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Environment and Urban Sustainability

Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Administered by: Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
Program Format: Full-time, four-year program.

O.S.S.D. with six Grade 12 U/M courses, including Grade 12 U English.


  1. ENG4U/EAE4U is the preferred English.
  2. A grade of 70 percent or higher will be required in Grade 12 U English.
  3. Subject to competition, candidates may be required to present averages/grades above the minimum.

The program integrates the social sciences, natural sciences, and applied disciplines as related to environmental and sustainability issues.

The first year of the Environment and Urban Sustainability program is structured around a core of courses focused on the development of the skills required for academic and future success in the workplace: field methods, research design, academic writing, critical thinking and demographic analysis.

In years 2, 3 and 4 these skills are honed as students interpret environments, examine ecological processes, explore urban policy, critique sustainable initiatives, and use the principles underlying physical and natural environments.

Students can select courses from a variety of fields including geography, history, philosophy, politics and public administration, sociology, law and business, architectural science, economics, chemistry, biology, occupational and public health and urban planning. The flexibility in the curriculum allows students to focus on a specific field of interest. For example, students can choose to focus their studies on environmental management, environmental policy, environmental design, community studies, or natural science, or they can sample widely from among the options.

Career Opportunities

The environmental sector is one of the largest employers in the Canadian economy. With a background in environment and urban sustainability students are prepared for success in a number of stimulating career opportunities depending on the focus they have chosen for their studies. As the number and complexity of environmental challenges grow, employers in the private sector, non-government organizations, consulting firms and governments are seeking graduates with a well-rounded understanding of the issues, who are able to act as analysts, managers and communicators. The program may also serve as a stepping stone to further studies, such as those offered in colleges of education, law schools and a variety of graduate programs.

Curriculum Information

The program in Environment and Urban Sustainability draws on the ideas, traditions, methods and practices of a broad range of disciplines from the social sciences, natural sciences and professional programs. The overall structure of the first year of the program is common to the other programs in the Faculty of Arts (i.e., Criminology, English, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Politics and Governance, Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology). The following years provide the opportunity to select a wide variety of professional courses from across the university to allow for specialized study.

Semesters 1 and 2: The Environment and Urban Sustainability program is introduced through two courses, Environment and Sustainability and Sustaining the City's Environments. In addition to these courses, students must complete two courses teaching key skills in Critical Thinking and Academic Writing and Research. Finally, students select a total of five courses from other social science disciplines and from humanities disciplines and one course from outside the Faculty of Arts – these courses may form the basis for undertaking a Minor if so desired.

Semesters 3 and 4: In their second year, students take courses in Reading Neighborhood Environments, Patterns of Demography and Environment, Applied Ecology, Geography of the Physical Environment, and Research and Statistics. In addition, students have options in choosing from among a wide array of Professional, Professionally-Related and liberal studies courses. Possibilities for Minors exist with the careful planning of courses. An optional internship is available between second and third years.

Semesters 5 through 8: Four courses (Ecological Processes in the Canadian Landscape, Nature in Fragments, Physical Geography in Decision Support, Urban Policy Strategies for Sustainable Development) form the core of the third year. In their final year, students take the capstone courses, Field Studies in Urban Ecology and Senior Projects in Environment and Urban Sustainability, to extend their expertise before moving into the workplace or on to graduate study. The wide variety of options allows students the opportunity to explore environment and sustainability issues in greater depth. In addition, the available choices from a broad range of disciplines complement students' professional studies and broaden their career preparation. Students may choose to focus upon courses within specific subfields or to sample broadly from across the curriculum. A second optional internship is available between third and fourth years.

Transferability Guidelines

In order to transfer to Environment and Urban Sustainability from any of Criminology, English, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, Psychology, or Sociology, students must:

  1. have a CLEAR Academic Standing at the end of the Winter term of their second semester of studies; and
  2. have successfully completed EUS 102 or EUS 202. It is strongly recommended that students complete both EUS 102 and EUS 202 in first year.

Liberal Studies

Students must take two lower level liberal studies courses and four upper level liberal studies courses to graduate. Students must not choose courses that are restricted for their program or major.

Please refer to the liberal studies chapter of this calendar for more information on the Liberal Studies Policy. Further information on liberal studies can also be found at the Faculty of Arts' Liberal Studies website (opens in new window) .

Table A - Lower Level Restrictions

GEO 110, PHL 214, POL 203  and EUS courses are not available for credit. Students may take only one Geography course for credit.

Table B - Upper Level Restrictions

HST 788 is not available for credit to students who choose HST 788 from Core Elective Table II. Students may take only three Politics courses or Geography courses for credit. EUS courses are not available for credit.


Students may pursue any Minor offered by Toronto Met (with some exceptions). Please refer to the Minors chapter of this calendar for further information on individual Minor requirements and exclusions.

The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education Certificates

Undergraduate students wishing to pursue a continuing education certificate program should be aware of possible program exclusions. Please refer to the Certificate Registration section of the Curriculum Advising website (opens in new window)  for complete details.

1st & 2nd Semester


  • EUS 102 Environment and Sustainability
  • EUS 202 Sustaining the City's Environments
  • SSH 105 Critical Thinking
  • SSH 205 Academic Writing and Research

REQUIRED GROUP 1: Four courses from Table I.

OPEN ELECTIVE: Two Open Electives.


3rd & 4th Semester


  • EUS 301 Reading Neighbourhood Environments
  • EUS 401 Patterns of Demography and Environment
  • EUS 402 Research and Statistics
  • GEO 313 Geography of the Physical Environment
  • SSH 301 Research Design and Qualitative Methods


LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

CORE ELECTIVE: One course from Table II.

CORE ELECTIVE/OPEN ELECTIVE: One course from Table I or one Open Elective.

Note: Students may opt to enrol in EUS 900 EUS Internship Placement I. Eligible students must obtain department consent. This is a non-credit course. Contact the Environment and Urban Sustainability website (opens in new window)  for further information.


5th & 6th Semester


  • EUS 501 Ecological Processes in the Cdn Landscape
  • EUS 601 Nature in Fragments
  • GEO 513 Physical Geography in Decision Support
  • POL 377 Urban Sustainability Policy

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

CORE ELECTIVE: Two courses from Table II.

OPEN ELECTIVES: Two Open Electives.

Note: Students may opt to enrol in EUS 901 EUS Internship Placement II. Eligible students must obtain department consent. This is a non-credit course. Contact the Environment and Urban Sustainability website (opens in new window)  for further information.


7th & 8th Semester


  • EUS 701 Field Studies in Urban Environmental Sci.
  • EUS 801 Senior Projects in EUS

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

CORE ELECTIVE: Four courses from Table II.

OPEN ELECTIVES: Two Open Electives.

A Program Advisory Council (PAC) is a group of volunteers that provides expert advice to a school or department on program related matters such as curriculum, program review, technology and trends in the industry, discipline or profession. For more information, see Senate Policy #158 (Program Advisory Councils).

Anneliese Grieve

Strategic Environmental Planning Solutions 

David MacLeod
Senior Environmental Specialist

Toronto Environment Office, City of Toronto
City Hall  

Megan Meaney
Director, Canada Office

International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives
ICLEI World Secretariat  

Adele Freeman
Director, Watershed Management

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority  

Barbara Konyi
Manager, Greater Golden Horseshoe Greenbelt Section

Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing  

Stewart Chisholm
Manager, Revitalization and Renewal
Toronto Community Housing 

Janet McKay
Founder and Executive Director
LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests)  

Dave Harvey 
Executive Director

Toronto Park People