Take Action for a More Sustainable and Just World

We seek to discover, assess, and propose innovative solutions that are ecologically sound and socially just. Advancing sustainability depends on an holistic approach to problem solving in collaboration with diverse peoples and through work across disciplines.

As an Environmental Studies student at Seattle University, you will:

  • Tailor your major to your interests. Choose from one of four specializations: Urban Sustainability; Policy, Politics and Justice; Environmental Education and Communication or Ecological Systems - or design your own specialization. 
  • Explore the link between people and the environment - addressing issues facing our many ecosystems, including our homes, cities, farms, forests and oceans. 
  • Identify and solve sustainability challenges through an equity lens - gaining core competencies in the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences.
  • Learn the data analysis tools, analytical skills and communication techniques you will need to understand and solve environmental problems, work with diverse stakeholders and communicate ways to move our communities toward a more sustainable future.
  • Integrate field and class work in the Puget Sound area and beyond. Take small classes with professors dedicated to providing experiential learning opportunities to explore local and global environmental concerns that range from urban sustainability to landscape ecology, climate justice and more.
  • Chart your career path through our Environmental Careers series, internship and independent studies opportunities and alumni network.

Program Summary

Our cohesive program provides students the opportunity to conduct research with faculty renowned in their fields, work with practitioners and communities to address local and global environmental concerns, participate in experiential learning here in the United States and abroad and be part of our dynamic SU community through small classes, on-campus organizations and activities, and co-curricular events.

horizontal rule


As part of the EVST curriculum, each student chooses to specialize in an area of environmental studies and sustainability. The specializations build upon the core EVST curriculum and prepare you with the knowledge and skills needed to develop your specific field of interest.

horizontal rule

Professional Development

EVST students gain pre-professional experience while completing a required Environmental Internship.  They engage with the global classroom developing knowledge of diverse cultures through education abroad, fellowships and undergraduate research.  


Contact Us

Tanya Hayes, PhD

Program Director

206 296-5485


Kimberly Gawlik, JD

Senior Administrative Assistant

206 296-5440


Check out the 2022-2023 Undergrad Viewbook

Ready to Transfer to SU?

horizontal rule


Hazel Wolf Awardee Spotlight

Headshot of Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith, EVST and PUBA '23 has been recently awarded the Environmental Studies Department’s Hazel Wolf Award, named in honor of ecologist Hazel Wolf. This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

Student Spotlight

Headshot of Julieta DentoneJulieta Dentone PUBA and EVST '24 was recently awarded the prestigious Public Policy and International Affairs Program fellowship to support undergraduates committed to public service.  This summer, as a PPIA fellow, Julia looks forward to learning graduate skills to support environmental policy.

The PPIA Junior Summer Institute (JSI) Fellowship Program is a rigorous academic graduate-level preparation program for undergraduate juniors committed to public service careers. More information on the program here.


Research Highlight 

Dr. Liere working in lab

Dr. Heidi Liere was recently featured in an article for the Pacific Horticulturalist, "Voices of the West: New Science on Life in the Garden," which details the significance of biodiversity within urban gardens and how it is measured. Dr. Liere discusses her work related to vegetation diversity and its affect on insect diversity and ecosystem functions such as pollination, pest control, and carbon sequestration. She notes that, "These studies demonstrate that gardens can produce food and well-being benefits for humans as well as promote both plant and animal biodiversity." 


Institute of Public Service "Conversations Series" Highlight

Jay Inslee with students and professors

Washington Governor Jay Inslee spoke with hosts, Larry Hubbell, Joni Balter and Public Affairs and Environmental Studies students, Anna Smalley and Gaby Batinich in front of a packed house of SU students, faculty and staff.  The Governor discussed how youth are instrumental in leading the way in the fight against climate change.  The Governor's talk, "How America Can Lead the World in Alleviating Global Climate Change," was part of Earth Month programming and the Institute of Public Service's "Conversations" series, in partnership with the Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability. Watch the event on The Seattle Channel.