed to take additional classes from alternate group with advisor approval.


Courses in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Minor

Click here to see the list of ESS-approved classes.

  • ESST 3300: Independent Study. 3 units. Graded A-F. Consent of instructor and director of Environmental and Sustainability Studies Minor required. Independent, study on a specific topic related to sustainability and environmental studies. The student and the instructor will design the readings, research, and requirements. The supervising instructor may be from any department. The Director of Environmental and Sustainability Studies must approve of the topic and requirements. This course is open only to ESS Minors.
  • ESST 3350: Independent Project. 3 units. Graded A-F. Consent of instructor and director of Environmental and Sustainability Studies Minor required. Independent research project or design project related to sustainability and environmental studies. The project may be scientific or artistic, involving experiments, engineering, planning or design. Format will be designed by instructor and student. The supervising instructor may be from any department. The Director of Environmental and Sustainability Studies must approve of the project and requirements. This course is open only to ESS Minors.
  • ESST 4300: Internship in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. 3 units. Graded Pass/Fail. Consent of the Director of Environmental and Sustainability Studies required. Provides the student with the opportunity to apply academic skills learned in environmental and sustainability studies to campus operations, or business, community, or nonprofit organizations. Students will work a certain number of hours and submit a written account of their experience and accomplishments to the Director of Environmental and Sustainability Studies. This course is open only to ESS minors.

[Please contact Meghna Tare  Director of the Institute for Sustainability and Global Impact (ISGI), to arrange for ESST 3300, 3350, or 4300. You may only take one of these courses for the ESS Minor.]

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