Committee on Environment, Geography and Urbanization

Division of Social Sciences, The University of Chicago

The CEGU undergraduate major prepares students to understand and confront the wide-ranging societal, historical, and spatial dimensions of contemporary planetary environmental crises, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and other forms of large-scale socio-environmental transformation. Such issues are explored in diverse spaces, including cities and metropolitan regions; zones of extraction, agriculture, energy production and waste; dispersed settlement spaces and village ecologies; rangeland, forest and jungle landscapes; remote wildlands; and coastlines, rivers, watersheds, and oceans. The curriculum emphasizes a plurality of theoretical approaches to the histories and geographies of socio-environmental transformation, underscoring the contested character of environmental knowledge in a polarized and turbulent world order.

CEGU is also home to additional undergraduate initiatives including Expositions Magazine↗—a student-written magazine presenting environmental and urban scholarship, creative writing, and visual art; the Frizzell Learning and Speaker Series—a student-led endowed lecture series; and Environmental Frontiers Campus↗—a faculty-student engaged research program on campus sustainability in partnership with the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation↗ and Facilities Services↗. CEGU regularly hosts student activities and events, internships, and discussions with alumni, community leaders and faculty, often in partnership with Chicago Studies↗.

The major in Environmental and Urban Studies (ENST) is now the major in Environment, Geography and Urbanization (CEGU major). For all ENST majors declared before the CEGU major was launched, the ENST requirements will remain in effect. New requirements for the CEGU minor will also then replace those currently in effect for the ENST minor.

Cover of Expositions Magazine, Issue #4, showing a low-angle photo of cabbages in the foreground with a house and blue cloudy sky in the background