About the Department



Mission Statement

To provide a rigorous, systematic, and integrated approach to the study, management,and the solution of environmental and global challenges and issues.

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The Department of Environmental Studies was founded in 1970 and was one of the first such departments established in the U.S. We focus on a rigorous, systematic, and integrated approach to the study, management, and solution of environmental challenges. Our degrees prepare students for rewarding careers in the vital green economy by ensuring students have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.

With more than 40 years of experience granting Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Arts in Preparation for Teaching degrees in sustainability studies, our department has achieved a level of professionalism envied by environmental programs at other universities and colleges. Almost 20 years ago, the Department added a Master of Science degree to its curricula so that it now offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate degrees. Our majors gain leadership skills through the Center for the Development of Recycling (CDR), the Environmental Resource Center (ERC), and our internship program. Currently, there are approximately 350 undergraduate majors, 20 undergraduate minors, and 40 graduate students in our department.

Recently, we added a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies to provide students an interdisciplinary program with the opportunity to take classes from professors from over a dozen departments across campus. Global challenges, now and in the future, cannot be easily understood from the perspective of one discipline. Global Studies at San Jose State University is an interdisciplinary program that looks at the world holistically. As a student, you will learn effective communication and develop the skills to explain, argue, and defend complex views before a variety of global audiences.

We work hard to connect our students with careers and our graduates fill positions in sustainability fields. Representative occupations held by former students include specialists in energy, environmental impact assessment, environmental restoration and resource management, green building, sustainable water resources, park management, environmental education, sustainable agriculture, environmental health and safety, environmental regulation and policy, hazardous materials, integrated waste management and recycling, and many others.