Students learn why and how environmental burdens are inequitably distributed, and explore the work of communities organizing for radical, lasting change. At the heart of the program lies a fundamental question: "How can we restore ecosystems, environmental health, and good quality of life for all?"
Coursework is interdisciplinary and includes field research, a project-based internship, conversations with innovators in the field of sustainability, and a substantial partnership with a permaculture farm in Wisconsin. Students explore structural inequalities in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and beyond, examining patterns of privilege, power, and oppression. They work on solutions, taking part in environmental justice organizing, ecosystems restoration, and urban and rural sustainability initiatives in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.
Each student completes an intensive internship. Past internship sites include the Friends of the Mississippi River, MN350, the Center for Earth, Energy, and Democracy, and Carver County Environmental Services. Students leave prepared for leadership at the intersection of environmental and climate justice, with a profound understanding of the work being done locally and globally in those fields. Students completing the program can choose to receive a permaculture design certificate.
HighlightsHECUA 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.
Bachelors Degree (Undergraduate)
* 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.
- Sustainable agriculture
- Ecological Restoration
- Policy & Research Development
- Community Organizing
- Urban Planning
- Environmental Education
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.
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
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.
|Term||Year||App Deadline||Decision Date||Start Date||End Date|
|Fall Semester||2020||03/01/2020 **||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.