York University has a long history of incorporating sustainability and environmental issues into curriculum. Starting with the creation of the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) in 1968 (the first of its kind in North America), York has close to 400 courses across several faculties that focus on sustainability and the environment. In addition to the courses offered at FES, several other faculties and departments offer courses in sustainability, including Science(Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Conservation Ecology, Earth and Atmospheric Science), Education, Fine Arts,Geography, Engineering, Osgoode Law School, Schulich School of Business and Urban Studies.
Please click here for an inventory of sustainability-related courses at York.
Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES)
The Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University was founded in 1968 at a time of rising curiosity and concern about the environment. It was the first of its kind in North America and remains the largest. An interdisciplinary approach informs all its programs which include a Bachelor’s (BES), Master’s (MES) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Environmental Studies. For over 40 years, FES faculty and students have worked at the frontiers of knowledge, exploring the relationships between theory and action, between problems and the contexts in which these occur, and between natural, built, and social environments and systems. For more information please visit www.yorku.ca/fes.
Environmental Science at York focuses on the major interacting systems of the atmosphere, biosphere, water and landforms and the effect of human activities on these systems. This program offers a thorough science education based on the four objectives of providing a solid scientific training in the environmental sciences, building strong communication skills to deal with complex environmental issues, offering hands-on experience in environmental research, and developing strong technical skills. For more information please visit www.science.yorku.ca/Academic-Programs/Environmental-Science/
Business and Sustainability at the Schulich School of Business
One of the first of its kind in North America, the Erivan K. Haub Program in Business and Sustainability at Schulich is at the cutting edge of current best practice. The business and sustainability specialization equips students for general management and senior corporate positions, as well as for work in specialist environmental management or consulting posts. For more information, please visit www.schulich.yorku.ca.
York's Environmental Biology program covers the biological science aspect of environmental research and issues. Learning from some of Canada's leading environmental biologists, students develop the scientific understanding needed to study and wisely manage our life-sustaining ecosystems, but also consider strategies for preventing and restoring ecological damage. The program offers extensive hands-on experience through field courses, the fourth-year capstone thesis course, and research practica. Environmental Biology can be taken as either a three or four year degree program, with a variety of options for double majors and major/minor combinations. For more information, please visit http://science.yorku.ca/Academic-Programs/Environmental-Biology.
York is home to one of the largest undergraduate Geography programs in North America. The program emphasizes physical geography, which examines the physical, chemical and biological processes that occur in the immediate vicinity of the Earth's surface. Graduates are prepared for professional careers in crucial areas like environmental assessment and analysis, natural resource management, land use development, or land use planning, and for graduate study in the earth and environmental sciences. For more information, please visit http://science.yorku.ca/Academic-Programs/Geography/.
In York's Geomatics Engineering program, students learn to analyze, manage and display a wide variety of geographic information, including digital imagery and satellite-based position coordinates. Geomatics Engineers use their knowledge of science, engineering and measurement technology to solve complex real world problems. These technologies have revolutionized global navigation, resource and environmental management, and urban planning. For more information, please visit http://science.yorku.ca/Academic-Programs/Geomatics-Engineering.
Osgood Hall Law School
In conjunction with the Faculty of Environmental Studies, Osgoode Hall offers a joint MES/JD program. The only program of its kind in Canada, it draws upon Osgoode's strength in environmental, social justice, planning and aboriginal law and the Faculty of Environmental Studies' leadership in interdisciplinary environmental education. Environmental studies and law provide insights into the ways in which humans define, manage and transform their environments. The joint program encourages integration of these two critical fields and prepares students for a range of opportunities in law, environmental affairs and planning.
For more information, please visit http://www.yorku.ca/fes/students/future/mes/jd.htm
Faculty of Education
The Sustainability and Education Academy (SEdA) is a comprehensive program for leaders in education across Canada that aims are to inspire, create and support a culture of sustainable development in all aspects of the education system. SEda offers 2½ day seminars for education leaders that provide participants with the knowledge and strategies needed to transform school systems into sustainable organizations. The Academy's program was designed by faculty at York University's Schulich School of Business, the Faculty of Education, the UNESCO Chair on Reorienting Teacher Education to address Sustainability, and the NGO Learning for a Sustainable Future. SEdA has a national and international group of advisors who are leaders in ESD and provide advice and ideas on current and successful practices around the world.