Why should I choose Naropa University’s BA in Environmental Studies?
The unique integration of contemplative practices, theory and practical application
creates a one-of-a-kind learning community and a rich, holistic curriculum. The Environmental
Studies program is designed to empower students to develop the knowledge base and
skill set needed to address complex environmental issues.
How will I benefit from studying at Naropa?
You will graduate with a mature understanding of how to direct your life from a place
of inner strength and self-awareness. You are supported by a close learning community
of faculty and peers, as you discover your own unique passions and path in relationship
to environmental issues.
What kinds of jobs do graduates work in?
Career options are diverse. Whether your interest is in sustainability practices,
community development, environmental education, city or government employment, environmental
justice, international work, the health arena, or ecological restoration, this BA
will provide you with a solid platform for taking your passion and creativity into
work that matters to you and serves the well-being of our planet.
What are you looking for in your applicants?
We’re looking for highly motivated individuals who are called to participate in the
healing, protecting, and sustaining of this planet and all its beings.
Do I need prior experience related to the environment?
This is helpful, but not necessary. At a minimum, you should have a passion for some
aspect of environmental concern and a strong desire to make a difference in the world.
Do I need a background or experience in meditation?
Although helpful, meditation experience is not necessary. However, an openness to
learning meditation and engaging with awareness practices is important for the clear
thinking, nonjudgmental attitude and emotional flexibility that underscore working
in the environmental field where others may have diverse worldviews.
What are the prerequisites for transfer students?
3 credits of physical geography or geography.
Can I use courses I have taken elsewhere toward my major?
Courses can only transfer into Naropa as core classes, or electives. No courses can
count directly toward your major. If you feel you have taken a course elsewhere that
is identical to a required course within your major, you can discuss this with your
advisor, and in certain circumstances an alternative course may be required.
What is the typical profile of a student majoring in Environmental Studies?
Student profiles are quite varied. There is a range of ages and backgrounds with interests
ranging from environmental justice to sustainable communities to local food production.
All share a commitment to bettering our world and healing the earth.
When do I start taking my Environmental Studies classes for my degree?
Typically, students begin taking the prerequisites to the environmental studies major
as early as freshman year. The bulk of the major will be taken during junior and senior
What are the areas of study within the Environmental Studies major? Is it possible
to minor in Environmental Studies?
All students take courses in the following six areas: sacred ecology, sustainability,
permaculture, environmental history and justice, field science, and community learning.
The department also offers 12-credit minors in Ecology and Systems Science; Environmental
History and Justice; Sustainability; Permaculture; and Sacred Ecology.
Is there a Capstone Project required to complete the BA?
During the last semester students complete an individual senior project in which they
demonstrate their cumulative knowledge, skills and abilities. The project can take
the form of either a traditional senior thesis or a community-based project.
What is your approach to diversity and multicultural issues?
At Naropa we respect and welcome diversity and incorporate that perspective into the
very fiber of our curriculum. Environmental and social justice; acceptance of gender,
religious, ethnic, and racial differences; and the capacity to work across cultural,
national and political boundaries are key components of our approach.
Does this program position me well for a graduate program?
The program positions students well for graduate level study through intense inquiry,
a review of diverse environmental and justice-oriented viewpoints, academic writing,
hands-on training and skills, and service learning. Students who plan on graduate
studies within the Environmental Sciences should review entry requirements and consider
completing possible additional science courses at another institution.