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. Faculty affiliated with our program are experts in environmental humanities, environmental justice, environmental policy, biodiversity & conservation, disease ecology & human health, sustainability, renewable energy, and climate change.

We offer a major and two minors, and a variety of courses that are integral to environmentally oriented majors in other departments and programs. We offer courses that emphasize analytical skills, critical thinking, problem solving, and communication. Many of our courses are experiential, collaborative, project-based and community-engaged. 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 encourage students to broaden their training through study abroad experiences. We also offer a variety of interdisciplinary project-based, community-engaged learning experiences including paid internships with community partners. Many of our students jointly pursue interests in business, sustainability, ecology & conservation, One Health, law, and engineering. 

We maintain robust campus collaborations with departments and programs that overlap in the areas of environment, sustainability, and community engagement. We develop and maintain relationaships with off-campus partners to support co-produced learning that mutually benefits student learning and partner needs in work that is in St. Louis, by St. Louis, and for St. Louis.

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.

Senior Tori Harwell selected as a Rhodes Scholar

Senior Tori Harwell selected as a Rhodes Scholar