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Environmental Sustainability and Decision-Making, Bachelor of Arts

Environmental Studies


The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Environmental Sustainability and Decision-Making on the Staten Island campus is a distinctive interdisciplinary, social science-oriented academic program that offers the advantages of St. John’s community partnerships and local environmental research.

Environmental issues have become central in today’s world. Citizen groups push for sustainable futures for their communities and for the earth. City officials, business consortia, and community organizations strive for economic growth and development that enhances, rather than degrades, the natural environment. Corporations seek to operate in sustainable ways and to respond to environmental concerns voiced by citizens and government.

All of this activity creates exciting career opportunities in the field of environmental sustainability. This interdisciplinary program is designed to help students build environmentally-centered careers that contribute to a better future.  

As a major in Environmental Sustainability and Decision-Making, you apply knowledge from the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities to approach environmental problems from a variety of perspectives, and to build an understanding of the complex interactions and diverse factors that contribute to decision-making in environmental policy and practice. You also develop the skills necessary for success in the field by engaging with real-world environmental problems in Staten Island and throughout New York City.

You may also be eligible to pursue a pathway to the M.A. in Environmental Sustainability and Decision Making.

As of August 2022, the University is no longer admitting students to the Staten Island campus due to a proposed substantive change pending approval by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. For more information, please visit

To learn which of the University’s campuses offer specific programs, please consult your Academic Dean.


For more information about admission to this and other undergraduate programs at St. John’s University, please visit Undergraduate Admission.


To earn the B.A. in Environmental Sustainability and Decision-Making, you complete the major sequence and 15 elective credits in addition to your core requirements.

Major Sequence

You must complete each of the following:

  • ANT/ESP 1120 Human Ecology
  • ESP 1010 Principles of Ecology
  • ESP 1020 Methods of Environmental Analysis: Practicum
  • ESP/GOV 2160 Environmental Policy and Politics
  • ESP 2410 Principles and Practices of Sustainable Development
  • ESP/GOV 2500 Environmental Management and Decision-Making/Environment and Public Law
  • ESP 4990 Environmental Analysis Senior Seminar
  • GEO 2001 Natural Resources and World Development
  • GOV 1030 American National Government
  • Choose one of the following:
    • MTH 1020 Applied Statistics
    • MTH 1210 Bio-Statistics
    • SOC 2610 Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences


You may choose five courses from among the following:

  • ECO 1301 Principles of Economics I
  • ECO 1302 Principles of Economics II
  • ESP 1060 Field Study
  • ESP 4903/4906 Environmental Studies Internship
  • ESP 4953/4954 Undergraduate Research in Environmental Topics
  • GEO 1001 World Geography
  • GEO 1002 North American Geography
  • GOV 1530 Introduction to Public Administration
  • GOV 2470 State and Local Government Administration
  • GOV 2480 Municipal Government Administration
  • GOV 2510 American Political Parties and Interest Groups
  • GOV 3520 Public Opinion and Propaganda
  • PHI 3720 Environmental Ethics
  • SOC 2630 Urban Sociology

Contact Us

St. John's University crest on the top of the gate

William F. Byrne, Ph.D.

Program Director, Environmental Sustainability and Decision-Making

Associate Professor, Government and Politics
DaSilva Academic Center, Room 316
Staten Island Campus
[email protected]

Career Outcomes

Opportunities for professionals with a background in environmental issues continue to grow in business, government, non-governmental and non-profit organizations, and institutions of every size. Students who graduate from the B.A. program in Environmental Sustainability and Decision-Making develop the research, analytical, and scientific thinking skills necessary for evaluating and reporting environmental impacts and policies, especially as related to economic growth and development. Practical experience gained through academic service learning and internships, as well as mentorship from faculty working in this field help students position themselves for careers in public administration, management, policy, and design and engineering firms, among others. The combination of the undergraduate major and further graduate study opens even more possibilities in writing, business, academia, urban and regional planning, law, education, and public health, just to name a few.

Global Approach to Education

St. John’s offers students an international academic experience through study abroad courses during the academic year as well as the winter and summer semesters. Students can live and learn at the University’s Rome, Italy campus and Paris, France location. For more information about studying abroad, please visit Global Education.