About Our Program

The systems that shape the Earth’s environment are dynamic and highly interactive. In the Environmental Studies program, we work to understand these systems and how they influence the planet's diverse ecosystems, our natural resources, the communities we live in, and local and global political systems.

Washington University offers undergraduate students a variety of opportunities to study the environment. In the Environmental Studies program, we offer a major and two minors. Our new Interdisciplinary Environmental Analysis major and corresponding minor was developed to prepare students to tackle real-world environmental problems by providing training in analysis, problem solving, communication, and community engagement.  Our Environmental Studies minor is a flexible option that allows students to explore disciplines that complement your major. We also offer a variety of courses that are integral to environment-related majors in the Earth and planetary sciences, biology, political science, anthropology, and international and area studies.  Many of our students also pursue interests in business, law, and landscape architecture.

In addition to coursework, we encourage students to engage in independent research by working closely with experienced faculty mentors in the field and in the lab. We also offer a variety of interdisciplinary project-based, community-engaged learning experiences. You can learn more about these diverse opportunities on our Partnerships and Undergraduate Programs pages.

Environmental Analysis Major

Arts & Sciences now offers a major in environmental analysis through the Environmental Studies program. It is a response to the global demand for environmental experts who can think critically, communicate clearly and solve problems in collaboration with their communities. Read the article published in the Source.

Pictured: Students in the university's RESET program toured a campus solar installation in 2019. RESET students analyze the engineering, financial and regulatory factors of proposed solar installations on campus and in St. Louis. The program is one of many capstone options available through the new environmental analysis major. (Photo: Sid Hastings/Washington University)

Learn more about the Environmental Analysis Major 

Earth's Future: Causes and consequences of climate change

This unique freshman-only course at Washington University in St. Louis provides a broad overview of issues involving climate change and its consequences.

Beyond the Classroom

The Environmental Studies Program encourages undergraduate students to get involved with research both on or off campus. Directed and independent research is seen as an important educational complement to classroom instruction. Opportunities are available for research with experienced faculty on a variety of exciting topics in environmental studies. We also encourage students to take part in our interdisciplinary project-based, community-engaged learning experiences. 

learn about opportunities for students
Sustainability Exchange students