Environmental Studies

Environmental studies combines several different disciplines to understand the relationship between human beings and their environment. At a time when environmental crises related to climate change and resource extraction are on the forefront of current events, we need as many environmental experts as possible to help preserve and better the Earth for future generations.

Why Choose Environmental Studies?

The program focuses on the complex interrelationship among fields that impact environmental ideas. These include:

  • science
  • politics
  • economics
  • ethics
  • aesthetics

It broadens both science and non-science majors’ environmental education in ways that can help everyone prepare for future careers in the fields of environmental policy or education. For students who are planning careers in science or engineering, the program provides crucial background for understanding the social contexts in which their work will take place.

The Approach

Environmental studies is designed for students in the School of Liberal Arts, or for science and engineering students to be taken as a second major.

As an environmental studies major, you will concentrate on solving complex environmental problems as they relate to the humanities, social sciences, biology and ecology. Course topics include:

  • Animal Behavior
  • Environmental Law & Politics
  • Environmental Literature and Ecocriticism
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Science, Technology and Society
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Religion and Environmentalism
  • Urban Planning

The Experience

You will have many opportunities to have your voice heard and make a difference on and off campus.

Our Center for Urban Resilience and Environmental Sustainability (CURES), one of the College’s most active organizations, supports research, teaching, and community outreach in the areas of urban resilience, sustainability and environmental justice.

Opportunities with CURES include:

  • On-campus lectures by notable environmental activists, lawyers, scientists and engineers
  • Annual events such as the Institute in Water Pollution Control
  • Academic research with our expert faculty
  • An urban agriculture internship developing a rooftop garden

New York City also is home to many environmental groups and agencies. Relevant internships can be found through the Center for Career Development.

What Will You Learn?

This important interdisciplinary field uniquely brings together studies in science, social science, and the humanities. As an environmental studies student, you will gain a holistic understanding of how human society can live in a sustainable way. You will develop real-world problem solving skills that are well-suited for 21st century careers. In addition to excellent critical thinking and communication skills, you will:

  • Develop a broad understanding of local and regional environmental problems
  • Work with a real-world environmental agency or organization on a significant issue as part of a capstone project
  • Learn how to effectively communicate and work with individuals across academic disciplines

Environmental studies is also available as a minor.

See the Degree Requirements

What Will You Do?

You will be prepared to enter graduate school in an environmental studies-related program or gain an entry-level position related to environmental policy, politics, communications or education in the public or private sectors.