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Director's Welcome Message


Welcome to the Graduate Program in Environmental Studies at York University. Challenges related to natural, urban and social environments have never been so pressing. Housed in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, our graduate program advances an interdisciplinary approach, grounded in social sciences, humanities, arts and natural sciences, to understand and address complex problems. As one of the first Environmental Studies graduate program created 50 years ago, a multitude of accomplished alumni have contributed, through private, public and non-profit sector and academic positions, to solving a wide range of social and environmental issues in Toronto and across the globe.

Our Master’s and PhD programs in Environmental Studies promote a self-directed pedagogical approach to learning in which students develop an individual program of study according to their interests, concerns, experiences and passions. The range of subject matters addressed over the history of the graduate program has been as diverse and inspiring as students themselves. This process-oriented learning model allows students to define both substantive areas of study and approaches to learning with the support of their faculty advisor/supervisor. In the pursuit of intellectual and activist engagement, the program offers: flexibility as well as rigour; coursework, research as well as experiential learning; individual trajectory as well as peer learning and collective action. The graduate program recognizes community experiences and personal knowledges as important sources of environmental understanding and action because we embrace the values of justice, equity, inclusivity, respect, sustainability and responsibility.

The program prepares students for professional interventions, engaged citizenship and critical thinking. Given its interdisciplinary nature, we draw from a diversity of theoretical and methodological approaches to study environmental issues in their comparative and historical contexts, considering social, ecological, political economic, and artistic constraints and possibilities. Your studies will benefit from the scholarly and research excellence of your peers and our faculty members, as well as a much larger community of researchers across York’s research centres and faculties. All together and with you, we study, design and implement strategies to effect and attain a more sustainable and just environmental present and future locally and globally.

You will find a lot of information on this website and I also invite you to visit the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change’s website. We remain available to answer your questions.



Dr. Liette Gilbert,
Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Environmental Studies

photo of Liette Gilbert

A photo of Professor Dr. Liette Gilbert

Learn More

The Graduate Program in Environmental Studies at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Graduate Program Assistant to learn more.