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(Bachelor of Arts)

Environmental studies is a multi-disciplinary, problem-oriented major designed to give students knowledge of and solutions to environmental problems. Program majors focus on one of two areas: environmental interpretation/education or environmental planning/management. Graduates with the first concentration are prepared to become environmental professionals in positions such as naturalists with parks and other outdoor organizations and environmental educators in camps and social service agencies. Those with environmental planning find employment in municipal and not-for-profit agencies, in natural resource planning and management, water resources, solid waste issues, ecological restoration, park development, and environmental policy at the local, state, regional, or national level.


Program Objectives

Students are expected to develop:

  • knowledge drawn from the natural sciences concerning structure, function, and effect of change in ecosystems; from the social sciences concerning factors that affect natural systems such as population pressures, pollution, resource utilization and depletion; from the humanities concerning the relationships of ethics and values to environmental attitudes and behaviors 
  • knowledge of interrelationships involving economics, politics, and perceptions in environmental decision making
  • knowledge related to causes of environmental deterioration and constructive efforts to deal with environmental problems in a historical and contemporary context 
  • the ability to acquire information through field observations, interviews, and surveys, as well as from maps, aerial photographs, satellite imagery, computerized information, and a variety of other prepared sources 
  • analytical skills to process information derived from the above sources 
  • the ability to prepare effective oral, written, and graphic presentations
  • the ability to apply relevant theoretical perspectives to actual environmental problems

Department Website

Admission to the Program 

Freshmen:  19 composite ACT or 890 combined SAT or top 50% class rank.

Transfer:  Cumulative 2.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) from all colleges and/or universities attended and be in good academic standing.

Degree Requirements 

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies students must complete 21 credit hours of core requirements and additional 21 credit hours of approved elective course work. With the advisor’s approval, up to nine hours may come from courses in other disciplines which are directly relevant to the student’s specialization.

Bachelor Degree Requirements

A minimum of 120 semester hours must be earned by every undergraduate student to be eligible to graduate from Northeastern.

Additional Requirements

1.  General Education Program:  All undergraduate students must complete the General Education Program requirements consisting of 39 semester hours in the following distribution areas:
Social/Behaviour Sciences (12 hours)
Natural Sciences (9 hours)
Mathematics (3 hours; grade of "C" or higher at college level)
Humanities (9 hours)
Fine Arts (6 hours)
2.  University Requirements:  English Composition I (grade of "C" or higher) and one Improving Human Relations course (consult the schedule of classes or catalog for listing of courses).
3.  Residency:  The last 30 consecutive credit hours must be taken at Northeastern, unless permission is received from the Office of Enrollment Services.

4.  Upper Division:  Students must complete a minimum of 24 semester hours at the 300 level and 18 semester hours at the 200 or 300 level.

5.  Academic Major and Minor:  Undergradute students must complete a major.  Some majors require a minor or set of cognate courses.  Students must earn a grade of "C" or higher in all courses counted toward the major, the minor, cognate and profressional sequences.  No "P" grades will count toward a major, moinior or approved area of study.  All grade point average requirements must be met for successful completeion of a program of study.

6.  Grade Point Average:  To be eligible to graduate, a student must have a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA (overall "C" average).  Some academic programs and departments have other specific grade requirements.  Check with your academic advisor.

Requirements are subject to change so please refer to the current catalog for up-to-date information.


Program Requirement


24 Credit Hours
GES 150: Intro to Environmental Studies 3 cr
GES 205: Physical Geography 3 cr
GES 218: Conservation of Natural Resources 3 cr
GES 250: Writing in the Discipline - G&ES 3 cr
GES 383: Internship in G&ES 3 cr
GES 374: Research Methods 3 cr

TWO of the following four:

  • GES 307: Environmental Education
  • GES 309: Environmental Interpretation
  • GES 319: Environmental and Natural Resources Policy
  • GES 338: Sustainable Development
6 cr


* Electives are approved by yoru Department Academic Advisor.

18 Credit Hours



Near the end of their program students must complete an internship which is mutually arranged in advance by the student, faculty member, and employer. This gives the student valuable work experience and new skills, and often leads to employment.

Geographic Techniques

Because it is housed in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, the Environmental Studies program offers students unique opportunities in the areas of cartog­raphy, GIS, aerial photo interpretation and remote sensing. Many students find these skills valuable for employment and career building. A GIS Certificate is available.

Careers & Employment 

Students in the Environmental Studies Major are prepared for careers as environmental professionals in either planning and management or in environmental interpretation/education. Former students have typically found employment in governmental agencies at all levels, non-profit organizations, and as environmental experts within private industry.  They work in areas including environmental protection, sustainable solutions, energy resources, resource use and conservation, water quality, solid waste and lobbying.  Students focusing on environmental interpretation/education will qualify for careers as naturalists with parks and other outdoor agencies, or as environmental educators in schools, non-profit organizations, education centers, etc.

Program Contact Information 

Financial Aid

For Financial Aid Information, call (773) 442-5160 or visit the web at  Clock on Financial Aid & Scholarships. 
Northeastern's Federal School code is 001693.
For Foundation Scholarship information, contact Michelle Morrow at or visit the web at   Go to the Prospective Student tab and click on Financial Aid & Scholarships.

Admissions Counseling

Meet an Admission Counselor in the Admissions Counseling Office.  Prospective students are seen on a walk-in basis.  Admissions Counselors are availble:
Monday thru Thursday
9:00am to 6:30pm
9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Admissions office:  (773) 442-4050
For further information, please call (773) 442-6111.


Subject to change. See current catalog for up-to-date information. For further information call 773 / 442-5640.

Arts and Sciences

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