Environmental Studies

Bachelor of Arts

Become a leader in environmental sustainability, justice and stewardship.

Environmental studies is a major that bridges fields of study to prepare you to work in environmental policy, planning, advocacy, law and more.


The Curriculum
Beyond the science of environmental change

Science is helping us better understand human’s effect on our environment and new ways to protect it. But every solution we can offer depends on changing the ways we interact with our environment as communities and individuals.

As an environmental studies major, you’ll study the intersection of STEM, culture and society. Your courses will pull insights from the natural and earth sciences with subjects like geology, paleontology and biology. You’ll also study humanities, like English or philosophy, and social sciences, like political science and sociology. With that broad understanding, you can lead advocacy, decision-making and organization.

This degree will also ensure you understand how human institutions create environmental challenges. You’ll confront our current challenges, such as urbanization, migration, energy consumption and biodiversity. And you’ll learn about the strategies we have to address them.

Changing environments and communities

Your environmental studies major can take you into many fields. But no matter what, you’ll need to be responsive to people from different perspectives and demographics. That means being well-versed in the lived experiences of people and the historical inequities in our society.

This major teaches you to ask essential but often overlooked questions when working with communities, such as:

  • How are they being affected by environmental change?
  • How do they perceive and value the environment?
  • How best can we communicate with them about our climate crisis and its solutions?

You’ll need a foundation built on many disciplines to achieve those answers.

Explore how you can be a change agent

The curriculum also has plenty of room to create a custom course of study to fit your aspirations. You might choose to learn about:

  • Fundraising strategies for nonprofits
  • How social movements work
  • Environmental literature of the past and today
  • How religion shapes food consumption and our environment

Exploring multiple disciplines and applications will help uncover how you can have an impact.

Environmental studies or science?

While not a STEM degree, the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in environmental studies centers around earth and environmental science. It acknowledges the science-based reality of environmental change.

Your natural sciences classes will enable you to be knowledgeable about the underlying data, theories and models. In research methods classes, you’ll learn how to gather and analyze data — though fieldwork might mean conducting interviews in a community rather than collecting samples in the desert. View the sample 4-year plan

Overall, environmental studies is the best fit for anyone who wants to work more closely on the human side of environmental change. It’s a major for those who recognize the need to shift how we utilize the earth’s resources and interact with our environment.


Offered as a major (BA).

Recommended Minors

Want to add even more value to your degree? Consider one of these minors to gain a unique combination of skills and perspectives.

Your Future

Environmental studies will prepare you to work in environmental management, community engagement, environmental justice, environmental compliance, nonprofit work, and environmental advocacy in general.

The flexibility of this major will allow you to acquire the skills needed to choose from a wide range of roles within those spaces.

Career paths:
  • Environmental lawyer
  • Communications manager
  • Grant writer
  • Compliance specialist
  • Policy analyst
  • Energy consultant
  • Environmental economist
  • Green business entrepreneur
  • Environmental planner

of Cal Lutheran graduates find a job or enroll in graduate school within nine months

More Career Outcomes

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