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<York Calendars<Undergraduate Calendar 2001-2002<Faculty of Environmental Studies

The Bachelor in Environmental Studies

The four-year York Bachelor in Environmental Studies (BES) Specialized Honours program combines breadth and focus in its study of the environment. This broad approach to education, and the Faculty of Environmental Studies' (FES) interdisciplinary perspective, make York's BES program unique. Faculty members come from a wide range of backgrounds-from planning to philosophy, economics to education, architecture to anthropology. All share a commitment to exploring the complex questions and solutions of the human and environmental challenges facing the world.

The Faculty of Environmental Studies believes that an inclusion of non-Western perspectives is essential to a fruitful discussion of all environmental issues. To that end, Faculty members strive to include a broad range of perspectives in their course offerings, and to introduce students to the links between the exploitation of the natural world and justice issues related to racism, gender inequity and poverty. York's BES program is designed to equip students with the knowledge and understanding to deal effectively yet sensitively with complex environmental and social problems arising at the local, national or global level.

In the first two years of the program, students take a number of required courses that introduce them to the wide range of environmental studies while building critical, analytical and writing skills. In the final two years of the program, there is only one required course per term, and the remainder of the courses are electives chosen from either within FES, or from other Faculties at York. These electives are chosen in consultation with the undergraduate program adviser, and are based on each student's Program Plan. This Plan, which is updated each year, ensures that students meet the degree requirements, and that they have the opportunity to pursue individual interests and goals related to their area of interest. The BES undergraduate adviser organizes advising sessions in the required courses of the BES program to assist students with the development of their Program Plan.

What the BES program offers:

  • interdisciplinary expertise to understand and solve environmental problems;
  • opportunities to develop specific skills and in-depth learning;
  • a wide range of courses covering the humanities, social sciences and environmental science;
  • an outlook that includes local and global, philosophical and applied questions;
  • an emphasis on bringing theoretical and practical matters together in the classroom;
  • the knowledge and skills needed for environmental careers and graduate studies;
  • an atmosphere in which you know that your learning matters.

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