The heart of an environmental studies (ENV) education at Ursinus is interdisciplinary learning in the interests of applied problem solving. ENV at Ursinus combines the best attributes of a liberal arts education with professional development that prepares students to enter the fields of conservation, sustainability, and environmental protection.

Environmental studies majors at Ursinus learn and apply critical thinking skills in many contexts, including in the classroom, laboratory, field study, internships, and professional partnerships built around real world projects concerning major environmental issues of the day. 

ENV majors and minors at Ursinus College:

  1. Develop an ability to discuss their ideas about environmental issues productively with others, including faculty, peers, and the larger intellectual community;
  2. Write thoughtfully, persuasively, and integratively about many environmental issues;
  3. Identify, apply, and engage multiple approaches to defining, analyzing, and solving environmental problems;
  4. Think critically, creatively, and independently about a diversity of environmental problems and alternatives to solving these problems;
  5. Develop understanding of the social and/or ecological complexity of environmental problems through applied practice; and
  6. Develop understanding of the social and/or ecological complexity of environmental problems through sustained interaction with professionals in the field.

As an ENV major or minor, you will learn about the social and scientific complexity of environmental problems through rigorous natural science, social science, humanities, and interdisciplinary courses. Our courses are first and foremost designed to help our students develop critical thinking skills, and do so by engaging many topics, including:

  • animal rights and environmental justice,
  • cities and their ecology,
  • climate change,
  • food systems and agriculture,
  • forests and human interactions,
  • environmental geology,
  • environmental policy and management,
  • land use and landscape change,
  • ocean and freshwater ecosystems,
  • recycling and waste,
  • stewardship of renewable natural resources, and
  • species and ecosystem conservation.

Students get their hands dirty through projects, field trips, and field work. ENV students:

  • reforest and restore nearby ecosystems;
  • develop lessons for school students about climate and landscape change;
  • study and participate in the development of local food systems;
  • support the college’s sustainability initiatives;
  • help community partners conserve water, land, and other resources; and
  • conduct basic and applied research that informs environmental problem-solving.

Outside the classroom, ENV students often engage in additional sustainability, conservation, and environmental initiatives on campus and the community. Our graduates go on to diverse and exciting jobs and a variety of graduate degrees, including law school, medical school, and masters and Ph.D. programs.