Committee on Environment, Geography and Urbanization

Division of Social Sciences, The University of Chicago


The Environmental and Urban Studies (ENST) major is only available to students who have already declared as of Spring 2023. All new major declarations will be in Environment, Geography and Urbanization (CEGU)

Students who declared before the CEGU major was launched will continue to follow the requirements of the Environmental and Urban Studies (ENST) major and minor as outlined here.

Climate change, urban sprawl, habitat loss, pollution, food and energy needs, and their understanding as issues of social justice and economic stability are among the most pressing problems facing contemporary societies. Environmental and urban patterns and processes operate at multiple scales involving natural and human causes and consequences that cannot be addressed within a single discipline. Students in Environmental and Urban Studies will gain an understanding of the interconnected natural and urban realms, developing fluency with ideas such as sustainable development, walkable urbanism, environmental justice, or political ecology, along with the opportunities and challenges they present.

The Environmental and Urban Studies major and minor programs are designed to motivate a deeper theoretical understanding of cities and nature as develop practical strength in addressing urban and environmental challenges. Students begin the program through foundational courses focused on frameworks, theories and models of human-environment relationships, progress toward interdisciplinary methodological applications to topic-based experiential learning. The major program culminates in a BA Thesis or BA Capstone focused on addressing a critical urban environmental issue.