Environmental Studies Major

An Environmental Studies major will equip you to understand, communicate about, and respond to the complex challenges of sustainability.

Environmental issues form some of the most important challenges of the 21st century. Addressing these requires a broad understanding of both the natural and social sciences, with a focus on long-term sustainability. A core part of this program involves exploring the connections between human-environment interactions to learn about the dynamic ways in which human social systems influence natural processes to create environmental challenges.

The Environmental Studies program is an inherently interdisciplinary program which combines courses from Biology, Sociology, Intercultural Studies, and International Development. Students learn about such topics as environmental communication, ethics, policy, conservation, and stewardship.

Graduates of the Environmental Studies program will be well prepared for such fields as environmental law, non-profit work, sustainability leadership, public policy, advocacy, environmental education, and other areas.

Why Major in Environmental Studies?

Delve deeply into the complex environmental issues facing our planet and learn effective strategies for responding to these challenges

  • Explore the enriching connections between faith and environmental concern
  • Learn from national leaders in the faith-based environmental movement, many of whom guest lecture in our courses
  • Gain hands-on experience working with the Center for Sustainability or volunteering with our Eco Reps program
  • Benefit from a wide range of experiential learning opportunities
  • Develop close mentoring relationships with Houghton faculty who invest in their students

Center for Sustainability

The mission of the Center for Sustainability is to transform Houghton College into a global leader in Christ-centered environmental stewardship. We do this by educating about local and global sustainability issues, inspiring our community to love and care for God’s creation, and implementing long-term sustainable solutions to environmental challenges. The Center hosts numerous events each semester including fun activities, educational presentations, competitions, and more. Environmental Studies students benefit from work and volunteer opportunities with the Center, as well as the excellent programming and educational opportunities offered.

Experiential Learning

Environmental Studies majors are strongly encouraged to participate in an experiential learning opportunity to gain practical experience with environmental issues in the field. Recommended programs include:

  • Houghton in East Africa
  • Creation Care Study Program in New Zealand
  • Au Sable Environmental Institute (Michigan)
  • Other internships as approved by their adviser
Natalia Sytch

Featured Testimonial

During my internship abroad, my eyes were open to environmental damage in places I visited—from overgrazing and desertification of the Sahel in West Africa to overuse of agricultural chemicals by subsistence farmers in the Nile River Valley. Without the insights I learned at Houghton, I may have completely overlooked these important issues. Today I approach my agricultural and veterinary science work with a holistic understanding of the environment and the world, an understanding instilled in me by my education and my professors at Houghton. In addition, my Houghton professors continue to provide advice and support even after I have graduated and moved abroad.

Natalia Sytch ‘18


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