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Environmental Arts & Justice (BES)

Choose a degree that centres on solutions for a just and equitable world.

By mixing critical thinking and creative artistic practice, you will understand how political, cultural, economic and social systems and structures shape the global environmental crisis. You will be equipped with the practical skills and knowledge to analyze, challenge and respond to this crisis, and evaluate and propose analytical, innovative and sustainable responses.

This highly interdisciplinary program merges courses in literature, social science, environmental science, media production, performance and art with hands-on learning opportunities in and outside the classroom. You’ll develop leadership, analytical, collaborative and presentation skills – key to envisioning and realizing a better environmental future.

You will explore these critical issues:

  • Climate change
  • Loss of biodiversity
  • Resource extraction
  • Food justice
  • Environmental racism
  • Indigenous sovereignty and decolonization
  • Space/place and land ethics
  • Human-animal-plant relations
  • Gender identities and relationships

Our program embraces an expansive view of environmental arts and art making to include community artists, experimental art forms and those with little or no artistic training (no portfolio or background in the arts is required to enter).

art performance

At a Glance

4 years of study

Bachelor in Environmental Studies (BES)

Offered full time and part time

Accepts applications for Fall (September), Winter (January), & Summer (May) Entry

Application Process

Our programs are open for students direct from high school, with previous post-secondary studies, international students, exchange students and mature applicants.

Learn more about our admission requirements

Tuition and Fees will be paid to York University. Please see the Undergraduate Tuition and Fees information on the Future Students Website. Entrance Awards, Scholarships and Bursaries are available each year to support your education.

We recommend reviewing funding available exclusively for our students and the funding available for all York University students

  1. Complete an Online Application Form.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Submit supporting documents through the York University online portal, MyFile.
    • Within four business days of application, you will receive a confirmation email with your nine-digit student reference number, which will allow you to access your MyFile account and upload your documents.
    • It is important to check your MyFile regularly for any documents you are required to submit and updates to the status of your application.
    • More information about supporting documents, document processing times and decision processing times is available on the I’ve Applied page.

Important Note: Deadlines for each entry period (Fall, Winter & Summer) can be found on the York University Future Students website.

Hands-on Learning and Field Studies

Learning in the field is a key component in our program. Your courses will take you on location with field trips to various places in Toronto, across the Ontario and in the work place. 

art performance

In the course, Community Arts for Social Change, students visit local communities and galleries to learn how they are mobilizing cultural productions to speak back to violence and injustice. Students then experiment with various media to create their own projects.

In the course, Qualitative Methods in Environmental Studies, students will practice their interviewing skills, learn how to analyze data and pool their resources to conduct an-in depth study examining Environmental Activism among York undergraduate students.

There is no Planet B sign
Taking action written in sand

In our Work & Field Placement, students (who meet the requirements) have an opportunity to apply their classroom learning in a work placement with government, NGOs, community groups and/or businesses for credit. You will gain confidence and valuable work experience that will serve you well when launching your career post-graduation.

Career Possibilities

The environmental sector is one of the fastest growing in the world. With issues of sustainability, climate crisis, and equity at the forefront of the public conscious, more organizations and businesses are looking to hire The environmental sector is one of the fastest growing in the world.  With issues of equity, climate crisis and sustainability, at the forefront of the public conscious, more organizations and businesses are looking to hire environmental professionals.  By developing artistic, hands-on experiences coupled with transferrable skills such as communication, critical thinking, project coordination, and leadership our graduates are working in both the public and private sector in a variety of fields including education, government, business, non-profit, arts and more.

To help you succeed, our Experiential Education Coordinator provides a variety of career support services to our students including resume help, interview prep, and career planning workshops, and maintains an exclusive job board just for our students.

Sample Careers

  • Outreach Educator
  • Cultural Producer
  • Diversity and Equity Professional
  • Artist and Designer
  • Environmental Organizer

Overseas Placements

Going global is optional in this program. You can choose to Study Abroad on an international Exchange program or take courses on our Semester Abroad at the Las Nubes EcoCampus in Costa Rica.

We also offer you the opportunity to complete a Global internship with York International

Las Nubes Campus

First Year Courses

Our advising team will assist you with course selection to ensure you are meeting your degree requirements,  help you choose your electives, and develop your own unique plan to include your double major, minor or certificate in your degree.

Learn more about the degree requirements in Environmental Arts & Justice