Environmental Studies

students carrying canoes

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science
School of Arts and Sciences
Four-Year Degree


Students in environmental studies investigate the relationship between humans and the natural world by examining our response to issues like conservation, biodiversity loss, climate change, environmental justice, urban planning, sustainable agriculture, and international development. You’ll explore your environment as a system shaped by natural and cultural forces, develop your communication and problem solving skills, and discover diverse approaches to social and legislative change. Throughout the program, you’ll have opportunities to demonstrate your passion for sustainable living through hands-on coursework. Most importantly, you’ll apply what you learn through fieldwork outside of the classroom surrounded by Utah’s amazing natural landscape.

Who It's For

The environmental studies program is designed for students with an adventurous spirit and a passion for the environment. Whether you see yourself creating sustainability plans for corporations, working with communities to fight for environmental justice, or working on the next great American novel from your base camp among the red rocks of southern Utah, you’ll graduate with the skills you need to live an ethical, impactful, and meaningful life.

Key Benefits

  • Earn credit toward your degree by participating in field trips, like camping with your classmates in Zion National Park, and field study projects.
  • Apply your skills in the real world while giving back to the community through partnerships with local nonprofits.
  • Choose an area of concentration that focuses your studies on the subjects you’re most passionate about.
  • Participate in a program that works seamlessly with study abroad opportunities.
Environmental Studies Students Overlooking Local Ski Mountains
Environmental Students Conducting Fields Studies

About the Program

The Environmental Studies program is an immersive program taught by faculty with expertise in ecology, environmental biology, agriculture, geography, environmental politics, environmental humanities, ecofeminist theories, and creative activism. The classes are hands-on and you can focus your studies on the areas you find most interesting, while exploring what your passions in the unique context of Utah’s deserts, lakes, and mountains.

What You'll Learn

  • Examine the relationship between humans and the natural world, and explore ways to improve the environment in which people, animals, and plants live.
  • Work effectively with your classmates as leaders and collaborators to address environmental issues.
  • Understand interdisciplinary concepts, diverse global perspectives, and debates, and develop the ability to approach environmental issues from these.
  • Communicate environmental issues to specialized and general audiences effectively through a variety of media in order to participate in contemporary environmental debates
  • Apply empirical and conceptual tools to evaluate environmental conditions and the issues surrounding them.
  • Understand interdisciplinary concepts, diverse global perspectives, and debates, and develop the ability to approach environmental issues from these.
  • Communicate environmental issues to specialized and general audiences effectively through a variety of media in order to participate in contemporary environmental debates

Plan of Study

You’ll start by taking introductory-level courses introducing you to the core concepts of environmental studies. As you move through the program and choose an area of specialization, you’ll take classes in ecology, environmental ethics, chemistry, politics, history, and environmental literature, and choose electives ranging from Environmental Toxicology to Spiritual Ecology. Throughout the program, you’ll have opportunities to study abroad, participate in internships, or develop your own field study experiences. To complete your degree, you’ll participate in a senior capstone class with the rest of your cohort.


Environmental Science
Bachelor of Science

Explores the fundamental scientific and ecological questions related to environmental issues—and the tools necessary to address them.

Environmental Studies
Bachelor of Arts

Examines the relationship between nature, society, politics, and economics, and the connections between the environment, literature, philosophy, and art.

Liberal Education Courses

You must complete the WCore program or join the Honors College (and complete requirements) to fulfill your liberal education credits.

Sample Courses

That Dam Field Study

The Colorado River, the dams that span it, and the reservoirs created by those dams lie at the heart of water issues in the American West. This field study looks at two of the iconic dams on the Colorado: The Glen Canyon Dam and The Hoover Dam. In class, we will examine the historical symbolism and controversies of the dams, and their ecological and cultural legacies. Then we’ll hit the road for a three-day field session, visiting both dams and meeting people who are involved in the operation of the dams and the political debates surrounding them.

Garden and Farm Ecology

In this May Term course, you’ll learn how to grow food sustainably by learning about the ecology of soil, water conservation, nutrient cycling, pest and weed management, and crop selection for urban and suburban agriculture. We will visit several farms and gardens to learn from local experts who understand our climate and regional ecology. By the end of the course, you’ll have the skills and understanding essential for sustainable agriculture on small and medium scales.

Westminster Expedition: The American West

Instead of finding a seat in a classroom, 16 students, two professors, and a program coordinator will pile into a couple of vans and hit the road for a semester-long tour of the American West. Over the course of the semester, we’ll spend our days taking classes in Environmental Cooperation and Conflict, Landscape and Meaning, the History of Public Lands, and the Native West, immersing ourselves in the landscapes and cultures at stake in the future of the American West.

Learn More About the Expedition

Environmental Studies Students Walking Along the Salt Lake

Want to learn more about the Environmental Studies program?

A dedicated admissions counselor will reach out to you with personalized information to help with your search for the right program.

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Career Opportunities

You can apply an environmental perspective to almost any career. Many of our students have gone on to work with nonprofits, parks service, business, law, government, education, or natural resource management. Others have chosen to continue their education in graduate school, law school, or medical school.

Potential Careers

  • Field ecologist
  • Community organizer
  • Sustainable entrepreneur
  • Environmental educator
  • Peace Corps volunteer
  • Environmental lawyer
  • Biotech engineer
  • National Park Ranger
  • Wildlife manager
  • Conservations scientist
  • Urban planner

Other Environmental Studies Programs

We also offer a minor in environmental studies, which is a great addition to a degree in biology, geology, chemistry, political science, or philosophy.

Environmental Studies Students Sitting on a Cliff
Environmental Studies Class at a Lookout Tower

Learn More About the Environmental Studies Program

Check Out the Environmental Studies Department

Tuition and Aid

There's No Better Investment Than You

Westminster College knows you want an education where you matter—a place that will serve as a launchpad for a successful career and a meaningful life. Westminster will work with you individually through every step of the financial aid process. From scholarships to grants and loans, Westminster helps you make it happen.

With the highest percentage of students who complete one or more internships in the state, Westminster students hit the ground running with real-world experience. Plus, 90% of students were either employed or attending graduate school within 5 months of graduating. With a Westminster degree, you don't have to choose between a successful career and a fulfilling life.

Learn About Tuition

You’ll be automatically considered for scholarship and grant opportunities.

In addition to general merit scholarships, there are other scholarship programs to support you throughout your time at Westminster.

Check out scholarships

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