Environmental Studies Major (BA)

A Bachelor of Arts degree (120 credits) consists of Core Curriculum (30 credits) and at least one major (36–60 credits), as well as minors and/or elective courses of the student’s choosing. 

Environmental Studies is an inherently transdisciplinary field arising from the interaction of Western-based natural and social sciences with other sources of wisdom and tradition. The Environmental Studies 36-credit major is designed to empower students to develop the knowledge base and skill set needed to address complex environmental issues. 

The Environmental Studies curriculum integrates the complex and interconnected relationships of the natural environment, human culture, and personal experiences. These relationships are studied through five interrelated strands: field science; sacred ecology; sustainability; permaculture; and environmental history and justice.

Program Vision

Environmental Studies at Naropa University integrates a deep understanding of the living world through the study of science, systems, sacred ecology, historic and contemporary environmental movements, diverse perspectives and wisdom, and contemplation, as well as engaging in hands-on, community-based work. We believe that through critical examination and understanding, engaging in deep relationships, and developing appropriate skills, humans can learn how to respond to the rapidly increasing degradation of our natural resources, and creatively move forward with resiliency for a more balanced, sustainable relationship with the living world.

Senior Project

BA majors are required to complete an individual senior project in the final year of the program. The project can take the form of either a traditional senior thesis paper or a community-based project. This requirement is fulfilled by completing ENV480 Senior Project.

Internship and Independent Study Opportunities

The Environmental Studies program has fostered partnerships with community organizations where students can arrange internships and co-create meaningful independent study opportunities that supplement the Environmental Studies curriculum.

Environmental Studies Major Requirements


  • ENV100 Physical Geography: Beholding the Body of the Earth (3)
  • ENV245 Geography: Pilgrimage and Sacred Landscape (3) 
    These courses are prerequisites for courses included within the major requirements.

Required Courses


  • ENV207 History of the Environmental Movement (3)
  • ENV215 Sustainability (3)
  • ENV223 Field Ecology (3)
  • ENV238 Survival Skills (3)
  • ENV260 Introduction to Permaculture (3)


  • ENV318 Deep Ecology (3)
  • ENV321 Geology (3)
  • ENV350 Nature, the Sacred, and Contemplation (3)
  • ENV355 Environmental Justice (3)

Special Focus Course 
Choose 3 credits

  • ENV236 Green Building (3)
  • ENV253 Environmental Economics (3)
  • ENV257 Food Justice (3)
  • ENV342 Permaculture Design (3)
  • ENV363 Indigenous Environmental Issues (3)
  • ENV370 Ecopsychology (3)


  • ENV420 Environmental Service Learning: Ecological Restoration (3)
  • ENV480 Senior Project (3)

Total Credits: 36