Department of Environmental Studies, College of the Environment
The Environmental Justice Minor offers opportunities to critically interrogate the relationships between power, privilege, and the environment. Environmental justice, both a field of academic inquiry and a social movement, brings to light injustices related to the uneven distribution of environmental hazards, the consistent failure of environmental decision-making to address adequately the needs of marginalized communities, and the skewed representation of environmental issues in government and mainstream society. The minor provides an educational experience that offers critical and deconstructive approach by challenging dominant paradigms in human-environment studies and analyzing the underlying structural causes of environmental injustice. The program also embraces reconstructive and praxis approaches by providing opportunities for application and community collaboration. Most of the core classes are offered only once per year and must be taken in sequence, so careful planning with an advisor is recommended.
Why Consider an Environmental Justice Minor?
This minor provides space for students who wish to bridge interests in the environment and social justice. It allows students to connect the theoretical insights they are learning in class to practical applications. This minor is appropriate for students with a background in the environment who wish to deepen their understanding of connections to social justice, for students with a background in social justice who wish to deepen their understanding of connections to the environment, and for students with little background in either the environment or social justice.
How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):
Applicants should submit a WWU transcript, a WWU transfer equivalency report (if applicable), and a 500-word essay explaining how the minor would enhance the applicant’s experiences at WWU. Applications are due by October 15 and May 15. Because enrollment space is limited each academic year, we recommend applying during fall quarter.
A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.