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Turn Caring About the Environment Into a Career
Making a difference in the environment requires more than just scientific knowledge. Environmental problems involve law, ethics, public policy, communication and more — all of which you study through our comprehensive liberal arts curriculum.
Understand the science behind climate change, learn about environmental laws and regulations, and study renewable energy resources.
Expand your horizons and choose from additional courses in other areas, such as:
- A biology class in sustainable food systems
- A psychology class on environmental attitudes toward nature
- A business class in sustainable management or entrepreneurship
- A public relations course in crisis management
- A sociology class on social justice
The Susquehanna River Valley and its abundant waterways, wetlands, forests and farmland offer a diverse and research-rich environment. An 87-acre environmental field station and Freshwater Research Institute are also right on campus.
Interested in sustainable living? You have plenty of opportunities to make a difference—work at our campus garden, live in our Sustainability House, or join a group like Geoclub or our Beekeeping Club. You can also explore the valley’s green spaces with equipment on loan from our Outdoor Recreation Center.
We're connected to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection—organizations that work on environmental issues. These relationships result in meaningful research and internship opportunities, and jobs for our graduates.
The most sought-after candidates for jobs and professional schools excel at writing, teamwork, presentation delivery, critical thinking, interpersonal relationships and leadership. Because our bold curriculum is rooted in the liberal arts, you'll develop all of these essential skills.
You'll be ready for a career in environmental law, environmental policy, or environmental advocacy at a nonprofit.
Environmental studies graduates find jobs as:
- Sustainability specialists (corporate, nonprofit or higher education)
- Environmental nonprofit managers
- Environmental lawyers
- Environmental educators
- Natural resources/conservation specialists
- Environmental policy analysts
- Communications specialists
- Environmental consultants
Environmental Studies Major. To earn the B.A. in environmental studies students must complete 56 semester hours of coursework, all with grades of C- or higher. All majors must complete 44 semester hours of program foundation courses and 12 semester hours of electives.
Double-counting restriction: students in the Environmental Studies major may double-count a maximum of 16 semester hours toward another major or minor.
|Semester Hours||View Full Course Catalog >>|
4 EENV-101 Environmental Science or ECOL-100 Introduction to the Science of Ecology or BIOL-101 Ecology and Evolution or BIOL-010 Issues in Biology when the topic is one of the following: Biology of Climate Change, Conservation Biology, Environmental Biology, or Human Ecology
|4 EENV-105 Energy and the Environment|
|or EENV-332 Sustainable Energy Resources|
|4 EENV-242 Climate and Global Change|
|4 ENST-335 Environmental Laws and Regulations|
4 WRIT-241 Environmental Writing or ENGL-381 Rhetoric and the Environment or ENGL-205 Literature Studies when the topic is Literature of Climate Change
|4 RELI-235 Environmental Ethics|
|4 POLI-212 Introduction to Public Policy|
|4 ECON-202 Principles of Microeconomics|
|or ECON-105 Elements of Economics|
|4 ACCT-210 Legal Environment|
|4 ENST-301 Current Topics in Environmental Studies|
|4 ENST-505 Environmental Studies Community Project|
Electives (12 semester hours)
Students must complete 12 semester hours forming a cohesive focus, with advisor approval. No more than 4 semester hours may be taken at the 100 level or lower, and at least 4 semester hours must be taken at the 300 level or higher. It is not necessary for students to complete all 12 semester hours from the same category.
2 BIOL-560 Interdisciplinary Explorations in Biology when the topic is either Sustainable Food Systems or Biology of Invasive Species
4 ECOL-201 Community and Ecosystems Ecology
4 ECOL-408 Aquatic Ecology and ECOL-409 Aquatic Ecology Lab
|4 EENV-213 Oceanography|
|4 EENV-220 Water Resources|
|4 EENV-360 Geographic Information Systems|
|4 EENV-383 Soil Science|
4 ENGL-205 Literature Studies when the topic is Literature of Climate Change (if not taken for Foundation credit)
4 ENGL-295 Voice and Audience
4 ENGL-315 Themes in Early Modern British Literature, when the topic is Green Romanticism
4 ENGL-381 Rhetoric and the Environment (if not taken for Foundation credit)
4 ENST-117 American Environmental History
4 WRIT-241 Environmental Writing (if not taken for Foundation credit)
|4 HIST-324 Pennsylvania's Pasts and Their Publics|
|4 PHIL-150 Everyday Ethics: Philosophical Issues in the Private Realm|
|4 RELI-101 Introduction to Religious Studies|
|4 RELI-105 World Religions|
|4 ECON-201 Principles of Macroeconomics|
|4 ECON-313 Intermediate Microeconomics Theory|
|4 ECON-338 International Political Economy|
|4 ECON-370 Game Theory|
|4 MKTG-280 Marketing|
|4 MGMT-333 New Ventures: Start-Up to Exit|
|4 MGMT-369 Values, Ethics and the Good Life|
|4 POLI-111 American Government and Politics|
|4 POLI-121 Comparative Government and Politics|
|4 POLI-215 Law and Politics|
|4 POLI-317 The U. S. Congress|
|4 POLI-333 Development, Globalization and Society|
|4 POLI-334 International Organizations and Law|
|4 COMM-192 Public Speaking|
|4 COMM-211 Public Relations|
|4 COMM-321 Crisis Management|
|4 ANTH-152 Public Culture|
|4 ANTH-162 Introduction to Anthropology|
|4 ANTH-311 Regulating Bodies: Food, Sex, Drugs and the Economy|
|4 PSYC-232 Environmental Psychology|
|4 SOCI-101 Principles of Sociology|
|4 SOCI-333 Development, Globalization and Society|
|4 SOCI-316 Social Justice|
|4 SOCI-410 Economic Sociology|
Minor in Environmental Studies. Environmental studies is an interdisciplinary program that allows students to study environmental problems from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Drawing on courses from the departments of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Political Science, English and Creative Writing, Economics, Religious Studies, Sociology and Anthropology, and others, students develop a holistic, applied approach to environmental problem solving.
The minor in environmental studies requires 24 semester hours. Only courses completed with a grade of C- or higher may be counted toward the minor. No more than 8 semester hours may be taken at the 100-level or lower.
Double-counting restriction for interdisciplinary minors: only 8 semester hours of this minor may be double-counted toward the student's major or another minor.
Courses applied to the environmental studies minor must include the following (see below for detailed lists):
- Introductory (100-level) environmental science, biology, or ecology (4 SH)
- Upper-level (200-level or higher) environmental science, biology, or ecology (4 SH)
- Political science, law, or economics (4 SH)
- English, philosophy, religious studies, sociology/anthropology, or creative writing (4 SH)
- Any course from the Foundation or Electives list (4 SH)
- ENST-301 Current Topics in Environmental Studies (4 SH)
Which Environmental Science Is Right for Me?
Earth and environmental sciences, environmental studies, ecology ... they sound remarkably similar. How do you decide which one is right for you? Here's your cheat sheet on these three fields.
- Earth and environmental sciences studies the nonliving components of our environment and how they impact living things. Think of it as the study of water, rocks, air and soil.
- Ecology examines the intersections between all living things and the nonliving environment. Unlike earth and environmental sciences, the primary focus is living organisms.
- Environmental studies is the major for you if you want to advocate for the environment or work for a nonprofit or non-governmental organization (NGO). This program incorporates science, law and policy to look at pressing environmental issues.
Many of our students are involved with the Freshwater Research Institute, which includes a dedicated laboratory and state-of-the-art equipment for river research.