Environmental Studies, B.A.

Illustration of a tree growing out of an open book
Degree Type
Bachelor of Arts

The relationship between society and the environment is at the heart of activities and opportunities on Long Island, in New York, across the nation and the world. Air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity and land use, and more are issues that need greater engagement from those who can think critically about environmental problems and solutions with an emphasis on their social and historical aspects. 

The B.A. in Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary program that applies the tools of history and the social sciences to interpret that key relationship between society and the environment. This program can lead to careers in fields such as environmental education, international cooperation, journalism, consulting and policy design, and analysis in governmental, non-governmental or private organizations. The Environmental Studies program will also prepare students for graduate study in a variety of environment-related fields.

The program emphasizes the social sciences (particularly Geography and Environmental History), but is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to approach environmental problems integrally and move towards socially just solutions. Basic courses introduce students to basic scientific, social, and historical approaches to the environment. Building upon this core knowledge, majors can take advantage of a flexible curriculum to focus on specific areas of interest including geography, environmental history, environmental justice, environmental journalism, environmental economics, etc. As a capstone, students participate in a research-based senior seminar focusing on human rights and environmental issues.

Those majoring in the degree receive a strong, multidisciplinary foundation in the study of human-environment relationships, which builds upon basic literacy in the conventions and methods of the social and natural sciences used to interpret these relationships. Building upon Old Westbury’s strengths and tradition, the program employs social justice as a lens through which to view environmental problems and solutions.


Course Title


Required Courses

HI 2810 Geography, Earth, and People (4 cr) – GE SS/Major Cultures


HI 3001 Intro to Environmental Studies (4 cr)


HI 3620 Digital Mapping and GIS (4 cr)


HI5900 Senior Seminar  (4 cr)


Environmental History Elective (choose 1)

HI3003 Environments in World History I  (4 cr)


HI3005 Environments in World History II  (4 cr)


HI4700 Modern Global Environments (4 cr)


Environmental Studies Elective (choose 3, max 1 lower division)

AS2300 Problems in US Environmental History (4 cr)


AS5200 Environmental Journalism (4 cr)


BS2490 Environmental Science (4 cr)


CP2300 Weather Studies (4 cr)


CP2400 Ocean Studies (4 cr)


CP2600 Environmental Analysis of Long Island (4 cr)


HI3003 Environments. in World History I  (4 cr)


HI3005 Environments in World History II  (4 cr)


HI3120 Latin America: Environment and Society (4 cr)


HI3600 Global Geography: People, Places & Environments (4 cr)


HI3700 Historical Geography of Latin America (4 cr)


HI4600 World Regional Geography (4 cr)


HI4700 Modern Global Environments (4 cr)


PE4290 Environmental Economics (4 cr)


PH4890 Environmental Justice (4 cr)


(choose two, with a minimum of one from the environmental science list) 

Environmental Science


BS2490 Environmental Science (4 cr)


CP2300/2301 Weather Studies with Lab (3 + 1 cr)


CP2400/2401 Ocean Studies with Lab (3 + 1 cr)


CP2600 Environmental Analysis of Long Island (4 cr)


Other Science Electives


BS2100 Biology for Non-Science Majors  (4 cr)


BS2400/BS2401 Biology I with Lab (3 + 1 cr)


CP2000/CP2001 Chemistry for Non-Majors with Lab (3 + 1 cr)


CP 2120/CP2021 Chemistry I with Lab (3 + 1 cr)


History and Social Science
(choose 2 of the American Studies, History, Politics Economics & Law, and Public Health courses list in the Environmental Studies electives above or select from the list below -- Maximum of one lower division course) 

AS2750 Food (4 cr)


PE2420 Principles of Microeconomics (4 cr)


PE3100 International Relations (4 cr)


PE3400 Global South (4 cr)


PE3410 Contemporary US Political Economy (4 cr)


PE3690 City & Suburb: Political Action and Change (4 cr)


PE3720 LI: Economy, Environment & Society (4 cr)


PE4100 International Organizations (4 cr)


PE4409 Urban Economics (4 cr)


PE4440 Food and Wine Economics (4 cr)


PE4590 Global Economy in the 20th Century (4 cr)


PE4609 Public Administration (4 cr)


PH3600 Social Determinants of Health (4 cr)


PH4680 Environmental Health (4 cr)


PH4700 Medical Anthropology (4 cr)


PH4800 Epidemiology (4 cr)


PH4850 Global Health (4 cr)


SY3900 Social Movements (4 cr)


Total for Environmental Studies Major


Other General Education Courses


Other College Liberal arts Requirements – GE Diversity


General Electives – to be used to meet College requirement of at least 45 credits at 3000 level or above




Total for B.A. Degree