Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 88.59
Liaison Richard Demerjian
Submission Date Aug. 11, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of California, Irvine
AC-3: Undergraduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Brenna Biggs
Sustainability Analyst
UCI Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one ​sustainability-focused​ major, degree, or certificate program for undergraduate students?:
Yes

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate degree program:
B.A. Environmental Science and Policy

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program:

The Environmental Science and Policy B.A. degree program prepares students interested in environmental problem solving by linking an understanding of natural science with socioeconomic factors and public policy. The curriculum combines a quantitative understanding of environmental science, chemistry, and biology with law, policy, and economics to provide a foundation for careers in environmental policy, resource management, education, environmental law, urban and environmental design and related fields.

The Environmental Science and Policy program provides students with a solid foundation to recognize the impacts of human activities on the environment, and in turn the impacts of environmental change on society. Students will understand the mechanisms by which key institutions, policies, and regulations impact ecosystems and the physical environment. Once the core course work is complete, students are encouraged to focus on a particular area within Environmental Science and Policy and to choose electives that build a coherent core of knowledge. Focus areas include, but are not limited, to urban planning, public policy, sociology, economics, climatology, water resources, water quality, agriculture, air pollution, resource management, and atmospheric sciences.

The Environmental Science and Policy program provides students with a solid foundation to recognize the impacts of human activities on the environment, and in turn the impacts of environmental change on society. Students study the mechanisms by which key institutions, policies, and regulations impact ecosystems and the physical environment. Classes cover local and global environmental issues, sustainability, and climate change, and each student completes a senior project in sustainability. Once the core course work is complete, students are encouraged to focus on a particular area within Environmental Science and to choose electives that build a coherent core of knowledge. Focus areas include, but are not limited to planning, policy and design, sociology, economics, climatology, water resources, water quality, air pollution, resource management, and atmospheric sciences.


Website URL for the undergraduate degree program:
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
B.A. Urban Studies

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):

The Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies offered by the Department of Urban Planning and Policy prepares students to do the following: 1) build affordable housing, 2) reduce traffic congestion, 3) make cities safer, 4) clean the air, and 5) make democracy work.

The Urban Studies major is an interdisciplinary program for students who want to learn how to foster more equitable, inclusive, sustainable and livable cities. The program integrates theories, analytical tools, and experiences from the fields of planning, policy, and design to investigate the causes, prevalence, and consequences of urban challenges and to develop approaches for addressing them. By gaining understandings of modern cities and the social, historical, political, economic, and cultural forces shaping urban areas, Urban Studies graduates will play an important role in changing the way our cities work, with employment opportunities in a wide variety of government, business, nonprofit, law, education, and research settings.


Website URL for the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
B.A. Social Ecology

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):

The major in Social Ecology embraces the unique and interdisciplinary spirit of the School of Social Ecology. The 21st century presents us with a wide array of opportunities for creating a better world. Such opportunities range from local communities creating innovative solutions to their problems, to communities around the world meeting the challenges of a globalized economy. Making the most of these opportunities calls for scholarship that is rigorous and innovative, thoughtful and engaged: scholarship that is steeped in the best traditions of social science, and able to break new ground.

Students graduate with a well-rounded understanding of how these disciplines intersect and inform an understanding of social, psychological, environmental, and legal problems. Students also learn how research can address these problems with the intent of finding solutions as well as develop an understanding of social, psychological, environmental, and legal problems and the settings in which they occur, ranging from the interpersonal to the societal/global.


Website URL for the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program(s):

B.S. Environmental Engineering:
https://engineering.uci.edu/dept/cee/undergraduate/missions/environmental-engineering

Example Environmental Engineering Student Outcomes:
-- An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics;
-- An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors;

B.A. Social Policy and Public Service:
https://www.spps.socsci.uci.edu/major/index.php

Program Description:
The major in social policy and public service (SPPS) provides an interdisciplinary perspective on the study of society, both at the individual and group level. Using the knowledge and methods of all social science disciplines, a student majoring in social policy and public service develops the skills to think clearly about social concepts and issues.

Example Learning Outcome:
-- Gain applied research (both quantitative and qualitative training) and analytical skills (scientific and statistical fundamentals) to address social issues as critical thinkers and problem solvers.

B.S. Earth System Science:
https://www.ess.uci.edu/undergrad/bs/requirements

Program Description:
The Earth System Science (B.S.) program provides students with a fundamental understanding of the oceanographic, atmospheric, and terrestrial sciences. This program of study prepares students for careers in science, research, or technical fields. Through the core course work, students will learn to explain the current and projected future state of the Earth system in the context of past climate change and current human activities.


Does the institution offer one or more sustainability-focused minors or concentrations for undergraduate students?:
Yes

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor or concentration:
Minor in Global Sustainability

A brief description of the undergraduate minor or concentration:

The interdisciplinary minor in Global Sustainability prepares students to consider the challenges of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, with emphasis upon addressing the extreme poverty that afflicts at least 20 percent of the world’s current population. The Earth is a complex system comprised of interactions between its various physical, biological, social, and political components, and human populations have initiated many global trends that cannot be sustained indefinitely. Some of these trends are physiochemical or biological in nature (the depletion of fossil fuels, the accumulation of ozone-depleting chemicals, the destruction of wildlife habitat, and high rates of species extinction), while others are social and political (accelerating urbanization, population displacement, and regional economic imbalance).

As a result, the vitality of the Earth depends upon interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches that draw on the strengths of multiple fields. In this program, students will become aware of the main drivers of climate change, both natural and human-induced, the intrinsic as well as the resource values of species, ecosystems, and communities, and how the loss of cultural diversity and a growing income gap between nations leads to additional pressure for biological resource exploitation. Students will become familiar with foundational sustainability concepts in social practice, governance and allocation, the physical sciences, and the biological sciences to better understand and effectively deal with contemporary environmental and social equity crises.


Website URL for the undergraduate minor or concentration:
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor or concentration (2nd program):
Minor in Urban Studies

A brief description of the undergraduate minor or concentration (2nd program):

The Urban Studies minor focuses on urban issues and offers opportunities to students to learn about a variety of urban problems from a variety of perspectives including those that involve class, gender, and race. Students explore different approaches to make our cities more equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and livable. Courses in the department provide important insights into the social, political, economic, historical, and cultural forces shaping our cities.

In addition, these courses offer students an excellent opportunity to prepare for graduate programs in related fields, including urban and regional planning, public policy, law, business, public administration, geography, sociology, public health, and social services. Students learn more about the urban issues and environmental problems, inequities in access to urban amenities, housing affordability crisis and transportation, and climate change.


Website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor or concentration (3rd program):
Minor in Urban and Regional Planning

A brief description of the undergraduate minor or concentration (3rd program):

The Urban and Regional Planning minor focuses on urban planning issues and offers opportunities to students to learn about the planning and development problems in our cities that we already face and those that we are likely to face in the next few decades. Students explore how to make cities more equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and livable. Courses in the department provide important insights into the social, political, economic, historical, and cultural forces shaping urban areas. In addition, these courses offer students an excellent opportunity to prepare for graduate programs in related fields, including architecture, landscape architecture, urban and regional planning, public policy, law, business, public administration, public health, and social services.

Students learn more about the design and development of urban areas including the planning and design of sustainable neighborhoods, urban environmental problems, inequities in access to urban amenities, housing affordability crisis and transportation, climate change. Students could draw their own conclusions on how to address different types of urban problems from a variety of themes and perspectives including those that involve class, gender, and race.


Website URL for the undergraduate minor or concentration (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused undergraduate minors and concentrations:

Concentration in Geosciences Education with a Secondary Teaching Certification: https://calteach.uci.edu/ and https://www.ess.uci.edu/undergrad/bs/requirements
-- This concentration allows students pursuing the B.S. in Earth System Science to earn a bachelor's degree and complete the required course work and field experience for a California Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential at the same time.

Minor in Earth and Atmospheric Science: https://www.ess.uci.edu/undergrad/eas
-- The science of the Earth as a system has implications for many fields of study. Students interested in understanding how the Earth’s systems work can earn a bachelor’s degree, while completing the requirements for a minor in Earth and Atmospheric Science. The program is primarily designed for students in the natural sciences and engineering who wish to explore interdisciplinary problems and broaden their studies to include the application of their fields to understanding the Earth system.

Specialization in Environmental Chemistry:
https://www.chem.uci.edu/undergrad
-- The students will cover fundamentals of Environmental Chemistry occurring in water, air and soil, Marine Geochemistry, and Biogeochemistry. Because of the strong reliance of Environmental Chemistry on the state-of-the-art analytical and physical measurements, the students will take a hands-on Physical Chemistry Laboratory course.

Minor in Social Ecology:
http://catalogue.uci.edu/schoolofsocialecology/socialecology_minor/
-- The minor in Social Ecology embraces the unique and interdisciplinary spirit of the School of Social Ecology. Students take courses from all three of the school's departments: Criminology, Law & Society, Psychological Science, and Urban Planning and Public Policy. Students graduate with a well-rounded understanding of how these disciplines intersect and inform an understanding of social, psychological, environmental, and legal problems. Students also learn how research can address these problems with the intent of finding solutions.

Sustainable Societies Campus Wide Honors Curriculum Track: http://honors.uci.edu/academics/curriculum/sustainable-societies/
-- Sustainable Societies is an honors curricular track where students will explore the features that impact the success and longevity of societies. Taught by teams of top faculty from a wide range of disciplines including Environmental Science, Urban Planning, and Health Science, this track is focused on problem-based learning.


Additional documentation to support the submission:
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In addition to the undergraduate programs listed above that meet the definition of sustainability-focused, UCI offers a number of other sustainability-inclusive degree programs and minors, including those listed below:

SUSTAINABILITY-INCLUSIVE UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMS:

B.S. Civil Engineering:
https://engineering.uci.edu/dept/cee/undergraduate/missions/civil-engineering
-- Provide students with an multidisciplinary curriculum that is fundamental, yet broad and flexible, to produce graduates who are well-grounded in mathematical, scientific, and technical knowledge; have the ability to analyze, evaluate, and design civil engineering systems; have the ability to communicate effectively; have had meaningful opportunities for undergraduate research; and who have acquired an understanding and appreciation for global and societal issues and are thus prepared for a career path toward leadership in industry, government, and academia.

B.S. Public Health Sciences:
http://catalogue.uci.edu/programinpublichealth/publichealthsciences_bs/
&
B.A. Public Health Policy:
http://catalogue.uci.edu/programinpublichealth/publichealthpolicy_ba/
-- The B.S. in Public Health Sciences and the B.A. in Public Health Policy degree programs train students in multidisciplinary approaches to public health practice and research. The degrees explore both quantitative and qualitative aspects of public health at all levels of analysis. Graduates will advance, through selective employment or further education, to become the new generation of public health professionals prepared to face the emerging challenges to human health from a population perspective using cutting-edge approaches for preventing diseases.

B.S. Mechanical Engineering:
http://catalogue.uci.edu/thehenrysamuelischoolofengineering/departmentofmechanicalandaerospaceengineering/mechanicalengineering_bs/
-- The undergraduate Mechanical Engineering curriculum includes a foundation of mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Engineering courses in fundamental areas constitute much of the remaining curriculum. A few technical electives allow undergraduate students to specialize in Aerospace Engineering, Energy Systems and Environmental Engineering, Flow Physics and Propulsion Systems, and Design of Mechanical Systems or to pursue broader understanding in these areas.

B.S. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology:
https://ecoevo.bio.uci.edu/undergraduates
-- The major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology encourages students to understand and appreciate important linkages between biological disciplines. The major is very broad, including components of evolutionary biology, ecology, and physiology.

SUSTAINABILITY-INCLUSIVE UNDERGRADUATE MINORS:

Minor in Public Health:
https://publichealth.uci.edu/ph/_undergraduate/phminor
-- Public Health education demands interdisciplinary engagement. The minor curriculum is intended to engage students from majors across the campus by introducing them to the main concepts and branches of public health, while also giving them the skills and values needed to translate their major education into meaningful projects in population health assessment and disease prevention. In concert with the major degrees in public health, the minor emphasizes learning through the ecological model of public health where the linkages and relationships among multiple determinants affecting health are examined to identify critical nodes of opportunities to improve the health of populations at various scales of analysis.

Minor in Civic and Community Engagement:
http://engage.due.uci.edu/
-- The minor in Civic and Community Engagement is an interdisciplinary program that provides students with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values to engage as citizens and active community members in the 21st century. It provides a theoretical and empirical framework to increase students’ understanding of public problems (environmental, social, and other) from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Students learn about strategies to address public problems, including through public policy; through the involvement of community-based and nonprofit organizations; and through the cultivation of leadership.

Minor in International Studies
https://www.globalstudies.uci.edu/undergrad/minors/index.php
-- The minor in international studies provides an interdisciplinary perspective on contemporary global issues, societies, and cultures. International studies minors acquire knowledge that will enable them to understand and contribute to shaping the rapidly evolving global community.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.