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Program Description:

Environmental Sustainability

Description

These four linked semester courses reveal the dynamic interplay between ecological and social change. Coursework is interdisciplinary and discussion wide-ranging, pulling from field observations, conversations with community partners, written material, and lectures. The class works to support ecosystems restoration and organizing efforts in the Twin Cities area and greater Minnesota. 

Students explore structural inequalities in their own communities, examining patterns of privilege, power, and oppression. They study the restoration of degraded ecosystems, witness and participate in citizen science, and assess how policies and partnerships foster ecologically sound social transformation. Past internship placements for Environmental Sustainability include the Land Stewardship Project, MN350.org, and Spark-Y Youth Action Labs

Students leave prepared for advanced leadership at the intersection of environmental and climate justice, with a profound understanding of the work being done locally and nationally in those fields. 

  • Highlights

    The program includes field experiences that focus on basic ecosystem evaluation. Short trips throughout the semester offer opportunities to integrate theory and practice. As part of the field methods course students carry out on-the-ground research as part of a community-based project. HECUA also designs an internship experience for all students that meets personal learning goals and connects program themes. Extraordinary mentors in the environmental arena lead students to participate in meaningful work during the internship portion of the program.
  • Degree Level

    Bachelors Degree (Undergraduate)

  • Qualifications

    * You must have completed your first year in college
    * You must be in good academic standing - 2.0 GPA or higher (any GPA lower than 2.5 will receive extra evaluation)
    * You must meet all requirements of the specific HECUA program
    * You must complete all home campus requirements for off-campus study

    All students are welcome on HECUA programs. Selection is based on your completed application, past academic performance, recommendations,and the match between the program and your own interests, goals and expectations. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

  • Intern Types

    • Sustainable agriculture
    • Environmental Monitoring
    • Ecological Restoration
    • Policy & Research Development
    • Community Organizing
    • Urban Planning
    • Environmental Education
  • Languages

    • English
  • Program Fees:

    Member and non-member schools use different fee structures. Check the HECUA website, here, for the most up-to-date information.

  • Program fees include:

    Tuition, internship placement and supervision and all course-related field visits.

  • Experience Required

    No. Think this program is just for science students? Think again! This program integrates natural and social sciences within a social justice framework and no course prerequisites are required.

  • This Program is open to

    Undergraduate students currently enrolled in a US college or university.

  • Scholarships are Available

    HECUA provides $750 Scholarships for Community Engagement, $1,500 Scholarships for Social Justice and $4,000 Scholarships for Racial Justice for semester-length programs each fall and spring. More information about the application process for either scholarship is available on the HECUA website, here, or by contacting the organization.

  • Application Process Involves

    • Online or Paper Application
    • Essay
    • Letters of Reference
    • Transcript



Minnesota – Environmental Sustainability: Science, Public Policy and Community Action


In the land of lakes and rivers, Minneapolis and St. Paul are built within a rich natural landscape that is home to one of the most active networks of environmental organizations in the country. This semester program addresses key processes of ecosystem degradation and rehabilitation, the social and economic underpinnings of conflict over environmental change, and public policy and community –based strategies to achieve sustainability. It offers students an off-campus experience based in the Twin Cities, examining a set of contemporary natural resource and public policy case studies. Students also participate in internships and in a grant funded community based research project. This program takes an integrated approach to environmental issues, addressing the linkages between rural and urban concerns as well as the way local decisions relate to regional and global trends. Topics include sustainable agriculture, land use management and watershed protection, industrial pollution, energy projection and consumption, transportation, urbanization and suburban sprawl.


Environmental problems are commonly viewed as technical problems. However, the most difficult and enduring challenges are social and institutional. In addition to providing an introduction to the science behind key environmental issues, Environmental Sustainability provides tools for analyzing the human context of environmental conflict, as well as strategies for social change. This dynamic investigation unfolds within a complex urban setting where questions of equity, justice and sustainability lead students to discover careers, life directions and new ways of knowing.



Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall Semester 2018 03/15/2018 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.