Environmental Studies

BA in Liberal Studies Concentration in Environmental Studies (ECO)

The Environmental Studies concentration emphasizes ecosystems around the world, focusing on the ethical, economic, and political issues that affect them. Students gain understanding in global ecological and social processes connecting people, policy, and the environment. Students develop critical skills in observation, environmental planning, and policy development with an interdisciplinary grounding in environmental and conservation issues. The program synergizes an innovative curriculum combining environmental, political, global, and holistic courses with opportunities to gain practical experience and network in local communities.

environmental studies butterfly image

The AUSB Environmental Studies concentration will emphasize environmental advocacy and global awareness. Through courses, experiential learning, hands on training, internships, and working in the community with environmental activists, students will learn key environmental concepts as well as skills for effecting change through advocacy and policy work. In addition, students will gain an awareness of ecosystems around the world and the cultural and economic factors that influence them.

The Environmental Studies prepares students for careers in: environmental health and management, natural resources and conservation, outdoor and environmental education, environmental law and regulation, policy, environmental advocacy, international environmental issues, and non-profit or governmental organizations. Students will also be prepared to continue on to graduate school in a variety of fields including environmental studies, social entrepreneurship, and business.




This concentration is built upon a foundation of courses related to crafting a narrative/message and purposefully moving that message into the world through various forms of distribution. An emphasis is placed on media as a change agent global culture. Courses in the related disciplines of psychology, business, education, global studies, and multiculturalism round out the curriculum. Students are encouraged to use independent studies and internships to focus the concentration in areas of specific interest regarding personal and professional goals.

In addition to the BA degree requirements, students pursuing any concentration must complete a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 60-quarter units with at least 24 upper-division units completed at AUSB. 

Students are strongly encouraged to complete several of the following courses (chosen in consultation with an Academic Advisor):

  • Environmental Justice & Advocacy
  • Marine Ecology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Natural History of Santa Barbara
  • Animal Ethics
  • Sustainable Aid & Grassroots Initiatives
  • Global Environmental Studies
  • Anthrozoology
  • Sustainable Business Practices
  • Internship with Environmental Organization (to be determined with Academic Advisor)
  • Social Media
  • Social Justice Documentary Filmmaking
  • Public Speaking
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Entrepreneurship
  • History of Globalization
  • Conflict Management I:  Nature & Cause
  • Global Economics
  • Leadership & Project Management
  • Organizational Strategy & Culture
  • Public Policy
  • Engaged Citizenship
  • Research Methods & Statistics