Environmental Studies Major (BA)


For Students

If you have general questions about the Environmental Studies Program, please consider sending us an email at incasip@lehigh.edu

The Office of Interdisciplinary Programs normal business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For Fall 2023 class updates, restrictions and teaching times, please refer to Registration Class Search



Welcome to the Environmental Studies Program

The world is facing serious environmental problems—climate change, species extinctions, plastic pollution, lead in drinking water and many more. And we need solutions or at least ways to mitigate the damage. At Lehigh, the Environmental Studies Program examines factors confronting humans as we struggle with complex environmental problems and seek possible solutions. Our interdisciplinary faculty explores diverse approaches to these issues with courses in four colleges and ten departments. Most of our courses are in social science disciplines, but we also offer courses in humanities, education, science, and engineering to examine factors that influence local, national, international and global environmental issues, policies and solutions.

The Major

Consisting of 45-47 credits, the Environmental Studies B.A. major explores a broad range of environmental knowledge with introductory courses in environmental studies and environmental science and then a concentration in one of five areas: health; humanities; policy, planning & law; politics & society; and science & technology. Embedded in each of these concentrations are in-depth studies of environmental topics and related skills courses to help students prepare for careers. The concentrations and their courses are linked on the left-hand side of this page.

Check out the catalog listing for many of the courses we offer and specific major requirements. Some popular courses include:  Politics of the Environment; Environmental Values and Ethics; Environment, the Public and the Mass Media; Buddhism and Ecology; Environmental Planning for Healthy Cities; Mapping Data for Policymaking; and Environment and Culture. 

Potential Double Majors and Minors

The Environmental Studies program is broadly inclusive yet flexible enough to encourage double majors and minors in other fields. Many of our courses are also listed in other departments and programs and three can be counted for both majors. You can easily double major or minor in anthropology, health, medicine and society, history, international relations, journalism, political science, psychology, science and environmental writing or sociology. The same flexibility applies if you want to double major or minor in English, art and architecture, philosophy or religion. In particular, the Environmental Studies degree adds another environmental dimension to students majoring in the B.A. and B.S. programs in Earth and Environmental Sciences and the B.S. program in Environmental Engineering. 

The Minor

A minor in Environmental Studies can introduce you to environmental issues that complement many majors. You will need four 4-credit courses with one from the core set of courses and two from one of the concentrations to provide some depth. The catalog listing has more specifics. 

Possible Career and Graduate School Paths

Through interdisciplinary courses and research, the Environmental Studies program offers our students a path to many career options in fields such as environmental policy, environmental health, environmental communication, environmental education and environmental law. Our alumni can be found in federal, state and local government agencies; consulting companies; industries; nonprofit organizations; advocacy groups; online environmental communication sites, and elsewhere. The program also prepares students for law school and graduate studies in a number of environmental policy and social science fields.  Many of our graduates have enrolled in Lehigh’s Environmental Policy M.A. program

Further Information

For more information about our Environmental Studies Program feel free to contact any of the Environmental Studies faculty (listed under People) or Professor Breena Holland, the program director. To coordinate a major or minor, contact the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs, at incasip@lehigh.edu.

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