Environmental Studies


Melissa Gilbert, Chair of Geography & Urban Studies
309 Gladfelter Hall

Kevin Henry, Undergraduate Chair
313B Gladfelter Hall

Vicki Giammarco, Administrator
308 Gladfelter Hall

Liz Janczewski, Student Services Coordinator
338A Gladfelter Hall

Max Andrucki, Internship Coordinator
325B Gladfelter Hall


The Environmental Studies major and minor examine the nature, causes, and consequences of human interactions with the environment. Students in Environmental Studies are equipped with the intellectual and methodological tools to understand and address the crucial environmental issues of our time: sustainability, health, climate change, food access, natural resource consumption, and environmental justice.

The Environmental Studies program is housed in the Department of Geography and Urban Studies. The major and minor focus on the department's four themes of globalization, sustainability, social justice, and geographic methods that are increasingly central to understanding the serious environmental challenges we face. Environmental Studies students learn geographic theory and methods that examine the complexity of human-environmental interactions; the increasing interconnectedness of the global economy, environment, culture, and politics; and the importance of place and context in people's daily lives.


The Department has identified several informal areas of concentration to assist students in making course selections. These do not constitute formal tracks but rather provide guidelines for developing a personalized curriculum. Students can focus on the following themes:

  • Globalization
  • Social Justice
  • Urban Sustainability
  • Geographic Methods

Career Preparation

Environmental Studies graduates are especially competitive in the job market because of their technical and critical thinking skills, a sense of the complexity of interactions between humans and the environment, and their ability to synthesize information at a variety of scales. Students have the opportunity to gain technical skills in spatial statistics, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), cartographic production and design, and qualitative methods that are highly valued by employers. Our graduates find employment with nonprofits (domestic and international), planning or government agencies, consulting firms, and citizens' organizations. Many also go on to graduate programs in geography, planning, environmental studies, law, and other fields. The Department of Labor expects that employment for geographers, planners, and other geographic professions will grow at a rate of twenty percent or more for the next decade.

Programs Offered

We offer a Bachelor of Arts and a minor in Environmental Studies, and a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Many of our students choose to complete a double major, a minor in a complementary discipline, and/or the GIS certificate.

Double-Counting Across Curricula

Many students elect to take a combination of the Environmental Studies major or minor and the Geography and Urban Studies major or minor, as they are complementary programs.

The ONLY courses that can double-count between the Environmental Studies and the Geography and Urban Studies majors are: ENST 3161 Spatial Statistics/GUS 3161 Spatial Statistics; ENST 2097 Research Design in Environmental Studies/GUS 2197 Research Design in Geography and Urban StudiesENST 3062 Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems/GUS 3062 Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems. When used for the major in either program, these courses may not be used to fulfill the minor elective requirements of the other program. Note GUS 4198 Senior Seminar in Geography and Urban Studies and ENST 4198 Senior Research Seminar are NOT cross-listed seminars. Anyone pursuing a double major in Geography and Urban Studies and Environmental Studies must take both capstone courses.

Students are not permitted to combine a major or minor in Environmental Studies and a major or minor in Environmental Science in the College of Science and Technology.


We encourage students to apply their skills and knowledge in a credit-bearing internship that utilizes their academic training. Assignments at planning, social service, environmental and other agencies, as well as at firms that specialize in mapping and geographic data analysis, have helped in securing employment opportunities after graduation. The internship is complemented by a seminar in which students reflect on their experiences. Contact Dr. Max Andrucki for more information on this opportunity.

Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

The Certificate Program in Geographic Information Systems is open to undergraduate students in all majors at Temple University. This four-course certificate introduces students to information technology and spatial analysis. GIS skills are increasingly in demand by employers and according to the Department of Labor, the industry has a high annual growth rate of 35 percent. Fields that use GIS skills include public health, social and natural sciences, journalism, urban and ecological planning, criminal justice, engineering, design, communications, and business, etc. Students interested in the Certificate in GIS should see that section of this Bulletin or contact guses@temple.edu with questions.

Accelerated Degrees

B.A. in Geography and Urban Studies + Master of Arts in Geography and Urban Studies

The Master of Arts in Geography and Urban Studies is an innovative, 36-credit program. Our curriculum focuses heavily on the themes of social justice, sustainability, globalization and geographic methods. Graduates go on to pursue further graduate study as well as professional positions related to urban and economic development, environmental sustainability and social justice at the local and international scale.

B.A. in Geography and Urban Studies + Professional Science Master's in Geographic Information Systems

The PSM in GIS program combines advanced training in GIS core skills with professional development and business ethics to prepare students to enter the GIS workforce. Students learn in-demand technical skills and are introduced to a wide array of software and analytical problems, making them versatile problem solvers and critical thinkers.

B.A. in Geography and Urban Studies + Master of Education in Secondary Education

The Master of Education (MEd) in Secondary Education program focuses on the needs and subject areas of today's secondary school students. This graduate program prepares students to teach grades 7 through 12 in their chosen content area such as English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies or World Languages.