Solve complex problems surrounding urbanization.
Urbanization is not a new concept to our society, but its rapid acceleration has presented a unique set of challenges. A highly interdisciplinary concentration, Urban Ecology engages students in the study of political economy, food systems, environmental justice, cultural studies, policy studies, urban planning, education and social change. Learn innovative leadership tactics that will enable you to put in place a coherent urban strategy within your community. Assume pivotal leadership positions to tackle the challenges and opportunities of dense urbanization, a growing urgency for social justice, and quickly evolving environmental conditions.
This degree is offered by AU Seattle.
Graduates with this concentration are committed to nurturing resilient communities in which residents thrive culturally, psychologically, spiritually, and economically.
An Urban Ecology concentration requires a minimum of 45 credits. Students take at least one class in each of the six areas of learning listed below. Electives, at least 2 credits of internship/field-based learning and a senior synthesis project round out the concentration.
1. Political Economy and Globalization
Courses that fulfill this requirement explore the power relations that constitute the production, distribution, and consumption of resources within capitalist society. Students examine capitalism as a global system and develop a transformative analytic to understand matters of wealth, exploitation, impoverishment, social class, inequality as well as the contested themes of development and globalization. Along with developing critical analysis, courses that fulfill this requirement will highlight how diverse communities understand and enact social change that confront the logic and structure of capitalism. Courses that fulfill this subject area include:
- Political Economy and Globalization
- Globalization, Development, and Grassroots Movements: Issues in the Global South
- Wealth and Poverty in America
2. Theorizing Culture and Difference
Courses that fulfill this requirement analyze culture and difference as reflections of a people’s collective history as well as their respective aspirations for the future within hierarchal structures of inequality and oppression. Courses sharpen theoretical and practical understanding of unjust power relations in areas such as race, gender, class, and/or sexuality. It is recommended that students enroll or have already completed Diversity, Power, and Privilege (DPP) before completing this particular concentration requirement. Courses that fulfill this subject area include:
- A Literary History of Seattle
- Postcolonialism, Diasporas, and Narratives of Resistance
- Sports, Popular Culture, and Social Change
- Critical Theories of Race
- The African-American Experience
- Literature of Displacement
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies
- Border Crossings: A Multicultural Journey through Film
- Literary Representations of American Slavery
- Upper division Ethnic Studies Courses
Two courses are required for this concentration that develop in-depth perspectives on issues and/or policy considerations regarding resilience and sustainability in human and environmental systems. Topics could span from intergenerational trauma, to food deserts, to climate change. Possibilities include:
- Politics and Food
- Bioregional Studies: Dynamic Duwamish
- Urban Restoration
- Water Rights & Wars; Global Perspectives
- Urban Agriculture
- Environmental Justice
- Principles of Sustainability
4. Eco-Psychology and/or Eco-Spirituality
Classes that fill this requirement introduce students to ways of thinking about how nature relates to matters of psyche and spirit. The sacred dimension of nature is explored through dreams, ritual and indigenous ways of knowing while the psychological dimension is explored through the study of nature-based practices for psychological health.
- Eco Psychology
- Dreams and the Earth
- Food , Health and Mental Health
- Spiritual Psychology of the Human Heart
- Liberatory Psychology
- Intergenerational Trauma
- Birds in the Imagination and in the Field
5. Applied Leadership
A final required course supports the development of leadership skills. Students are expected to learn something of the nature and dynamics of participatory change, including deeper insight into alternative ways of knowing that diverse community groups are employing to educate and intervene in urgent challenges. The range of possible applicable skills includes: hosting community dialogues, public speaking, public policy advocacy, community organizing, conflict resolution, meeting facilitation, and cross-cultural communication. Courses that fulfill the applied leadership requirement include:
- Critical Pedagogy
- Social Science Research Methods: Participatory Action Research
- Narrating Change: Stories for Collective Action
- The Power of Engaging: Listening. Collaborating, Facilitating
- Intercultural Communications
- Community Organizing in Action
- International Activism
- Expeditionary Leadership: Lessons in Group Facilitation
Sample Antioch Electives:
- Sustainable Business Development
- Far-From-Equilibrium: Systems Perspectives on Change
- Mapping Worlds: Wayfaring at the Margins
Sample Transfer Electives:
- Agroecology: An Ecological Approach to Agriculture
- Small Business Entrepreneurship
- Survey of Anthropology
- Human Ecology
- Energy Efficiency: Design, Construction, and Retrofit
- Introduction to Lay & Legal Processes
- Introduction to Sociology
- Advocacy in Human Services
Sample Community/Field-Based Learning Experiences:
- Develop a project to enhance the sustainability of Antioch University Seattle
- Volunteer with Seattle Parks service-learning projects, NYSD, Earth Day
- Internship with Passages Northwest (women) or Center for Wooden Boats
- Apprentice with a local artist, writer or film-maker focused on community issues
- Practicum with a street theater troupe
- Organize a speaker/lecture series on a global issue, hosted by Antioch University Seattle
- Training with an international NGO: Global Exchange, ISM, etc.
- Practicum with a King County juvenile justice program
- Practicum with a labor union or community-based organization
Sample Synthesis Projects:
- Develop a project on local, sustainable agriculture in the greater Seattle area
- Design an advocacy project promoting outdoor recreation and experiential education for troubled youth in public high schools
- Research the effects of global warming on coastal urban areas
- Give a public presentation on global warming
- Facilitate a community issues forum
- Compare and contrast different farming systems (agri-business, organic, bio-dynamic, and permaculture)
- Design an advocacy project promoting experiential environmental education for at risk youth in public high schools
- Develop a business plan for a social entrepreneurship project
- Policy analysis and advocacy focused on the needs of children, youth, adult, and/or elder populations.
- Oral history project dealing with an immigrant community
For detailed curriculum, degree requirements, and course descriptions, please visit the AUS catalog.
This concentration prepares students for work and/or graduate studies in a wide range of fields, including social entrepreneurship, community development, social change advocacy, environmental stewardship, climate change activism, urban environmental education, public policy & law, urban design, and government agencies (departments such as parks, utilities, social services or neighborhoods).
Admissions / Cost / Aid
How to Apply:
Antioch University Seattle offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies through a degree completion program. All applicants to the BA program must have completed at least 36 quarter or 24 semester units to be eligible for admission. A combined minimum of one full-time year of college credit is required; however, AUS will transfer up to the equivalent of three full-time years (80 semester units/135 quarter units if at least 15 credits are upper division).
- Complete the online admissions application.
- Submit official transcripts from ALL colleges/universities you have attended to the Admissions Office. Transcript evaluations are required for all coursework completed outside of the U.S. or Canada (except Quebec). See Transcript Evaluation section on International Students webpage for details.
- Submit a short essay (two-three pages; approximately 500 words) that addresses why you would like to finish your bachelor’s degree at Antioch University Seattle.
- International Students have additional admission requirements. See International Students page for details.
|Quarter||Application Deadline*||Classes begin|
|Winter||December 15||January 3, 2023|
|Spring||March 15||April 3, 2023|
|Summer||June 15||July 3, 2023|
|Fall||September 15||October 2, 2023|
|*Complete applications received after the Deadline date may be considered if space is still available in that quarter or will be reviewed for the next available term.|
Applicants coming to AUS fulfill the minimum transfer requirement with:
- College courses taken at a U.S. college or university (with a final grade of ‘C’ or better, or pass if taken as pass/no pass)
- College Board Advanced Placement exams (a score of 3 or higher)
- CLEP credit (a score of 50)
- International coursework (university, college, upper-secondary/gymnasium) that is assessed to be equivalent to college credit earned at a regionally accredited U.S. college/university (with a final grade of ‘C’ or better, or pass if taken as pass/no pass) by an external transcript evaluation agency.
Antioch University Seattle
2400 Third Avenue, Suite 200
Seattle, WA 98121
|Per quarter unit||$535|
Full-time students typically enroll in 12 credits per quarter. Our students typically earn 10-25 credits for life experience/prior learning, up to a maximum of 45 and transfer in between 45-120 credits. It takes 180 credits total to graduate.
Please note: Additional fees for all AUS programs may include (but are not necessarily limited to) charges for materials, late registration, enrollment maintenance, parking, graduation, transcripts, tuition payment plan, late payments, late registration, and returned checks.
A majority of AUS students finance their education through some form of financial aid. You may not be sure which federal, state, public and private aid packages – such as loans, scholarships, and grants—are right for you. Our staff is here to help you, so you can focus on what’s most important: beginning your academic program at AUS.
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