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Sustainable Environmental Management (BES)

Explore some of the most critical issues facing the earth today: the climate crisis, the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, waste management, energy consumption and sustainable solutions.

In the Sustainable Environmental Management program, you will investigate how the environment and natural resources are managed, and how we can transition toward more just and sustainable systems. You will learn key problem-solving, innovation and holistic strategies, combined with an understanding of policy, social dynamics with applied aspects of environmental science and technology.

Students will explore these critical issues in environmental and resource management:

  • Low-carbon energy transition
  • Environmental policy and governance
  • Ecological economics
  • Climate change science and mitigation
  • Urban ecology
  • Sustainable and just transitions
  • Community energy and planning
  • Wildlife conservation

As you learn first-hand about energy, water, biodiversity, food and waste, you will develop the technical skills to analyze, synthesize and evaluate political, economic and social dimensions of environmental problems and develop pathways to sustainability transitions and innovation.

You will benefit from practical experience through hands-on classroom activities, field and lab-based courses, guest lectures, case studies, and community engagement. The program offers educational work placements and opportunities to participate in the Las Nubes EcoCampus in Costa Rica. You will develop transferrable skills in critical thinking, communication, leadership, and project management to effectively engage in environmental issues in government, the private sector, and not-for-profit sectors in Canada and abroad, and make positive contributions toward a sustainable future.

Aerial view of a road next to a pond

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. 

student taking picture of a plant with his phone

Introduction to Environmental Science

This course will take you into York University woodlots to collect ecological data to develop keys skills for presenting scientific data.

Solutions: Sustainability, Justice, Transitions

This course will use real world case studies to learn about the successes or failures of transitions to new systems.

view of a city with industrial and residential area

Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

This course will train you to use GIS software in the lab for real world applications.

Work Placement

Course for degree credit is an option for all Cities, Regions, Planning students with private or public organization, agency or ENGOs.

worker installing a solar panel

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 environmental professionals. By developing technical, hands-on abilities coupled with transferrable skills such as project management, critical thinking, and communication, our graduates are working in both the public and private sector in a variety of fields including business, science and technology, education, government, 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

  • Environmental Outreach and Stewardship Coordinator
  • Energy Assessor
  • Geographic Information Systems Technologist
  • Environmental Educator
  • Green Entrepreneur
  • Policy Analyst
  • Project Coordinator
  • Environmental Site Assessor
  • Environmental Consultant

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 all degree requirements for Sustainable Environmental Management.

Key Contact Information

Name Title Extension Office No. Email
Gregory Thiemann Associate Professor; Sustainable Environmental Management Coordinator 22621 HNES 271 eucsem@yorku.ca
Brittany Giglio Recruitment & Admission Officer 22671 HNES 125 eucapply@yorku.ca
Anne Tsirgielis Student Success Coordinator 33510 HNES 137B EUAdvise@yorku.ca