Environmental Studies (B.A.)

Want to be a force for positive change in a time of ever-increasing environmental and social challenges? Environmental studies majors develop the broad knowledge, analytical tools, teamwork, practical experience, and leadership skills necessary to become effective professionals in this burgeoning field.

As an environmental studies major, you’ll learn to assess environmental concerns critically and to explore the interplay among economic, political, social, and scientific factors in environmental issues through a variety of hands-on courses. You’ll immerse yourself in interdisciplinary study, taking courses in a variety of fields and departments, including anthropology, policy, communication, health, or outdoor and environmental education. During your first and final years, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a seminar that will connect you with a diverse group of environmental professionals, including many graduates from this program. As a senior, you’ll join a research team of faculty and students tackling an applied project and take part in a capstone discussion group designed to help prepare you for graduate school or for entering an environmental profession.

This program offers stellar internships in Ithaca and around the globe and exceptional research opportunities with faculty who are recognized scholars. Our students have studied such diverse topics as the health effects of hydro-fracking, satellite and GIS mapping of landscape change in a local community, conservation easement analyses, an archaeological analysis of tree growth and climate change in meso-America, wetlands investigation and invasive species management, GIS analysis and land stewardship on Ithaca College natural lands, and sustainable on-campus micro-enterprises such as honey production and raising mushrooms. As one of the country’s most ecofriendly cities, Ithaca brims with environmental internship opportunities. Partnerships with EcoVillage at Ithaca, Sustainable Tompkins, New Roots Charter School, and the History Center in Tompkins County expand your options even further. Learning opportunities have also been enhanced by a generous grant that funds student research, internships, campus visits by world-renowned scholars, and travel to the jungles of Central America or to conferences such as the annual UN Convention on Climate Change.

Graduates may pursue advanced science degrees or careers in areas such as environmental planning and policy, sustainable technologies, habitat management, or environmental law. If you're passionate about education, social change, and the protection and wise management of the environment, this program provides you with the tools to make a positive difference in the world.