College of Arts & Sciences

Environmental & Sustainability Studies

12

Broad career categories

48k

Anticipated job openings

2008-2018

30

Core Hours

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Environmental & Sustainability Studies (ENS) is an interdisciplinary field that examines the social and environmental understandings, causes, consequences, and policy responses to important environmental issues taking place around the world such as global climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss. The program draws insights from the humanities and the social and natural sciences to provide students with interdisciplinary critical thinking skills. In doing so, students will have a better understanding of contemporary environmental problems, policies, and solutions. This important major provides students with the capacity to not only understand, but also affect positive changes for environmental sustainability.

Careers

Grow Your Future

The ENS B.A. degree will provide students with a broad liberal-arts education in environmental studies within the context of sustainability. The ENS B.A. was designed to be compatible with other disciplinary subjects so students can double major or minor with the ENS B.A. ENS students will obtain the fundamental knowledge required to understand the relationships that exist between the environment and society, important and pressing environmental problems facing the world today, and better solutions for addressing those issues. The program will develop the critical thinking, communication, and independent study skills necessary for students to pursue careers in environmental sustainability. These include policy work at city, state, federal and international environmental agencies, sustainable business, education and law (with appropriate training), non-governmental organizations, and many more depending on the students’ interests.

Career opportunities in Environmental and Sustainability Studies

  • Environmental non-profit organization
  • State, federal, and international research foundations
  • Corporate Social responsibility/sustainability professionals
  • Natural sciences managers
  • Sustainability consultancies and management 
  • Environmental and sustainability journalists
  • Environmental justice advocates
  • Environmental scientists
  • Environmental economist
  • Parks and recreation management
  • Green building professionals
  • sustainable agriculture specialists
  • Green economy and climate change experts

Classes & Requirements

What You'll Study

The Environmental and Sustainability Studies major educates students in a broad range of fundamental environmental studies subjects with concepts of sustainability integrated throughout the curriculum. Majors will combine the fundamental knowledge they obtain in three areas -- economics, environment, and society -- to develop an understanding of sustainability and how sustainable practices can be implemented. This is an ideal double major for other disciplinary degrees.

Environmental and Sustainability

Graduation Requirements

Any student earning a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree must complete a minimum of 39 hours at the 300+ level. These hours are generally completed by the major requirements. However, keep this hour requirement in mind as you choose your course work for the requirements in the major. See the complete description of College requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Arts and Sciences section of the 2015-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin.

UK Core Requirements

  • The Nature of Inquiry in Arts and Creativity (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Humanities (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Social Sciences (3 hours)
  • The nature of Inquiry in the Natural, Physical and Mathematical Sciences (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication I (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication II (3 hours)
  • Quantitative Foundations (3 hours)
  • Statistical and Inferential Reasoning (3 hours)
  • Community, Culture and Citizenship in the USA (3 hours)
  • Global Dynamics (3 hours)

Total Credit Hours - 30


Major Requirements 

Core Requirements

  • ENS 201 - Environmental and Sustainability Studies I: Humanities and Social Sciences [3 hours]
  • ENS 202 - Environmental and Sustainability Studies II: Natural Science and Policy [3 hours]
  • ENG 425 - Environmental Writing [3 hours]
  • ENS 300 - Special Topics [3 hours]
  • PHI 336 - Environmental Ethics [3 hours]
  • ENS 400 - Senior Seminar [3 hours]

Area of Expertise

  • Students must take five courses (15 credits) in one Area of Expertise, two in another Area (6 credits), and one in a third Area (3 credits). Students may choose from a variety of courses from the Economic Area, Environmental Area, and the Society Area. For a complete list of approved courses please refer to the UKY Bulletin [24 hours]

Total Hours - 42

2020-21 Major Sheet

Imagine Your Future

Environmental Science and Protection Technicians

Environmental science and protection technicians monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and contamination.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary

$46,170

per year in 2018

Number of Jobs

34,800

in 2018

10 Year Job Outlook

3,200

new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Environmental science and protection technicians work in offices, laboratories, and the field.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read More

Similar Occupations

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Agricultural and Food Science Technicians
  • Biological Technicians
  • Chemical Technicians
  • Environmental Engineering Technicians
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists
  • Forensic Science Technicians
  • Geoscientists
  • Hydrologists
  • Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
  • Occupational Health and Safety Specialists and Technicians

A&S Undecided/Exploratory Studies

Understanding that over 70 percent of university students will change their declared major at least once during their college careers, the College of Arts and Sciences has developed an Exploratory Studies program for students who have yet to decide the specific field of study that most closely aligns both their personal interests and their professional career goals and objectives. The Exploratory Studies Program provides students with an extraordinarily diverse educational environment that includes coursework spanning Math and Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences and provides students with the unique opportunity to explore multiple areas of interest during their first several semesters on campus. For more information please contact a recruiting representative at asrecruting@uky.edu. 


Imagine Your Future

Environmental Engineering Technicians

Environmental engineering technicians carry out the plans that environmental engineers develop.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary

$50,560

per year in 2018

Number of Jobs

17,900

in 2018

10 Year Job Outlook

1,500

new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Most environmental engineering technicians work full time. They typically work indoors, usually in laboratories, and often have regular working hours. However, they must sometimes work irregular hours in order to monitor operations.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read More

Similar Occupations

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Environmental Engineers
  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists
  • Hazardous Materials Removal Workers

Imagine Your Future

Environmental Engineers

Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary

$87,620

per year in 2018

Number of Jobs

55,400

in 2018

10 Year Job Outlook

2,900

new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Environmental engineers work in a variety of settings because of the nature of the tasks they do. When they are working with other engineers and urban and regional planners, environmental engineers are likely to be in offices. When they are carrying out solutions through construction projects, they are likely to be at construction sites.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read More

Similar Occupations

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Chemical Engineers
  • Civil Engineers
  • Environmental Engineering Technicians
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists
  • Hydrologists
  • Natural Sciences Managers

Imagine Your Future

Environmental Science and Protection Technicians

Environmental science and protection technicians monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and contamination.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary

$46,170

per year in 2018

Number of Jobs

34,800

in 2018

10 Year Job Outlook

3,200

new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Environmental science and protection technicians work in offices, laboratories, and the field.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read More

Similar Occupations

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Agricultural and Food Science Technicians
  • Biological Technicians
  • Chemical Technicians
  • Environmental Engineering Technicians
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists
  • Forensic Science Technicians
  • Geoscientists
  • Hydrologists
  • Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
  • Occupational Health and Safety Specialists and Technicians

Imagine Your Future

Environmental Scientists and Specialists

Environmental scientists and specialists use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary

$71,130

per year in 2018

Number of Jobs

85,000

in 2018

10 Year Job Outlook

7,000

new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Environmental scientists and specialists work in offices and laboratories. Some may spend time in the field gathering data and monitoring environmental conditions firsthand. Most environmental scientists and specialists work full time.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read More

Similar Occupations

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Biochemists and Biophysicists
  • Chemists and Materials Scientists
  • Conservation Scientists and Foresters
  • Environmental Engineers
  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians
  • Geoscientists
  • Hydrologists
  • Microbiologists
  • Occupational Health and Safety Specialists and Technicians
  • Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Enhancing Your Time at UK

There are countless ways to “see blue.” on campus, but the best way to maximize your journey at the University of Kentucky is by engaging in an Education Abroad opportunity.

This will allow you to gain a global perspective and enhance future employability. As you take the first step towards investing in your future, we encourage you to take advantage of all the opportunities UK has to offer. Take a look at some of the options UK Education Abroad & Exchanges office suggests to complement your major! #SeeBlueAbroad

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