St. Lawrence students at renewable energy plant

Environmental Studies

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 areand you’ll gain experience through internships, research, and other, literal get-your-hands-dirty learning activities.

Learning Experiences to Prepare for Your Career

The 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.

Living Lab

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.     

Visit the Lab

Research

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.

Explore Research

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.

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.

Visit Nature Up North

Recent Internships

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

Get Career Ready

Volunteer Opportunities

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

Explore Options

Study Abroad

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.  

Sustainability Program 

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. 

Explore Off-Campus Study

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

Why St. Lawrence for Environmental Studies?

97%

of St. Lawrence’s environmental studies majors are employed or continuing their education within a year

#2

oldest collegiate outdoor club in the nation

20

miles from the Adirondack Park and St. Lawrence River

1,000+

bricks students laid for the foundation of a new energy-efficient greenhouse

Students and a professor outside in front of trees

1:1 tree-to-student ratio

Our 1,000-acre campus is an outdoor experience in itself

Students working at the Living Lab

Living Lab

Our 110-acre living lab includes fields, forests, wetlands and a garden.

A Green College

St. Lawrence is among the most environmentally-responsible schools (The Princeton Review, 2020)

120+

varieties of 49 vegetable crops at the University's Organic Farm

More Program Information

Program Requirements & Courses

Explore environmental studies major requirements, as well as electives and combined study options.

Complementary and Related Programs

We offer 10 combined studies programs that allow you to pair your passion for the environment with another major area of study.

Popular Double Majors with This Program
Other Programs You May Be Interested In
Faculty with students in the field

Expert, Passionate 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.

Faculty with students in the field

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.

Adirondack Semester

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.

Explore Our Program

Sustainability Program

Explore and discuss global sustainability problems, tackle issues facing St. Lawrence and the North Country, and spend a year preparing to make a difference.

Learn More

Connect With a Current Student

You've heard enough about our program from us; connect with a current student to learn first-hand about their faculty mentors, favorite classes, or unique experiences. No question is too big or too small—ask away!
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Headshot of Grace Brouillette, class of 2023.
Class of 2023

Grace Brouillette (she/her)

  • Essex Junction, Vermont
  • Essex High School
  • Environmental Studies major, Educational Studies minor

Campus Involvement

Spectrum, Laurentian Singers, WORD Studio Peer Tutor, LINC Career Mentoring, Sophomore Career Bootcamp; participated in the Kenya Semester Program

Headshot of Sam Cowles, class of 2022, wearing hiking gear at the summit of a mountain.
Class of 2022

Sam Cowles (he/him)

  • South Londonderry, Vermont
  • Burr and Burton Academy
  • Environmental Studies major, Educational Studies minor

Campus Involvement

Senior Admissions Fellow, Co-President of the Club Ski Team, Outing Club Guide, Outdoor Program Guide, LINC Career Mentoring Program

Headshot of Elizabeth Hart, class of 2023.
Class of 2023

Elizabeth Hart (she/her)

  • Princeton, Massachusetts
  • Wachusett Regional High School
  • English and Environmental Studies combined major

Campus Involvement

Admissions Ambassador, The Laurentian Magazine, the L.I.G.H.T. House, Club Ski Team, Club Yoga

Get More Information

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.

Apply to St. Lawrence

We’re looking for curious students who are eager to make a difference. We take a holistic approach to reviewing applications and consider all aspects of your application and what we learn about you.