All schools & programs > College of Liberal Arts and Sciences >

Environmental Studies Program

Visit their website » Print...

Why study environmental studies?

The KU Environmental Studies Program provides a rigorous interdisciplinary education and stimulates exchange concerning the environment from natural science, social science, and humanities perspectives.

This interdisciplinary major gives students a fundamental knowledge of the human environment, the dimensions of human impact on the environment, and holistic approaches to solving problems resulting from this impact. The human environment includes all facets of human activity affecting the environment, such as philosophical and ethical issues, environmental resource use and misuse, population biology, and the chemistry of the atmosphere.

The goals of the program are

  1. To provide a holistic view of the environment, one in which the synergistic nature of perturbations, natural and anthropogenic, can be understood and
  2. To provide the technical and evaluative skills for active participation in an environmental career.

The environment is the central theme around which a liberal arts education is focused.

Students may declare an interest in environmental studies or a major in environmental studies by filling out the appropriate forms. CLAS Interest Code and Major Declaration forms are available from College Student Academic Services, 109 Strong Hall, or in the environmental studies office. Students are strongly encouraged to declare an environmental studies major as soon as possible.


Electives provide the opportunity to specialize. An environmental studies adviser must sign an elective approval form before a student takes an elective. Forms may be obtained from the environmental studies office. Except for study abroad, a maximum of 6 hours of nonclassroom course work may be counted toward electives (e.g., internship or research).

Exceptions and Substitutions

All substitutions must be approved by a student’s environmental studies faculty adviser. A student must submit a requirement substitution form to the environmental studies faculty adviser. Forms can be obtained from the environmental studies office.


Internships allow majors to develop new skills and test their abilities and educational backgrounds. Students can assess their career objectives in professional settings. Internships are done in city, county, state, and federal agencies and in environmental organizations and private companies or agencies. Students are encouraged to participate at the end of the sophomore or junior year. Completion of an internship by the end of the junior year provides an opportunity to make career changes and final elective selections before the senior year. It is not possible to participate in an internship after graduation. The applicant must have a grade-point average of 2.5 or above, must have completed 12 hours of core or required environmental studies courses (excluding required supporting courses), and must have a suitable internship opportunity. A maximum of 3 hours may be applied to the 12 to 15 hours of required electives.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.