Academic Programs

The Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability and Energy fosters interdisciplinary 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

We have over 120 undergraduate majors and we are still growing! Learn more about a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

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. Students who want to complete this program must identify themselves to the Environmental Studies department as majors with an emphasis in either environmental policy or nature in society who wish to complete the accelerated program. Undergraduates who major in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in either environmental policy or nature in society and have completed at least 90 semester hours of undergraduate course work (including all general education and major requirements) with a minimum GPA of 3.25 are eligible to apply for admission to NIU’s College of Law under the special provisions of this program. Students are encouraged to apply to the program as early as possible during their junior year. As part of the application to the College of Law, applicants must take the LSAT and must receive a score at or above the 50th percentile of the previous year’s matriculating law class. 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

This graphic shows some common career options linked to each of the emphases in Environmental Studies.

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.