Become a
dynamic leader
in Environmental Sustainability



The University of Illinois offers a fully online Bachelor’s of Science degree in Earth, Society and Environmental Sustainability!  We teach this degree both on campus and online – and all our students get the same high level of attention. Online students have access to the same world-class professors, courses, resources and bachelor degree as our residential students.

Students studying in the Earth, Society and Environmental Sustainability (ESES) major can specialize in environmental consulting, sustainability policy, geographic information science, sustainable business, and more. Students new to the University of Illinois who wish to undertake the program will apply to the the program as transfer students.

One program...two concentrations

The ESES major is set up to allow students with a wide variety of backgrounds to complete the degree through two diverse concentrations: 

Society and Environment

Integrate sustainable practices in society!  The SAE concentration offers a balanced cross-disciplinary social science/humanities education, emphasizing the political, socio-cultural, economic, and historical dimensions of sustainability. Students in this track might be interested in focusing on these areas:

  • Environmental Policy
  • Environmental Economics
  • Studies in Science and Technology
  • Social Valuation of Environmental Systems
  • Social Studies of the Physical Environment
  • Environmental History
  • Social Movements and the Environment
  • Perceptions of Environmental Risk
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Sustainability and ESG Consulting

Science in the Earth System Concentration

Acquire technical scientific skills in sustainability! The SES concentration is a rigorous scientific program in the geophysical and ecological sciences focused on the complexity and interactions of natural systems.  The Science in the Earth System concentration explores the scientific complexity and interactions of natural systems. Students in this track might be interested in focusing on these areas:

  • Water/Hydrology
  • Ecology and Ecosystems
  • Data and Modeling
  • Engineering and Management Practices
  • Climate and Global Change
  • Biogeochemical Cycles
  • Types of Pollution and Their Sources
  • Remote Sensing
  • Sustainability Applications of GIS
  • Green Chemistry
  • Sustainability and ESG Consulting

How much is tuition?

The tuition rate for the 2022-2023 academic year is $416 (USD) per credit hour. Students have a tremendous opportunity to attend a top 20 ranked institution in the country at a very reasonable tuition rate!

These rates include both tuition and fees, and are the same for in-state, out-of-state and international students. Cost for future courses may be subject to moderate changes in accordance with the actions of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

"The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a global leader in undergraduate education. Our online programs provide tremendous educational opportunities where students learn a diverse set of skills to help solve many real-world problems."
—Dr. Jonathan Tomkin
ESES Program Director

Graduates from Illinois are recruited from companies across the nation. The ESE degree celebrated its first complete graduating class in May of 2011. 

Our students have gone on to graduate programs across the country – in Medicine, Law, Biology, Public Affairs, Journalism and more – and careers for organizations large and small, including positions in environmental consulting, business consulting, sustainability management, teaching, wetlands restoration, the Peace Corps and environmental engineering.