IE University’s Bachelor in Environmental Sciences for Sustainability is a cutting-edge, transdisciplinary program designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to address the environmental challenges of our time. Led by newly appointed academic director Juan Carlos Silva, it’s designed to help students explore the relationship between human activity and the natural world, while developing solutions for a sustainable future.

Program director

Juan is an Earth System scientist with a passion for protecting our biodiversity and promoting sustainability. He holds a PhD in Natural Sciences and his achievements include being awarded the prestigious Marie Curie International Outgoing Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2012, which allowed him to undertake research activities at Stanford University in the US and the University of Leeds in the UK.

Juan has held academic posts at several leading universities and leadership roles in renowned research institutions. He says he came to IE University partly because of our record on sustainability, including our innovative IE Sustainability Office, as well as the fact that it’s one of the top-ranked universities in Europe. IE University is renowned as one of the first carbon-neutral universities worldwide. “IE University’s commitment to tackling problems like global warming by providing high-quality education in an inspiring and diverse environment is the main reason I am so thrilled to be here,” says Juan.

Juan says that graduates of the program will be at the forefront of the next Green Revolution and help mitigate the ongoing environmental crisis: “The Bachelor in Environmental Sciences for Sustainability seeks to prepare the next generation of global leaders to tackle the environmental and climate crises in a scientifically informed manner. Our graduates will understand complex environmental problems from various perspectives and be able to devise innovative technological solutions.”

“Governments, academia and industry have worked together for more than 60 years to find effective solutions to mitigate these crises, without affecting the sustainability of global societies. Although some progress has been made, the ongoing issues are far from being solved.”

Juan Carlos Silva

A tailored, holistic program

The program is tailored to meet the needs of students who are passionate about the environment and interested in pursuing a career in environmental sciences. It combines rigorous academic training with practical experience to provide a comprehensive and hands-on learning experience. Students will study a transdisciplinary range of topics, including ecology, environmental law and policy, energy systems, and climate change.

In their first year, students will take courses in mathematics, physics, and chemistry, as well as an introduction to environmental sciences. They’ll also study modern research methods and scientific communication.

In their second year, students will delve deeper into environmental sciences, taking courses in ecology, biodiversity and environmental policy. They’ll also study biostatistics and environmental impact assessment, which will prepare them for advanced research and analysis.

The third year is focused on sustainability and transformation, with courses on environmental economy and policy, conservation and management and biotechnology. 

In their final year, students will dedicate themselves to their electives and complete a Capstone Project, which will allow them to apply the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired throughout the program to a real-world problem.

Relevant at a critical time

The Bachelor in Environmental Sciences for Sustainability is highly relevant in today’s world, where environmental issues are becoming increasingly urgent. At a time where we’re facing climate change, pollution, and natural resource and biodiversity loss on a grand scale, we need more curious, creative and driven environmental professionals than ever before.

“In the next four decades, the international community’s demand for these graduates will exponentially increase to supply the needs of the next industrial revolution—the Green Revolution,” says Juan.

This degree equips students with the skills and knowledge they need to become agents of change, working towards a more sustainable future. Graduates will be well-prepared for a range of careers, including in environmental consulting, policy-making, research, natural resources management, conservation, and education. To succeed they’ll need to be curious, creative and strong communicators with good leadership skills.

“Graduates will be well prepared to become the next generation of global leaders, capable of developing and implementing innovative, effective and sustainable environmental solutions,” says Juan.

Juan is just one of a world-leading faculty featuring educators and professionals from diverse, global backgrounds. Each of them will bring a distinct perspective and innovative ideas that embody what makes IE University stand out. More than ever, the world needs adaptive strategies to mitigate environmental challenges, and the visionary change-makers who can turn those green challenges into opportunities. The Bachelor in Environmental Sciences for Sustainability aims to arm those future change-makers with the tools and knowledge they need to do just that.