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Environment & Sustainability

The Environment & Sustainability BDP gives students the opportunity to explore a variety of disciplinary approaches to environmental processes and contemporary environmental issues. By bringing together courses in natural sciences, social sciences, design disciplines, and the humanities, this program affords a complex understanding of how the diverse parts of Earth’s environment interact. A geology major might choose to deepen an appreciation of human-environment interactions with a selection of government, history, and geography courses in liberal arts, while a journalism major might use natural science courses to develop an understanding of the scientific method. Designed to complement a range of majors, the Environment & Sustainability BDP prepares students to address environmental issues in careers as researchers, writers, policy makers, sustainable business leaders, and educators.

For a complete list of courses and requirements, download the Environment & Sustainability BDP curriculum sheet (PDF).


With 19 credit hours of coursework and Connecting Experiences, students may earn a BDP certificate in the Environment & Sustainability.

Courses counting toward a BDP in Environment & Sustainability may also satisfy core, major, and elective requirements in a student’s degree plan. With planning, the BDP should not add time to students’ UT careers, but instead helps students choose the courses they already have to take in an integrated way.

Foundation Course [1 hour]

  • Forum Seminar

Courses in a Strand [9-12 hours]

Students may select courses from Natural Sciences, Engineering, the Humanities, Design-related disciplines, and the Social Sciences.

Connecting Experiences [6-9 hours]

BDP advisors assist students in finding meaningful connecting research and/or internship experiences related to Environment & Sustainability. For examples of Connecting Experiences Environment & Sustainability students have completed in the past, read these Connecting Experience spotlights.

Integration Essay

Students write a 3-4 page essay written at the end of the BDP experience, drawing together the different pieces of the BDP.

Faculty Panel

An interdisciplinary faculty panel with an interest in the environment helps students design individualized programs of study that complement their majors and interests, and they are instrumental in helping students find internships and opportunities to participate in faculty research.