Letter from Director Shaikh about Environmental and Urban Studies

Exciting new opportunities in the Environmental Studies major will take effect Autumn 2017!

First, as of 2017-2018, the major will adopt the title, “Environmental and Urban Studies.”  This reflects enhancements to the major that include a new, urban environment track focused on human interaction with place, space and the built, urban environment.  The new track is designed to provide both a theoretical understanding of cities and practical strength in addressing urban, environmental challenges.  It will complement the two existing tracks that explore the interaction of humans and the environment from other approaches, and study urban environments from a variety of perspectives, both theoretical and historical. 

Although requirements for students currently enrolled in the Environmental Studies Program will remain unchanged, we hope that many of you will take advantage of this opportunity to deepen your insight and framing of urban environmental topics.  Complete information about the track and how it fits into major and minor requirements is available in the College Catalog.

Second, this coming year, the major will also provide an academic home for new, experiential learning opportunities through the Chicago Studies Quarter and the new Chicago Studies Certificate Program.

The Chicago Studies Quarter allows a small cohort of students to devote a term of study to the culture, politics and history of the city through a curriculum of three, interrelated courses.  Courses are taught by Chicago specialists in a variety of disciplines, and join classroom instruction with weekly excursions and co-curricular activities.  The Chicago Studies Certificate is designed for students who want to integrate their academic studies with positive impact in Chicago through sustained engagement, urban scholarship, and creative expression.  The Certificate is overseen by the University Community Service Center in collaboration with the Environmental and Urban Studies major.

These partnerships offer several practical benefits for students. Courses in the Chicago Studies Quarter will be listed in all three tracks of the major, and can therefore be used to satisfy requirements either within or outside one’s primary track.  Completion of the Chicago Studies Certificate will satisfy the internship/ field study requirement for the major. 

Please visit the Program on Global Environment website to learn more about the new major and other offerings.

As always, we look forward to providing a course of study that helps you to explore and address the environmental challenges that face our world today.

Best wishes,
Sabina Shaikh
Director, Program on Global Environment
Environmental and Urban Studies Major