The Environmental Studies major is an interdisciplinary program designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and perspectives needed to understand the interactions between human societies and their environments. Understanding the ethical and cultural dimensions of our relationship with the environment, as well as the challenges of protecting it, requires insights from multiple perspectives, including the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences.

Core courses in the major ensure familiarity with basic principles from these three areas. With this shared core of knowledge, majors will focus their studies on an area of special interest, taking electives and related courses that allow greater specialization. Among the many possibilities are environmental sustainability, issues concerning public policy and environmental justice, issues concerning the global and local food systems, and the literary and philosophical legacy of human encounters with the non-human world. A capstone course will allow each student to research a distinct perspective on a contemporary environmental issue. A major in Environmental Studies can lead to a career in a variety of fields, including public policy, environmental education, food system policies and practices, eco-tourism, marketing or consulting, journalism, or advocacy.

The major leads to either a Bachelor of Arts degree in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) or a Bachelor of Arts degree in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR). The student's choice of colleges should be made in consultation with faculty and advisors based upon the student's interests and career goals.