Environmental and Sustainability Studies

Address: 415 Graham Building
Phone: 336.256.0165
Web site: env.uncg.edu

Majors & Concentrations

  • Environmental and Sustainability Studies (BA) U879

About the Major

Environmental Studies  is an interdisciplinary field. It combines the scientific study of ecosystems, pollution, climate, energy, and other environmental and natural resource problems with the study of politics and public policy, economics, sociology, history, and law. It also considers the ethical implications of environmental problems and their possible solutions in the context of the humanities. While all students take the same core courses and gain a basic knowledge of the field, the Environmental and Sustainability Studies major offers the opportunity to focus specifically on natural science, social science, policy, or the humanities. Minors in Environmental Studies and in Sustainability Studies are also available.

What's Unique about Environmental and Sustainability Studies at UNCG?

The program offers a great deal of flexibility to allow students to select courses related to their personal and career interests. For example, students interested in environmental journalism can include courses on journalism in their program, and students who are interested in careers in government agencies can include courses on politics and public policy. The director works closely with individual students to select appropriate courses .

Academic Clubs and Organizations

  • UNCGreen: A student organization dedicated to trying to make UNCG more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
  • Fossil Free UNCG: This organization partners with UNCGreen to help UNCG divest and move away from fossil fuels.  
  • Food Recovery Network: This organization provides opportunities to help feed the hungry and reduce food waste.
  • UNCG Student Garden Club: This club runs an organic garden on campus for use by individuals and groups.

Student Opportunities

Students are encouraged to include an internship in their major. Internships provide great opportunities for professional experience, career networking, and community service. Recent internships include the Greensboro Natural Science Center, the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park (United States Park Service), the Piedmont Environmental Center, the Piedmont Land Conservancy, the Guilford County Environmental Health Division, several state parks, the North Carolina Sierra Club, the Greensboro Public Library (environmental branch), and the Office of Sustainability at UNCG. Several internships are also available in local businesses.

Students with good grades should consider participating in the Lloyd International Honors Disciplinary Honors Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies, which includes taking small classes with other honors students, working closely with professors, and writing a senior honors thesis. We also encourage environmental studies majors to study abroad. In recent years, students have studied in Spain, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, and Morocco. Students can also compete for undergraduate research assistantships, which allow top students to receive a small stipend to work closely with a professor on a research project.


Career options include jobs with local, state, and federal agencies, jobs in business, and positions in nonprofit organizations. Be ing an interdisciplinary program, students are prepared for work in many areas such as environmental education, sustainability programs, recreation and tourism, environmental journalism, scientific research, environmental activism and lobbying, and government and public policy. For a complete guide to possible careers in environmental studies, please see our online "careers" page at www.uncg.edu/env.

Professional Organizations and Accreditation

The Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences is the primary academic association for Environmental and Sustainability Studies. There is no special accreditation of environmental studies programs.

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