faculty of environmental studies

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Message from the Dean

Climate change, water scarcity, failing food systems, energy challenges, suburban sprawl, pollution, over-consumption, waste, species extinction - understanding the environment has never been more important. The Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) at York University is the place to critically examine these and other environmental problems and to craft solutions that are just and sustainable. The first environmental studies program in Canada, for over 40 years FES faculty and students have worked at the cutting edge of research, exploring the relationships between theory and action, and between natural, built, and social environments and systems. Our program, which brings together humanities, arts, social science and natural science approaches, allows us to deeply explore complex contexts – social inequity, globalization, technological change, cultural practices – that give rise to environmental problems and organize our way of thinking about them.

From ecology to community arts, from environmental policy and planning to environmental education and philosophy, from international development to green business, from animal rights to wetlands restoration, from tropical forest preservation to thinking environmentally through writing, from indigenous studies to new energy technologies, FES offers exciting, innovative, and interdisciplinary programs designed to prepare students for success in a growing environmental job market. Come explore with us. Come learn how to be an effective actor in a changing world.

Our faculty and students embody our belief that passion and commitment, combined with knowledge and education, are the foundation of a well-informed citizenry. The reach and influence of FES is international, with active research programs in Australia, Brazil, the Caribbean, China, Costa Rica, India, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia, and Sri Lanka, as well as across Canada and throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

We have more than 3,000 grads working around the world, playing vital roles in government, business, non-profit agencies, and environmental NGOs. We are proud of all our grads, working in Winnipeg and Halifax, London and Caracas, Delhi and Sydney. Will you join them? Whether you are interested in our undergraduate BES degree, taking our two-year Master in Environmental Studies (MES) degree, or working towards a PhD, we will be happy to assist you. BES certificates offered in collaboration with other units at York, and joint Master’s degrees in Planning and Law, give you specialized training for your dream job; internships in the community and field research with faculty provide you with important life and work experience.

Browse our Web site, scan through our faculty members' profiles, and look at what current students and alumni are doing. FES may just be the place you've been looking for. Environmental studies are more important now than ever before. We hope you will join us in our efforts to create a more equitable, more just, and more sustainable world.