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B.A. in Environmental Studies Now Available at SLU-Madrid

by Isaiah Voss


SLU-Madrid's newest major allows students to develop scientific understanding of the earth's natural systems and their interconnections with human society.

SLU-Madrid continues to distinguish itself as a leader in international education with the addition of a new major. Environmental Studies is now available to students pursuing their degrees in Spain. 

Students visit the Real Jardín Botánico in Madrid for a class trip. Students have their backs to the camera while standing in a greenhouse surrounded by verdant plants. The student closest to the camera has a yellow bandanna and a pink backpack.

Students visit the Real Jardín Botánico in Madrid for a class trip.


The four-year program focuses on energy sources, climate change and earth processes in a global context. Its interdisciplinary curriculum includes labs, environment-focused courses in both scientific and social settings, and professional communication skills. 

"We've been in conversation about this new program for quite some time with both faculty and students," said Director and Academic Dean Paul Vita. "It's a degree that makes sense to offer at an international campus. Most environmental challenges are not local, but global issues." 

Many of the courses that fulfill the requirements for the major feature fieldwork across the Madrid region. Others are rich in experiential learning. The program takes students to the Mediterranean coast of Spain to study oceanography, and to the Canary Islands to study geological systems. Internships are also being developed, for example at POWEN Spain and Ecologistas en Acción (Ecologists in Action). 

"The program will certainly offer a comprehensive understanding of environmental challenges," said Taieb Gasmi, associate dean for science and engineering. "It gives the opportunity to examine key environmental subjects with an international perception." 

The program also aligns with the University's Jesuit mission, as Fr. James O'Leary, S.J., Campus chaplain points out. "We need a conversation which includes everyone," shared Fr. Jim, quoting Pope Francis, "since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all."