About Our Program
Our program empowers you to make a positive difference in the world through science and stewardship. You’ll develop deep environmental knowledge as you connect what you’re learning to how issues, such as climate change, impact the economy, public health, and societal well-being.
You’ll learn from and be inspired by professors who are just as passionate about the environment as you are—and you’ll gain experience through internships, research, and other, literal get-your-hands-dirty learning activities.
Learning Experiences to Prepare for Your CareerThe very nature of the environmental studies major means plenty of hands-on learning. We also take full advantage of our North Country location and our strong alumni network to provide opportunities.
Dig deeper into environmental topics or pressing issues through research, either during the semester or as part of a paid summer fellowship. You may even get to co-author a paper with a faculty mentor like Ethan Collins ’18 did; he and his professor Peter Pettengill collaborated on a study about visitor impact to the Adirondack Park.
Senior Year Experience (SYE)
Turn your passion into a project with a Senior Year Experience. For example, Emma Brandt ’20 went on a multi-day backpacking trip with a faculty advisor for her SYE. They recorded data on the impacts of camping around Cranberry Lake, such as exposed soil, trash, and the number of fire pits. They compared their findings with historical data, and Emma drafted a paper for journal submission.
So many environmental studies classes make good use of our 110-acre Living Lab, whether it’s observing amphibians in our wetlands to shearing sheep for an eco-fiber course.
Nature Up North
This community-based organization housed at St. Lawrence connects people to the North Country environment through citizen scientist projects and outdoor adventures -- and it offers internship and volunteer opportunities for environmental studies majors like you.
Learn by doing in a real-world environment. Our majors intern with a wide range of organizations, including:
- St. Lawrence Land Trust
- Central Park Conservancy
- Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
- Environmental Voter Project
- Clean WaterAction
You can also gain experience while making a difference through service work.
- GardenShare, Canton, N.Y.
- Campus Kitchens
- Habitat for Humanity
- Birdsfoot Farm
- littleGrasse Foodworks
Choose from more than 30 semester-long programs offered in more than 20 international locations, including Australia, China, Denmark, Sweden, and Thailand.
The Adirondack Semester
Live off-the-grid in a remote yurt village: forage food, cook meals, enjoy the wilderness, and take classes like nature writing and environmental ethics.
Environmentally conscious students of any major can apply for this unique year-long program just four miles from campus.
Off-Campus Study in the U.S.
Other U.S-based off-campus study programs include a Liberal Arts in New York City experience, which includes an internship with a Manhattan-based business or nonprofit.
Short-Term Trips & Field Experiences
In addition to semester- and year-long programs, you’ll also have the chance to participate in short-term travel study trips with your professors.
Clubs & Organizations
Among the 150+ clubs and organizations at St. Lawrence, you’ll find many that involve the outdoors, wildlife, and environmental advocacy, including:
- Outing Club
- Environmental Action Organization
- CLAW - Connecting Laurentians Around Wilderness
- The Finer Things Cheese and Turophile Society
- Seed to Table
- St. Lawrence River Alliance
- The Greenhouse
- Model U.N.
- Divestment Club
- Geology Club
St. Lawrence graduates are big thinkers, problem solvers, and fearless leaders at companies and organizations across the country and world. Our alumni network is the second-most influential source for recent graduate employment (only behind internships).
Equally entrepreneurial, there are those Laurentians whose idea of the “office” is hosting a wedding on a classic sailing sloop, sustainably harvesting salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska, or digging up delicious potato varietals while restoring North Country soils.
Why St. Lawrence for Environmental Studies?
of St. Lawrence’s environmental studies majors are employed or continuing their education within a year
oldest collegiate outdoor club in the nation
At St. Lawrence, there’s a tree with your name on it (at least for four years).
miles from the Adirondack Park and St. Lawrence River
bricks students laid for the foundation of a new energy-efficient greenhouse
Our 110-acre living lab includes fields, forests, wetlands and a garden.
Our Green College Rating
The Princeton Review, 2021
varieties of 49 vegetable crops at the University's Organic Farm
Official Tree Campus
A student-faculty research project found that St. Lawrence's campus tree population is growing—with special emphasis on planting trees that are native to the North Country. The Arbor Foundation recognized our commitment to maintaining and growing green spaces by naming us a Tree Campus.
More Program Information
Program Requirements & Courses
Explore environmental studies major requirements, as well as electives and combined study options.
Complementary and Related Programs
If you’re interested in environmental studies, you might also like these programs.
Environmental Studies Faculty
By day, they’re botanists, field ecologists, climate change scientists and renewable energy experts; by night, they’re hobby farmers, beekeepers, explorers and environmental justice activists.
“Very few universities have their own organic farms... agriculture provides a systems approach to look at everything thinking from social impact to economic to environmental.”
"Growing up in the 21st century, environmental degradation is impossible to ignore. As a skier in the Northeast, the climate crisis is something I think about and notice every day."
This 20+-year program empowers students to better understand critical environmental issues, live in a materially simple, close-knit community and in close connection to wild nature, and reflect critically and creatively on the experience and the many questions it raises.
Into the Environment
Local family farms. The North Country’s wilderness. Urban centers. Majoring in environmental studies at St. Lawrence means constantly venturing out of the classroom.
Environmental Studies Stories
St. Lawrence received three NSF grants this year. A professor and student will use a $78,872 grant to travel—twice—to the Arctic’s Bering Sea Region and study the traditional ecological knowledge of the Siberian Yupik tribe.
The summer after graduating in 2020, Lucy Hochschartner was driving home from her part-time job at Chipotle when she first got the idea for On the Level, a website and nonprofit organization using technology to help people join the climate movement—empowering them to take actions that align with their interests, skills, and location.
Pro tip: if you ever sign up for an Environmental Studies course titled “Practicum,” don’t wear you cool new “first-day-of-school” shoes to the very first session. I learned that lesson this semester when I registered for a class that revolves around helping to build an energy-efficient greenhouse at St. Lawrence’s Living Lab.
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We’re excited to learn more about you, tell you more about our interdisciplinary academic programs, show you around our beautiful campus, and help you navigate your college search.