2015-2016 Undergraduate Academic Catalogue 
    May 26, 2024  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Academic Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental and Sustainability Studies Minor

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by Degree

Contact: Bernadette Roche, Associate Professor of Biology
Office: Donnelly Science Center, Room 228
Telephone: 410-617-5591

Interest in the field of environmental and sustainability studies has been growing as societies have begun to recognize the harm that unsustainable practices have wreaked over the course of human history. As population and rates of consumption both grow worldwide, attention to the environmental consequences has become increasingly important. Use of resources more quickly than they can be renewed, pollution of land, air, and water, and increasing encroachment into wildlife habitat already has had devastating effects worldwide. The inequity of resource use and consumption patterns in developed versus developing countries is cause for concern, and ignoring these patterns can lead to political and military conflicts. Loyola University Maryland's Environmental and Sustainability Studies minor is an interdisciplinary minor, to enable students to explore this field of study with course selection designed in part by the student, but with the aid of the director of environmental studies. The student will design a program which fits their particular career interests while providing a comprehensive understanding of issues connected with the environment. Students will study the interrelationships between environmental concerns and social, political, and economic institutions.

All minors will take a foundation course, which can come from Biology (our current BL111 Environmental Biology course) or Chemistry (our current CH114D Global Environment). In addition to regular coursework, minors in Environmental and Sustainability Studies will develop a special research project or internship as a capstone experience, Environmental and Sustainability Studies Experience, which will count as an advanced course. All internships and research projects connected to Environmental and Sustainability Studies must be approved by the director of the Environmental and Sustainability Studies minor. Note that only one internship may count towards the degree at Loyola University Maryland, so if a student has already had an internship for a different purpose, they will have to take the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Experience as an additional course beyond the 40 required for graduation.

Students will take 7 courses in the minor, including the foundation course and the capstone. Other courses may be chosen from course offerings at Loyola, from the list provided. New courses will be added as they are developed, and students may appeal to the director of Environmental and Sustainability Studies to take courses not on the list either at Loyola, abroad, or at schools in the Baltimore Exchange Program.

It is recommended that students minoring in Environmental and Sustainability Studies consider fulfilling their social science core requirement with courses from either political science or sociology. It is also recommended that students minoring in Environmental and Sustainability Studies take either PL311 Bioethics or PL314 Environmental Ethics to fulfill their ethics core requirement.

The Environmental and Sustainability Studies minor seeks to assist students in developing a truly integrated approach to the recognition of, and solution to, environmental problems. This approach will be guided by the Jesuit Catholic traditions of Loyola University Maryland and the Society of Jesus. Minors in Environmental and Sustainability Studies will have the knowledge, skills, and commitment to:

  • Display a passion for the natural environment.
  • Develop tools to advocate for environmental protection and environmental justice.
  • Demonstrate the ability to draw on their strengths to respond to environmental challenges at local, regional, and global levels.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use speech and writing effectively and persuasively to address environmental issues and propose effective solutions to environmental problems.
  • Be models for environmental justice education, through teaching, scholarship, and community outreach, with special emphasis on working in solidarity with the poor to prevent environmental degradation.

Required of all students

Foundation Course

BL 111 - Environmental Biology  or CH 114 - Global Environment . This course will provide students with a basic introduction to environmental science, with an emphasis on earth science and the processes that contribute to the development and maintenance of biodiversity. Course topics include biogeochemical cycles, energy transformations, global climate, pollution, water resources, agriculture, population and community ecology, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, invasive species, biodiversity, ecosystem services, human population growth, human health and sustainability. Emphasis will be placed on human impacts and the diverse interdisciplinary nature of environmental studies.


One Capstone Experience Course, a research or internship experience approved by the director of the environmental studies, and is chosen from the following list. The capstone experience is typically completed during the senior year, so students should identify an appropriate internship or research project, secure a faculty sponsor, and obtain approval of the director of environmental studies by the end of junior year.


Five electives, with no more than one at the 100-level, and at least two at the 300-level or higher, from the approved list of courses. The following restrictions apply:

  • No more than three of the five electives may come from any one academic area of study (e.g., natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, business).
  • Only one course may count for both the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Minor and either a major or another minor.
  • Only two courses may count for both the core curriculum and the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Minor.
  • Permission may be granted for students to enroll in courses in which prerequisites have not been met, following consultation with the appropriate department chair and director of the environmental studies minor. Students should also consider completing some prerequisites as part of their natural science, humanities, and social science core requirements.
  • Students may include appropriate study abroad courses to fulfill part of their minor. These courses must be preapproved by the director of Environmental and Sustainability Studies Minor.

Approved List of Courses

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by Degree