Learning Resources & Opportunities for Students
Below you'll find information on majors at Drexel that are explicitly environmental in nature. It is worth noting, however, that students can create a sustainability focus in any major through their choices of minors, course and capstone project and paper topics, as well as through co-op and civic engagement experiences.
Sustainability and Innovation (BS)
The BS in Sustainability and Innovation offers a unique multidisciplinary perspective on current-day social and environmental challenges and provides you with the tools you will need to create market-based solutions. This degree embeds the Charles D. Close School’s unique approach to teaching entrepreneurship as a habit of mind within the framework of environmental stewardship, social equity, and economic sustainability. Graduates of this degree will be prepared to innovate in a variety of contexts including established companies, new or growing ventures, social enterprises, educational institutions, and other nonprofits.
Environmental Engineering (BSENE)
Environmental engineering builds on many engineering disciplines in tandem with several sciences, enabling students to have diverse approaches to identifying, evaluating and solving complex environmental issues. Graduates of this program will have an understanding of civil, chemical and mechanical engineering, as well as chemistry, physics, hydrology, geology, atmospheric science, and several biology specializations.
Environmental Science (BS)
Environmental science is a multidisciplinary field designed to examine environmental problems and find solutions. This field requires understanding of a number of disciplines including biology, physics, and chemistry. Solving some of our environmental problems also requires knowledge of environmental policy, ethics, and scientific data analysis.
Environmental Studies and Sustainability (BA)
The BA in Environmental Studies and Sustainability will provide graduates with a broad understanding of environmental science, policy development, needs of decision makers, attorneys and engineers, urban and international concerns, and current environmental issues. Important to any future position in fields of environmental policy, planning, and sustainability, the program builds on communication skills, collaboration abilities and team building, a “customer” orientation, creativity and innovative thinking ability, analytical ability, critical thinking and problem-solving ability, a work orientation with professionalism and a positive attitude, occupation-specific skill and knowledge through co-op, and leadership ability. Students may opt to specialize in different study tracks including Policy, Government, and Business; Social Awareness and Action, and Scientific Inquiry.
The minor in climate change provides an overview of the Earth’s climate system and the science of climate change, as well as how to understand, mitigate, and adapt to its potential impacts from varied disciplinary perspectives. In addition to coursework, there is a praxis requirement for the minor, which could be fulfilled through an independent research, design, or engagement project, participation as an observer at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties meeting, developing a climate action plan for a local municipality, or partaking in a community-based learning course related to the impacts of climate change.
The minor in ecology is open to all non-environmental science majors who are interested in the study of ecosystems, biodiversity and issues affecting the environment. However, Biological Science and Engineering majors are particularly suited for this minor being an additional focus area relevant in their field. Students should have completed one term to a year of General Biology and General Chemistry before enrolling in the minor.
The Environmental Studies minor is an interdisciplinary minor designed to give students specializing in other fields a background in contemporary environmental issues and the ability to analyze such issues. For students majoring in such fields as business and engineering, the minor in environmental studies will provide them with the tools to make better decisions about products or projects related to environmental economics, politic pollutants, environmental policy, and environmental justice.
Environmental Public Health
The minor in Environmental Public Health is designed for students majoring in public health or related fields who want to deepen their understanding of complex environmental and occupational issues from a population health perspective. Courses examine key global environmental and occupational health topics such as urban health, green space, safe drinking water, injury prevention, worker safety, climate change, and risk communication. Upon completion of the minor, students will have a strong grasp on environmental public health challenges facing society and will be prepared for a career in the field or for advanced study.
Science, Technology and Society
The minor in Science, Technology and Society (STS) allows students to explore the cultural, ethical, historical, political, and institutional dimensions of science, medicine, and technology. By taking courses in different disciplines, students develop an interdisciplinary approach that empowers them to critically analyze the social dimensions of science, medicine, and technology.
The Environmental Engineering minor focuses on pollution control and is primarily designed to broaden the professional capabilities of engineering students. For example, chemical and mechanical engineers working in process and manufacturing plants will be provided with a better understanding of the natural context of their facilities, better equipped to perform fate and risk analyses, and better able to apply the appropriate technology to control air and water discharges.
Green Energy and Sustainability
The Green Energy and Sustainability Minor aims to familiarize students with recent technological developments in renewable energy technologies and sustainability, as well as to conduct experimental work in these areas. Students will explore the principles, characteristics and operation of various renewable energy sources, storage devices, and energy conversion systems. In addition, this minor is designed to encourage students to enhance their knowledge of the fields of sustainability and green energy technologies, so they may be able to expand their skills and career opportunities.
Sustainability and the Built Environment
The Sustainability and the Built Environment Minor prepares students to engage and analyze future design challenges from a sustainability perspective. Students completing this program will be able to approach these challenges in a resourceful and insightful way, with a solid foundation of sustainability principles. The emphasis on collaboration and trans-disciplinary teamwork will allow students to serve as agile leaders in their future careers and be active participants in the critical discourse of their field.
UNFCCC’S Conference of Parties
Since 2015, at the ratification of the Paris Agreement, Drexel's Office of Global Engagement has supported the University's participation in the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC), which holds the annual global climate change conference called the Conference of Parties (COP). By successfully securing its Permanent Observer status as a Research Institute and Non-governmental Organization (RINGO), Drexel receives annual credentials for a select number of students, faculty and staff to participate in the event. COP brings together policymakers, government officials, academics, researchers, activists, students and young professionals who serve as representatives from their respective countries and organizations in support of the 1992 UNFCCC, which serves to solve the world's most pressing challenges related to climate change. Upon return from COP, Office of Global Engagement sponsors a public event for the Drexel community to learn about its participation. The hope is that Drexel will use its credentials at COP to spotlight its impactful research, advocacy and teaching on climate change. Calls for participant proposals are announced every summer for the forthcoming COP. Please visit drexel.edu/global for announcements related to COP as well as other opportunities for funding support for international research and study abroad programs related to climate and the environment.