AcademicsUndergraduate AcademicsEnvironmental Studies Online Degree

Environmental Studies Online Degree

Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies Online Degree

Engage with social justice issues, learn the theories of ecopsychology, economics and politics as they relate to earth-based change and participate in contemplative exercises that interact with the sacred nature of our planet in Naropa’s online Environmental Studies program.

Program Overview

The online degree in Environmental Studies offered by Naropa has different tracks in Theory, Action, Justice, and Contemplation. This degree will teach you how to use renewing and restorative practices to tackle climate change.

Your journey of service will begin with the exploration of reflective learning, environmental sustainability, ecological philosophy, policy-making, leadership, indigenous wisdom, and your personal life experiences. 

You will learn about social justice, ecopsychology, economics, and politics related to earth-based change. You will also do exercises that connect with the sacred nature of our planet. 

In the online Environmental Studies major, learn embodied and mental strategies for meeting climate grief and anxiety to face the challenges of an increasingly uncertain future.  Engage in earth-based contemplative practices that deepen the relationship to the more-than-human world.

Naropa’s environmental studies online program fosters a profound comprehension of the living world. This involves knowledge and application of environmental theories and concepts. Students  learn practices and learn skills that develop internal and external resources required for responsible engagement with and in diverse settings. Environmental justice, leadership skills and applied sustainability principles help students apply their learning in internship and senior projects

Our faculty members are not just teachers; they are agents of change. They employ creative teaching methods and dedicate themselves to solving environmental problems. Students will be prepared to make a positive difference in the world.

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Quick Facts

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Program Format

Naropa University’s undergraduate program is a four-year, fully accredited Bachelor of Arts degree program. The online Environmental Studies degree is 39 credits, fully online. It helps students gain knowledge and skills to tackle environmental problems.

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. 

Naropa alumni working on gardening tasks. Two people are using shovels while a third person stands next to a wheelbarrow. They are outside. Grass, soil, wildflowers and a bush are visible. Behind them there's a street and a parked car.

Course Spotlight

The Science for Sustainability

Students explore sustainability via ecology, climate science, and systems thinking, understanding their relevance to humans and other systems. Through lectures and hands-on activities, they grasp Earth’s living system concept and sustainability research intricacies. The course highlights challenges rooted in specific worldviews. By the course’s end, students can discern and explain key sustainability components and methodologies. Additionally, they design a project integrating core concepts, preparing to champion sustainability initiatives.


A Bachelor of Arts degree consists of a Core Curriculum and a major. It also allows for optional minors and elective courses. The degree requires a total of 120 credits.

The major usually requires between 36 and 60 credits. It requires 120 credits, with the major typically requiring 36-60 credits. This includes the Online BA in Environmental Studies, which stands as a fully online program, providing students with the convenience of remote learning. 

Online Environmental Studies Major Requirements

  • ENV 370e: Environmental Philosophy and Ecopsychology [Theory] (3)

  • ENV 411e: Science for Sustainability [Theory] (3)

  • ENV 350e: Nature, the Sacred, and Contemplation [Contemplative] (3)

  • ENV 401e: Environmental Leadership Skills [Action] (3)

  • ENV 355e: Environmental Justice [Justice] (3)

  • ENV 250e: Restorative Principles and Practices (3)

  • ENV 341e: Contemporary Environmental Movements (3)

  • ENV 490e: Special Topics: Activism

  • ENV 245e: Geography: Pilgrimage and Sacred Landscape (3)

  • ENV 361e: Spiritual Ecology (3)

  • ENV 490e: Special Topics: Contemplative (3)

  • ENV 257e: Food Justice (3)

  • ENV 363e: Indigenous Environmental Issues (3)

  • ENV 490e: Special Topics: Justice (3)

  • ENV 207e: History of the Environmental Movement (3)

  • ENV 253e: Solidarity Economics (3)

  • ENV 490e: Special Topics: Theory (3)

  • PSYB 329e: Approaches to Healing (3)

  • PSYB 354e: Transpersonal Psychology (3)

  • REL 160e: Meditation Practicum I (3)

  • REL 346e: Wisdom & Compassion (3)

  • TRA 133e: Yoga I: Foundations (3)

  • COL 450e: Internship (3)

  • COR 440e: Capstone II (3)

Why Choose Naropa?

Advanced Approaches

Inspired by the work of Joanna Macy and thought leaders in ecopsychology and deep ecology, our program teaches about living systems, leadership models, environmental movement history, food justice, and indigenous knowledge. Students will get to participate in an internship course and a capstone project. These experiences enable them to seamlessly integrate their newfound understanding and position themselves as effective change agents.

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Contemplative Methodology

The online degree in environmental studies helps students deal with climate grief and worry about future challenges. Students will participate in nature-centered reflective exercises that enhance their connection with the broader natural environment beyond humans.

Committed Faculty

Naropa's environmental studies faculty have lots of knowledge, passion, and real-world experience for this online degree program. Our faculty consists of diverse scholars and practitioners who inspire the next generation of environmental leaders.

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How this Program Prepares You

Internship and Senior Project

The Environmental Studies program has fostered partnerships with community organizations where students can arrange internships. Moreover, BA majors are required to complete an individual senior project in the final year of the program. Students will integrate their learning and launch their contributions as change agents.

Introspective and Theoretical Learning

The Environmental Studies online program is rooted in contemplative practices, offering a pathway to cultivate optimism for the future and a means to process and integrate the challenges facing our world. The degree curriculum delves into history, philosophy, and economics to foster a comprehensive understanding of interconnections through diverse perspectives.

Sense of Justice

Our program is steadfastly dedicated to promoting justice in all its facets. The root cause of both human and environmental oppression is identical. By tackling topics related to food justice, indigenous issues, and restorative measures, students acquire an understanding of their societal position and methods to effect change. 

What You'll Learn


Obtain both physical and mental techniques to manage climate-related distress and worry, readying yourself for future uncertainties. Participate in nature-focused reflective exercises to deepen your bond with the wider environment.


Participate in activities and acquire abilities that enhance both internal and external capabilities needed for responsible involvement in various environments.


Demonstrate knowledge and application of environmental theories and concepts.


Investigate how environmental crises affect marginalized communities and articulate strategies that prioritize these communities in addressing injustices.

Ecology & Climate Change

Show understanding of ecological principles and practical, applied skills.

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Career Opportunities with a Environmental Studies Online Degree

Upon completing Naropa’s environmental studies online degree, graduates will find themselves well-prepared to embark on various professional paths, each offering unique opportunities for their expertise and skills. They can pursue further education for careers such as holistic health practitioner, organic farmer, landscaper, environmental educator, stormwater coordinator for local government, and wilderness guide, among many others.

Hear from a Graduate


Social justice, our environment, peace studies, and diversity have always been a big piece of my life. Naropa fosters a space for these issues to be talked about and acted out.

Candice Kearns Orlando

BA in Environmental Studies

FAQs About the
Environmental Studies Online Degree

The difference between Naropa’s online and on-campus environmental studies degrees may be centered on different course requirements and credits, but this does not present a difference regarding the major. Both on-campus and online degree students graduate with a BA in environmental studies. Students can receive a quality education even if they are not able to relocate to our campus in Colorado.
Environmental studies and environmental science are related fields, but they differ in their focus and approach. Whereas environmental science studies natural systems and uses technology to keep the environment safe, environmental studies looks at how humans and nature interact and how science and policy connect.
Individuals who have completed the online degree in environmental studies can continue their education to explore career paths like holistic health professional, organic agriculture specialist, city food supervisor, early childhood educator, operations head for a gardening firm, landscape artist, director of a non-profit organization, creative artist, environmental instruction specialist, art instructor, interior decoration expert, author/editor, local government stormwater liaison, and wilderness tour guide.
Naropa’s online BA in environmental studies addresses the psychological, emotional, spiritual, and social aspects of climate justice with sustainable and regenerative solutions. Furthermore, students learn how to manage climate grief and negative emotions toward climate change issues with a unique contemplative approach. With Naropa’s environmental studies online degree, students will experience superior education tailored for remote learning.

Learn More About the Program

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with your counselor

Rachel Thompson

Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions 

Prospective students with last names A-G

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with your counselor

Jenna Priest

Undergraduate Admissions Counselor

Prospective students last names H-Z

Ready to Apply?

Admission Requirements

Academic excellence and the willingness to carry out introspective work are highly valued at Naropa University.

Learn more about admission requirements and the application process for undergraduate students.

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  • Students with a 3.0 GPA or Higher

Applicants boasting a GPA of 3.0 or higher, an 83+ average on the 100-point grading scale, and/or a GED score of 175+, and a solid track record of academic achievement, are warmly accepted to Naropa University with minimal eligibility criteria.

  • Students with Less than 3.0 GPA

Should your academic performance fall below a GPA of 3.0, an average of less than 83+ on the 100-point grading scale, or a GED score of 145–174, but you aspire to benefit from a Naropa education and anticipate contributing to our expanding community, we encourage you to submit your application.

  • Transfer student

For students who are still in search of an education that not only nurtures their personal growth but also fosters professional development, Naropa awaits you. The transfer of credits from your previous institutions will be easily completed, and our Transfer Student Guarantee ensures comprehensive financial and advisory support for all transfer students.

Learn more about transferring.

Our university is rooted in principles of inclusivity, diversity, and a warm welcome of different cultures. We believe that the strength of our community lies in the richness of its diversity, and we eagerly anticipate the unique contributions that each student will bring to our vibrant and dynamic environment.

Learn more about applying to Naropa as an international student.

Costs and Financial Aid

Naropa is dedicated to broadening access to education for a diverse range of students. Delve into our undergraduate costs and aids page to gain insights into tuition, grants, scholarships, and available opportunities. Use our cost calculator to estimate your potential expenses at Naropa. 

Undergraduate Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarships are a great way to help with the costs of going to school. Naropa University offers an array of scholarship opportunities to undergraduate students. Students may be eligible to receive scholarships through their admissions application, by applying for scholarships, or by being nominated for a scholarship. For more detailed information about the different scholarships available and how to receive them, please review our undergraduate scholarship page.
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This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

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This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

“*” indicates required fields