Academic Programs

The Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability and Energy fosters transdisciplinary research, education and community engagement to promote understanding of the environment and the development of creative and effective solutions to environmental and sustainability issues. 

Undergraduate Degrees

Learn about our Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees.

2023-2024 Degree Emphases

  • Environmental Justice
  • Sustainable Food Systems
  • Biodiversity and Environmental Restoration
  • Environmental Policy and Law
  • Sustainability and Energy
  • Secondary Educator Licensure


Certificate of Undergraduate Studies

Environmental Studies (B.A./J.D. or B.S./J.D.)

The six-year accelerated program leads to either the B.A. or B.S. in Environmental Studies together with the J.D. degree. This program only starts in fall semesters.

Students who wish to pursue this program, must follow a very specific set of requirements:

  • Students who want to complete this program must identify themselves to the Environmental Studies department as a major who wish to complete the accelerated program.
  • Minimum 2.25 overall GPA
  • Completed 90 semester hours of undergraduate coursework that completely satisfies general education and major requirements
    • Courses need to be completed in May to satisfy general education and degree requirements
    • First year of law school courses satisfies your remaining credits up to 120 undergraduate credit hours
  • Law School Application
    • Take the LSAT and receive a score at or above the 50th percentile of the previous year’s matriculating law class
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Personal statement
    • Letter from advisor stating all requirements have been met

Students are encouraged to apply to the program as early as possible during their junior year.

Admission will be on a competitive basis, and the likelihood of admission will depend on the number and quality of the applicants to the program, the number and quality of applicants to the College of Law in general, as well as other factors normally considered in admissions decisions by the College of Law.

Careers in Environmental Studies

Learn about some common career options (PDF).

Special Academic Opportunities

Tutoring and Mentoring on Campus

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Integrate and apply knowledge from multiple disciplinary perspectives to evaluate the causes, consequences and potential solutions to environmental challenges
  • Critically evaluate the environmental, historical and social context of environmental changes from the local to global scale
  • Identify and analyze research at the cutting-edge of science, technology, social science and humanities to generate solutions to contemporary environmental challenges
  • Effectively communicate complex issues and ideas to diverse audiences and successfully work in groups

Advanced Degrees

A B.S. or B.A. degree in environmental studies can be a gateway to graduate programs in several areas following the chosen curricular emphasis. Taking a few additional undergraduate courses will allow students to graduate and be recognized by graduate programs beyond Environmental Studies.

Graduate program options include: anthropology, biological sciences, environmental health sciences, environmental studies or environmental sciences, geography, history, law, public administration, public policy, sociology and many more!

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
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