Why Choose NIU Environmental Studies?

The Degree is Interdisciplinary and Innovative

  • Brings together faculty and staff from across departments to instruct ENVS courses.
  • Offers both a B.A. and B.S. degree, as well as minors and teacher certification programs.
  • There are six emphasis pathways to better specialize the knowledge gained by students with different environmental interests.
  • Program partners with other departments to offer certificate programs.
    • Examples: Sustainable Food Systems, GIS and Social Entrepreneurship.

The Program Engages Students and Cultivates Close Networks

  • Six core courses that all students must complete, thus forging lasting relationships with other ENVS students.
  • Department hosts: seminars, speaker series, faculty research presentations.
  • Department issues a newsletter to students that keeps them aware of internship, career, volunteer and travel opportunities.
    • These also include new NIU courses and summer work programs.

The Department Encourages Student Involvement and Community Service

  • The program encourages students to join environmental student organizations.
    • ENVS collaborates with the student organizations to host events/activities.
    • Many ENVS classes actively require students to engage in community service.
  • Many different volunteer opportunities on-campus and throughout DeKalb community.

NIU ENVS Provides Practical Skills Training and Real-World Experience

  • ENVS requires that students complete at least one engaged-learning experience.
    • Many internships are community-based.
  • Offers employment and volunteer opportunities.
  • Opportunities to get involved with faculty-led research.
    • Many of these research opportunities are paid.
  • There are many opportunities to travel across the country for environmental research trips.
    • Many of these trips are paired with the Study Abroad program for international trips.
      • Example: Tanzania research trip.

Location and Position in the Region

  • NIU is located close to Chicago and has access to its resources.
    • Only an hour drive to the city.
    • Partnerships with Chicago-based universities.
    • Internships with Chicago-based universities and scientific centers.
    • Field trip/learning experiences based in Chicago.
      • Example: The Plant field trip for ENVS 303.
  • NIU has partnerships with national scientific laboratories in the region.
    • Argonne Labs
    • FermiLab
      • These locations offer students training.
  • There are a multitude of natural areas and parks in close proximity to campus.
    • Small, independent organic farms (Example: Heritage Prairie Farm).
    • Forest preserves and wildlife habitats (Example: Afton Forest Preserve).
    • Wildlife Restoration Areas (Example: Nachusa Grasslands - part of the Nature Conservancy).

Contact Us

Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability and Energy
325 Montgomery Hall
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: 815-753-6563
Fax: 815-753-2902
Email: envs@niu.edu
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