Environmental Studies Department

Explore environmental issues with engaging courses and field experiences through a major or minor in Gettysburg’s Department of Environmental Studies.

The Department of Environmental Studies at Gettysburg College explores the diverse nature of the environment from an interdisciplinary perspective. With the option of pursuing a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree, the environmental studies program features a curriculum that engages students with a focus on how our natural and social systems interact with one another through coursework in the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities.

Through hands-on student and faculty-led fieldwork, study trips, and in-depth research projects, students who major and minor in environmental studies at Gettysburg College will engage in high-impact learning that leads them from the field to the laboratory on their path to real-world discoveries. This learning follows from the Gettysburg Approach, with its focus on building within every student a breadth of knowledge and set of enduring skills to prepare them for a lifetime of career advancement and personal success.

With the foundation of our liberal arts and sciences education at Gettysburg College, you can pursue any career with any degree, including academia, business, government, and nongovernmental organizations.

Why choose environmental studies? 

The field of environmental studies allows us to ask questions and solve issues across diverse ecosystems. When you pursue environmental studies at Gettysburg, you embark on an interdisciplinary journey that integrates social and scientific understandings of the environment, whether you choose a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in environmental studies.

Students with an environmental studies major have many professional opportunities available after graduation, including in the natural sciences, policy, economic, education, and arts sectors. Environmental studies graduates from Gettysburg College have worked at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, along the shores of Assateague Island, and in the forests of the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains.

Contact your program advisor or visit the environmental studies opportunities and resources webpage for assistance planning your courses.

Major in environmental studies

Students with an environmental studies major will learn to understand wide-scale environmental problems that impact our world and how to solve them with sustainability in mind. The Bachelor of Science in environmental studies emphasizes a strong grounding in math and the natural sciences, while the Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies equips students with a foundation in environmental communication and sociopolitical engagement. Whether students choose the B.S. or B.A. track, as majors all students will take classes that span the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

A framework of interdisciplinary courses challenges students to engage with the world around them. Coursework allows students to demonstrate critical thinking as they understand, analyze, and draw conclusions about global and local environmental issues within a complex, challenging, and ever-changing world. Students will also participate in an environmentally-themed research study that allows them to incorporate their study of the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities into their research. They can take what they’ve learned in the classrooms and labs and apply it to leading their own consequential lives.

For a complete list of course requirements, visit the Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies webpages.

Minor in environmental studies

Gettysburg’s minor in environmental studies consists of six courses that allow students to enhance their understanding of complex environmental issues. Students may enroll in courses toward an environmental studies minor to explore topics in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, or to strengthen their career pursuits in environmental studies.

Review the environmental studies minor coursework.

Environmental studies curriculum

Gettysburg College offers a range of courses in environmental studies that examine numerous environmental issues affecting our planet. Our comprehensive curriculum provides in-depth analyses of our changing world through the added lens of race, gender, and culture.

View the complete list of courses in the environmental studies curriculum.

What Makes Gettysburg’s Department of Environmental Studies different 

Students pursuing environmental studies at Gettysburg College can build on their critical thinking and analytical skills gained through their coursework on campus and in professional environments. From participating in the Cross-Disciplinary Science Institute (X-SIG) to engaging in publishable environmental justice, sustainable development, and public lands policy research, students can explore various curricular research passions. These enriching experiences prepare students to confront society’s most pressing questions across multiple disciplines.

Students can participate in co-curricular activities such as Gettysburg Environmental Concerns Org (G.E.C.O.), an organization of close to 300 students working to improve the environmental impact of the campus.

Students can pursue unique research opportunities, like studying seabirds on islands in Maine, exploring glacial landforms in Iceland, and using drones to collect audio data from songbirds to study bird populations.

Within our environmental studies department, students experience an interdisciplinary education through hands-on research, study-abroad opportunities, student-led organizations, and a meaningful curriculum that prepares them for graduate study or a career with nonprofits, businesses, government, and nongovernmental organizations.

View the latest environmental studies department updates or opportunities and resources for tools to help you plan your environmental studies pursuits at Gettysburg College and beyond.

Undergraduate research

Environmental studies students work collaboratively with peers and faculty on research projects that may lead to publication or professional conference presentations. Additionally, students interested in studying abroad may do so in the fall or spring, where they may apply their courses abroad toward their environmental studies major.

Review a complete list of environmental studies opportunities.

Career preparation

Upon graduating from Gettysburg College, environmental studies majors and minors may obtain careers in government, environmental planning, environmental and science education, consulting, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), or public policy. Often translating into fields encompassing finance, public health, education, or business, these occupations play a role to ensure a safe, healthy and thriving Earth.

connectGettysburg and more resources

All Gettysburg students have access to the Gettysburg Network via the connectGettysburg platform, the College’s online engagement, networking, and mentoring platform with endless opportunities at students’ fingertips. More than 32,000 alumni, students, parents, friends of the College, and employees can connect, share career advice and opportunities with students and alumni, and grow their professional networks.

Additionally, Gettysburg College’s environmental studies department maintains a LinkedIn group to further support connections and dialogue surrounding environmental studies.

Student life opportunities

As a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), Gettysburg’s environmental studies department partners with an array of co-curricular opportunities to focus on the environment and our place in it:

Funding for environmental studies research opportunities

Students seeking funding for study-abroad opportunities should visit the Center for Global Education. Additionally, students conducting research through the Cross-Disciplinary Science Institute (X-SIG) can request information on funding.

Featured course

Jump to level: All Environmental Studies courses

by level: 100200300400

Work toward a greener world through environmental studies at Gettysburg

Gettysburg College prepares students for a lifelong expedition of self-discovery in environmental studies by providing them with A Consequential Education that matters, one that supports solving the environmental challenges of today and tomorrow.

Ready to make a difference for a thriving Earth? Request more information about environmental studies at Gettysburg College.