Minor in Environmental Studies

APU’s minor in environmental studies gives you the tools and experiences necessary for understanding and addressing the causes and consequences of the unprecedented environmental challenges in the United States and around the world.

18-19 units

The environmental studies minor offers a learning environment that equips a rising generation with the intellectual tools and learning experiences needed to understand and address the causes and consequences of the unprecedented environmental challenges facing them. The new perspectives, affections, and personal habits fostered through the program ground the “task of our times”: to repair the damage done to marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and to produce sustainable systems of food, fuel, and shelter.

Distinctive Features

  • Interdisciplinary: Synthesis of the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, including the arts and expressive culture (e.g., music, literature, film). The minor is taken simultaneously with an undergraduate major.
  • Experiential Learning and Internship: Field trips; field studies; community, regional, or global internships with community organizations (e.g., public schools) or national environmental organizations (e.g., the Nature Conservancy, the National Audubon Society, the Environmental Defense Fund, SoCal A Rocha, Eden Reforestation Projects); or engagement in political and cultural activism through a broad range of environmentally focused organizations in the Los Angeles area.

Vocational Paths

This minor helps prepare students for earth-keeping careers in education (sustainability studies), sustainability management (public, private), community advocacy (nonprofit), environmental planning and policy development, environmental law, wildlife and game management, the alternative energy sector, forestry, and agriculture.


The minor comprises 18-19 units, at least 12 of which must be upper-division coursework.

General Biology II
Ecology 1
Humans and the Environment 2
Chemistry and Society 2
Science and Technology for Everyday Applications 2
Earth Science 2
Social Science3
Contemporary Global Issues 1
Sustainable Societies 3
Civic Knowledge and Engagement 1
Environmental Ethics
Writing 2: Writing in the Humanities 4
Environmental Economics
and Readings 5
Capstone or Policy3
Choose one of the following:
Thesis/Project 6
Theory and Practice of Public Administration
Public Administration Practicum 1
Interdisciplinary Capstone
Total Units18-19

Meets the General Education Civic Knowledge and Engagement requirement.


Meets the General Education Natural Sciences requirement.


Meets the General Education Integrative and Applied Learning requirement.


WRIT 210 is a topics course; the topic Nature and Environmental Writing is the only topic that fulfills this requirement. This course also meets the General Education Writing 2 requirement.


ECON 355 has a prerequisite of ECON 251—students who have satisfied ECON 251 do not need to take ECON 497; students who have not taken ECON 251 may take ECON 497 for 1 unit to meet the prerequisite.


Course must be taken one time for 3 units.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
  1. Describe the fundamental science (drawn from natural sciences and social sciences) that informs our understanding of current environmental challenges (e.g., anthropogenic climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, etc.) and policy alternatives.
  2. Demonstrate an experiential understanding of the real-world contexts and ethical principles (drawn from philosophy, theology, and literature) that frame the human relationship and response to the natural world.
  3. Effectively weigh scientific evidence, moral/ethical argument, and political and economic feasibility in evaluating environmental policies and institutions.
  4. Integrate and apply perspectives from across the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities to an analysis of complex urban environmental problems.
  5. Explain the moral and ethical significance of environmental crises through concrete lifestyle changes that accord with the biblical vision of a healed creation.


Program Director

Louise Ko Huang, PhD