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The Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program (ENVST) strives to foster an understanding of ecological systems and the consequences of human interactions with the environment. The curriculum is rooted in interdisciplinary approaches from earth systems science, humanities, and social and behavioral sciences. The ENVST program provides students with a broad multi-methods education that emphasizes systemic analysis, peer learning, and community engagement. It stresses the importance of social responsibility, leadership, and a science-based focus on solutions and integrated problem solving.

While the ENVST core classes are available online for all ENVST majors, the Sustainability Initiatives Emphasis is the only ENVST emphasis that can be completed entirely online. This emphasis gives students the opportunity to engage in an interdisciplinary education focused on sustainability. Students will take electives from a pre-selected list of classes that are offered online. The capstone class includes a project on the related topic of their choice, which serves as a culmination of their studies on sustainability.


At the University of Utah, our courses combine the flexibility of online teaching with the advantages and direct engagement of traditional teaching. Enjoy the benefit of studying online at your own pace while still engaging with classmates and instructors. This flexible way of teaching improves your overall experience and your ability to retain what you learn.

Interactive learning comes in a variety of ways:

  • Group assignments, where you collaborate via email or a discussion forum to answer a problem set.
  • Contributions to a discussion forum, where you directly respond to previous posts.
  • Peer reviews, where you review and comment on assignments from other students.

Our classes also offer multiple routes to stay connected and get help:

  • Communicate directly with the instructor via email.
  • Participate in and guide online discussions.
  • Attend online office hours in discussion threads or on the phone.
  • Instructors are available in “real” office hours for students on or near campus; for some courses we offer Q&A sessions in a classroom.

55 Credit Hours: Program credits only. This does not include gen ed/bachelor degree requirements or the university's 122 hour rule.

All ENVST program pre-requisite courses, as well as ENVST core classes, are available in the online format. For more information, please contact an ENVST academic advisor.

Bachelors of Science Environmental and Sustainability Studies: Emphasis in Sustainability Initiatives

All of the courses at the University, whether online or on campus, are taught by the same high-quality faculty members. There’s no distinction on your diploma that you completed courses online.


Courses with * have prerequisites. 

Introductory Core

ENVST 2050

Introduction to Environmental Science (SF)

ENVST 2100

Introduction to Environmental and Sustainability Studies (BF)

Upper Division Core


Global Climate Change (SF)

*ENVST 3364

Challenges to Global Sustainability (IR)

*ENVST 3365

Environmental Justice (DV)

POLS 3390

Introduction to Environmental and Sustainability Policy

To Be Completed in Your Last Year

*ENVST 4800

Environmental and Sustainability Studies Internship

*ENVST 5000

Undergraduate Research

*ENVST 5556

Capstone In Sustainability Initiatives

Statistics Courses (choose 1 course)

*ECON 3640

Probability & Statistics for Economists (QB)

SOC 3112

Social Statistics (QI and QB)

FCS 3210

Statistics in Family & Consumer Studies (QI and QB)

*PSY 3000

Statistical Methods in Psychology (QI and QB)

Writing Courses (choose 1 course)

*MGT 3810

Business and Professional Communication (CW)

*WRTG 3014

Scientific Writing (CW)

*WRTG 3012

Writing in the Social Sciences (CW)

*WRTG 3015  

Professional Writing (CW)

Methods Courses (choose 1 course)

FCS 3200

Research Methods in Family and Consumer Studies

*ECON 4650

Econometrics (QI)

POLS 3001

Political Analysis (QB and QI)

SOC 3111

Research Methods (CW)

SW 4100

Global Community Based Research

ENVST Electives (choose 7 courses)

Electives are available in multiple disciplines. See full list and additional information here.

affordable tuitionTo calculate an estimate of tuition costs please use the University of Utah Tuition Estimator. Tuition for online courses is based on residency and is the same whether you take an online or on campus course. 

Please visit What Does It Cost? for more information about UOnline tuition.

Studying ENVST will prepare you for careers in government (such as the Bureau of Land Management), business (as an environmental consultant or sustainability director), education, urban planning or farming, nonprofit, and activism (as a lobbyist against environmental degradation). Graduates of the program have found work as policy makers, consultants, renewability coordinators, and environmental journalists. If you want to go to graduate school, programs can include fields of environmental sciences, business administration, public health, urban planning and law.

Click here to see what our alumni are doing!

All students transferring credit from another institution will need to make visiting with an advisor a top priority.  Students will be able to gather a full sense of what credits transferred, how many credits are left remaining for degree completion and those opportunities that will enhance the post-graduate experience.


Last Updated: 1/18/23