Jul 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Urban Sustainability, BA

Location(s): WWU - Bellingham

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Department of Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy, College of the Environment

67-68 credits


The Urban Sustainability major examines the human and environmental dimensions of cities in the United States and around the world. The curriculum incorporates approaches from a range of disciplines including urban planning, environmental policy, economics, political science, and history. The program emphasizes analytic and communication skills, which are valued by a range of employers. The program provides an excellent foundation for students pursuing graduate studies in a range of social science disciplines.

Why Consider a Study of Urban Sustainability Major?

Do you want to acquire knowledge and skills that promote positive change in the urban environment and learn about creating more livable communities through different disciplinary perspectives? Do you enjoy the challenge of solving complex problems in both natural settings and urban communities? Are you committed towards building a more equitable and sustainable society? Then a major in Urban Sustainability is the major for you.

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Nabil Kamel
Arntzen Hall 230

College of the Environment
Professional Advisor

Kathryn Patrick
Environmental Studies 539

Urban Sustainability
Faculty Advisor

Paul Stangl
Environmental Studies 207

 Sample Careers

Sustainable Development Consultant | Urban Development Consultant| Non-Profit Organizations | Urban Advocacy Work | Graduate Studies in Professional Urban Programs

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

How to Apply as a Pre-Major:

At any time, you can declare yourself as a pre-major with interest in Urban Studies in the College of the Environment advising office, ES 539. There are several advantages to declaring as a pre-major during your freshman or sophomore year. Once you are declared as a pre-major you are assigned a College of the Environment professional advisor and a faculty advisor based on your academic interests. Your professional advisor can help you understand graduation requirements and how to navigate through the College of the Environment curriculum. Your faculty advisor guides you in which courses to take, and when, and gives you advice about internships and how to prepare for graduate school or a future career. As a pre-major, your email is added to an email distribution list for College of the Environment majors so you will begin to receive notifications and general announcements. The pre-major status will also give you access to priority registration for some classes.

How to Apply to the Major:

Before applying, students should complete Urban Sustainability foundation courses. To apply, students should submit an application that includes a 1-2 page essay describing your reasons for wanting to enter into the major, as well as a plan of study created with the College of the Environment professional advisor and signed by a faculty advisor.

The application to the Urban Sustainability major can be found on the College of the Environment website. Applications are accepted during fall, winter, and spring quarters and must be received by 5 p.m. on October 6 (for winter quarter admission), January 15 (for spring quarter admission), or April 18 (for summer or fall quarter admission). If the deadline falls on a weekend, applications are due the following Monday.

If you have any questions, please contact a professional advisor at the College of the Environment Student Support Office in Environmental Studies Building 539, or by phone 360-650-2817, or 360-650-3748.  

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.


Culminating Courses (8 credits)

Students are required to take one approved course with a capstone “CPST” attribute during their senior year. A capstone class is a field or project-based class. This class is meant to be a culminating experience for the students bringing all the varied disciplines together as applied work on a real-world issue. Several capstone options are open to all College of the Environment students; others have prerequisites.

Capstone (3 credits minimum)

Urban Sustainability majors are encouraged to select from ENVS 410, UEPP 474, or ENVS 493 or ESCI 493 or UEPP 493 as their capstone.

Students may take a different ESCI, ENVS, or UEPP capstone with advisor approval.

Experiential (5 credits minimum)

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