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Environmental Studies

Leave the Earth Better Than You Found It

Do you wish to better understand how humans interact with and affect the environment around us? Environmental Studies at F&M offers a distinctive approach to building the knowledge you need to tackle the environmental challenges of the 21st century. 

About Environmental Studies

Our Program and Courses

Environmental studies is a major and minor at F&M. You’ll study critical issues of our times: global warming and climate change, environmental justice, alternative energy sources, wilderness protection, ecotourism, and natural resource management. By blending knowledge of environmental policy and science with environmental economics, government, anthropology, social sciences, and other fields including business, literature, history, and the humanities, you’ll develop a deep foundation in environmental knowledge and perspectives, empowering you to become an effective leader, professional, and environmentally literate citizen of the world. 

If there is a particular area of environmental studies that most fascinates you, you can craft a specialization within the major. While this is not required, you can choose to specialize in environmental policy and law, environmental justice, biodiversity conservation, food and agriculture, climate change, environmental economics and business, or environment and society. 

By the time you graduate, you will: 

  • Have developed an understanding of and broad ability to explain the relationship between humans and the environment and how that association connects to policy, ethics, natural science, history, philosophy, literature, and arts
  • Have cultivated an ability to analyze and articulate various environmental challenges and opportunities, such as climate change, environmental governance, wilderness, biodiversity, land ethics, natural resource use and management, and environmental justice
  • Be able to evaluate real-world applications of socio-environmental analysis, including understanding policy responses and the historical and cultural dimensions of social and ecological systems

Wondering what environmental studies classes are like? Take a look at our course catalog to explore what classes you can expect. [link to course catalog]

Our Faculty and Staff

Meet the dedicated and inspiring faculty and staff that make up F&M’s Earth and Environment program. [link to department directory page]

Learning Outside the Classroom

In the Field

F&M’s location provides the perfect landscape for studying the environment. Lancaster County’s flourishing agricultural industry, the nearby Susquehanna River, and F&M’s Spalding [insert hyperlink] Nature Conservancy provide exciting learning opportunities outside of the classroom. Environmental studies students also pursue internships with environmental nonprofits, government agencies, and local organizations. Many of our students intern with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which includes a competitive application process.

Research Opportunities 

If there’s an environmental studies area or idea you’re eager to explore, you won’t have to wait until graduate school to launch your investigation. Every student at F&M has extraordinary opportunities to work closely with professors in faculty-led research or engage in an independent research project

Center for the Sustainable Environment

Many environmental studies students get involved with F&M’s Center for the Sustainable Environment (CSE), our hub for global environmental stewardship and sustainability on campus. The CSE is home to a seminar room, a field-work laboratory space, a meeting space for sustainable clubs on campus, and more. Many students work in the CSE or participate in its extracurricular activities, food composting workshops, wild food tastings, and guest speaker presentations.

Off-Campus Study

Off-campus study, in the U.S. and internationally, is encouraged. Environmental studies students have studied abroad in Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia, and have even spent a semester at sea. Learn more about off-campus study at F&M

Earn Master of Forestry (M.F.) or Master of Environmental Management (M.E.M.)

Entrepreneurship at F&M

In the spirit of living up to Benjamin Franklin’s legacy of creating solutions in the service of the public good, Entrepreneurship at F&M is a program that offers exciting opportunities for all students to explore and develop entrepreneurial skills. Environmental studies students have used their education to develop entrepreneurial opportunities in groundwater exploration; environmental consulting, carbon capture and sequestration; and natural resource management.

  • The F&M Incubator, which offers opportunities for students to bring their creative solutions to life. You’ll work in a team and you may receive mentoring, specialized support, and/or project funding. You’ll also attend a series of workshops on customer identification, design thinking, marketing and legal considerations, and other topics.  
  • A summer entrepreneurship experience during which you’ll earn course credit and gain real-world experience for your resume while discovering and mastering the entrepreneurial skills needed to bring innovation to any organization. You’ll be matched as a paid intern with sponsoring startups, entrepreneurs, and other organizations that are looking to innovate or disrupt the status quo across a variety of industries.
  • Workshops that introduce, discuss, or focus on entrepreneurship methods and insight
  • Events featuring F&M alumni and members of the wider community who have changed the status quo in all sectors of the economy and society

Learn more about entrepreneurship at F&M.

Success Beyond F&M

What do environmental studies majors typically do after college? Many of our graduates go on to enjoy successful careers in a wide range of professions and enroll in prestigious graduate programs. You’ll also find alumni support in the Geoscience Founders Society, an organization committed to maintaining connections between current F&M students and faculty with alumni and friends.

Graduate School

A liberal arts background in environmental studies prepares our graduates to go on to excellent graduate programs after F&M. Many pursue advanced degrees in government, law, sustainability, environmental and energy management, and environmental science. 


Environmental studies graduates often pursue teaching and public service fellowships with organizations such as Teach for America and Americorps. They also go on to complete fellowships overseas with the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, for which F&M is recognized as a top-producing institution. [insert hyperlink]

Learn more about fellowships.

Career Paths

Environmental studies graduates are prepared to embark on a wide range of career paths, including positions in government, business, nonprofits, and research. They hold positions such as:

  • Environmental, Health, and Safety Specialist
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Head of Sustainability
  • Vice President, Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG)
  • Forestry Coordinator
  • Urban Planner
  • Public Health Specialist
  • Project Manager
  • Associate Director
  • Senior Research Associate
  • Policy Analyst
  • Prospective Gifts Manager
  • Senior Consultant
  • Director of Communications and Community Engagement
  • Manager, Government Relations

Learn more about the lasting value of an F&M education.

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