Environmental Studies Major

Respond to the complex sustainability issues facing our planet today as a steward of God’s Creation.

The Environmental Studies program at Houghton College combines courses from Biology, Sociology, Intercultural Studies and International Development to help you understand the dynamic ways that humans interact with natural processes to create environmental challenges.

Environmental Concern + Faith

At Houghton, we believe that sustainability, stewardship, and creation care go hand-in-hand. Scripture tells us that God created the world, called it “good,” and then gave humans responsibility as stewards (Gen. 1:28-30). Taking care of creation is simply our response to the awesome God who created it.

What will I learn?

Through Houghton’s BA in Environmental Studies you will:

  • Be uniquely prepared to understand the responsibilities by God to steward the planet and resources that God created
  • Examine how the human impact on the natural environment contributes to challenges like biodiversity loss, population growth, and climate change; and evaluate possible solutions from social, political, scientific and ethical perspectives
  • Investigate the unique challenges and realities of communicating about environmental issues by exploring such topics as advocacy, social change, partisan politics, sociocultural identity expression and “green” marketing
  • Recognize the interconnected parts and processes that are the basis of major environmental problems
  • Evaluate public policy related to environmental issues like nuclear waste disposal, hydraulic fracturing, energy use on public lands and global climate change policy
  • Learn from national leaders in the faith-based environmental movement, many of whom guest lecture in the program

124 Credits


Required Courses


Elective Courses and General Education

Degree Requirements

Center for Sustainability Paid Internships

Become one of the 4-5 paid interns employed at the Center for Sustainability each year. The Center leads the college’s sustainability efforts with a mission to transform Houghton into a leader in Christ-centered environmental stewardship.

Serve as an Eco Rep

Make a positive and lasting sustainability impact on the Houghton campus by volunteering as an Eco Rep. Eco Reps facilitate a variety of educational, fun and service-oriented events and programs while benefiting from training and mentoring on a variety of creation care issues, including energy, composting, waste, biodiversity, advocacy, and more.

Tend the Highlander Gardens

Get your hands dirty by helping to produce sustainably grown food for the dining hall in the Highlander Produce Garden (volunteer and paid positions available.) Learn the art of beekeeping in the Highlander Apiary or prune the fruit trees in the Highlander Orchard—we have 79 trees including apple, pear, peach and cherry.

Program Outcomes

Students earning a BA degree in Environmental Studies from Houghton College are prepared to enter graduate school for further study, and/or careers in:

  • Environmental law
  • Corporate sustainability
  • Non-profit work
  • Sustainability leadership
  • Public policy
  • Advocacy
  • Environmental education
  • International sustainable development

Application Requirements


Start Your Application

Complete the application here
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Documents and Supporting Materials

You’ll be asked to provide your official high school transcript, 1 recommendation letter, and your test scores (can be waived)

Personal Statement

The personal statement portion of our application for admission is perhaps the best place to truly tell your story, to tell who you are and what is important to you.
Personal Statement

Have Questions?

Discover if earning your degree in Environmental Studies from Houghton College is right for you.