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Environmental Studies

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The Environmental Studies concentration fulfills one of Soka University of America’s founding principles: to “foster leaders for the creative coexistence of nature and humanity".  The complex problem of how humans can sustainably live on the planet requires a broad, multidisciplinary approach, one that a liberal arts background is well suited to deliver.  Our concentration will provide students a foundation in the scientific understanding of human/environment relations, as well as, an understanding of the philosophical, social, economic and organizational forces that shape those relations.

Students in the Environmental Studies concentration will have the opportunity to integrate scientific and environmental management approaches to studying the environment with approaches drawn from the other three SUA concentrations.  They will be prepared to address the full range of environmental issues - scientific, political, social, and cultural - through a coherent study of environmental problems and solutions. To achieve this, students will have the opportunity to take appropriate courses from other concentrations that will be cross-listed with Environmental Studies. Students who select Environmental Studies will have the opportunity to fulfill their concentration requirements by focusing on one discipline (such as environmental science or policy,) or through taking a variety of courses from the many disciplines within Environmental Studies (environmental economics or environmental ethics). To fulfill the concentration requirements, students must take five concentration courses, three of which must be at the 300 or 400 level.

Our goal is to present students with a positive learning environment that encourages the creative, responsible, interdisciplinary independent thinking necessary for understanding and effectively responding to local, regional, and global environmental challenges.  The ENVSTD degree at SUA can be an effective preparation for graduate school and environmental careers in government, advocacy organizations, or in business. With further preparation, students may progress to careers in environmental law, medicine, or economics, as well as research, urban and regional planning, or resource management.

Environmental Studies Concentration student learning outcomes are:

  1. To demonstrate and articulate an understanding of and critically evaluate environmental studies approaches to viewing interactions between humans and the natural environment, including scientific and environmental design perspectives as well as those of social and organizational studies
  2. To formulate original questions and apply theoretical and methodological tools to critically investigate and explain the biological, geological, chemical, social, and organizational processes that support and affect human and other life on Earth
  3. To communicate effectively their understanding of and prescriptions for human-environment interaction developed through application of the interdisciplinary approaches of environmental studies
  4. To engage with emerging environmental challenges and opportunities and be prepared to act professionally and personally to secure a sustainable future for humanity
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