2023-2024 CATALOG

The Academic Catalog is the official listing of courses, programs of study, academic policies and degree requirements for Loyola University Chicago. It is published every year in advance of the next academic year.

School of Environmental Sustainability

Our Mission

The mission of Loyola University Chicago’s School of Environmental Sustainability (SES) is to engage students in understanding and responding to local and global environmental issues by:

  • Delivering Core environmental science courses to raise awareness and action in all LUC undergraduates,
  • Preparing SES baccalaureate and graduate students for socially responsible professions in environmental science, policy, education, business, and health, and 
  • Advancing our knowledge of environmental problems and developing solutions through original research and community outreach.

The SES strives to advance sustainability in operations across all university campuses and to:

  • Develop an environmentally conscious culture throughout the university.
  • Advance the University’s mission of seeking God in all things
  • Work to expand knowledge in the service of humanity through learning, justice, and faith
  • Provide a rich and transformative educational experience grounded in teaching and research excellence
  • Promote experiential learning, and student entrepreneurial action in the service of nature, humanity, and the planet

Our Sustainability Mission

Sustainability at Loyola is driven by our Jesuit tradition of social justice, our service to humanity, and our role as an institution of higher education. It is embodied in an  educational experience for our students and activities that seek to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to  meet their own needs.  We are committed to an inclusive process considering social, economic, and environmental impacts and exemplified in a transformative  education for our students.

Our Commitment to Racial and Social Justice

We acknowledge that the multi-century legacy of racism against people of color -- particularly against those who are Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian -- pervades environmentalism, where White voices and agendas continue to dominate. Environmentalist doctrines have been – and continue to be – used to justify eugenics, genocide, and the displacement of indigenous people from their ancestral homelands. 

We affirm that social justice and ecological justice are both integral to achieving sustainability. We commit ourselves to deep reflection on the many ways that we as individuals are socialized into white supremacy and that our organizational culture, policies, and practices reflect it.  This intentional process of study will enable us to identify the changes required of IES as we move towards becoming an anti-racist, multicultural organization that advances racial, social, and environmental justice through our teaching, research, and service.

For more, see Carolyn Finney’s Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors and this “Statement On Racism in the Environmental Field” among other sources.

Curriculum Overview

Environmental problems are multifaceted and cannot be adequately understood and addressed through a monochromatic lens. As such, all SES majors share ten common environmental courses totaling 26 to 27 credits. These standard courses cover an introduction to environmental science, statistics, ecology with a lab, economics, politics, justice and ethics, environmental careers, an engaged learning experience, and a capstone experience.

Additional core courses in biology (8 credits) and chemistry (12 credits) are required for each of the BS majors. In addition, all majors require either specialty courses (0 to 14 credits), free electives (3 to 15 credits), or electives in the categories of Society, Ethics and Justice (3 to 6 credits), Policy, Economics and Resource Management (0 to 6 credits) and Methods and Analysis (0 to 3 credits). The BS majors require a total of 67 to 70 credits to complete. The BA majors require a total of 51 to 54 credits to complete. A student who wishes to double major within SES must complete at least 15 credit hours of coursework that is unique to each major.

Students wishing to add an SES minor can share 9 of 21 credits needed for either the Environmental Action and Leadership minor or the Environmental Science minor with their SES major. For those choosing the Environmental Economics and Sustainability minor, 6 of the 18 credits required for the minor can be shared with the major. Students minoring in either Sustainable Management, administered by the Quinlan School of Business, or Environmental Communication, administered by the School of Communication, can share 6 of the 18 credits required for either of those minors with their SES major.

Core Courses

Core Curriculum
ENVS 101The Scientific Basis of Environmental Issues3
ENVS 200Environmental Careers and Professional Skills1
ENVS 280Principles of Ecology3
ENVS 286 / ENVS 286SPrinciples of Ecology Lab1
ENVS 300Introduction to Public Health3
Justice and Ethics Choice
Select one of the following:3
Environmental Justice
Environmental Ethics
Religious Ethics and the Ecological Crisis
Environmental Politics
Economics Choice
Select one of the following:3
Ecological Economics
Environmental Economics
Engaged Learning Choice
Select one of the following:3
Science & Conservation of Freshwater Ecosystems
Ecology of the Mediterranean Sea
Bird Conservation and Ecology
Energy and The Environment
Environmental Sustainability
Natural History of Belize
Conservation and Sustainability of Neotropical Ecosystems
Solutions to Environmental Problems: Water
Solutions to Environmental Problems: Biogas
Solutions to Environmental Problems: Climate Action
Solutions to Environmental Problems: Food Systems
Environmental Research
Environmental Internship