Professor and students examine a specimen

Pursue Your Passion for the Environment

Study the complex interactions between human society and the environment

Geography: Environmental Studies and Sustainability

Offered by: Geography, Geology, and the Environment

Slippery Rock University’s Sustainability and Environmental Studies major builds students’ understanding of the complex interactions between humans and the environment. Exposure to fieldwork methods, laboratory classes, and geospatial technology form a strong technical background for students in this major. Various opportunities unique to SRU allow students to connect with the landscape surrounding campus as well as travel farther afield for internships or fieldwork. 

The Sustainability and Environmental Studies major is part of SRU’s Bachelor’s in Geography program. Its flexibility gives students the freedom to explore various aspects of environmental studies and sustainability practices while also providing the depth needed to accommodate career preparations or for future graduate study.

Why major in Environmental Studies and Sustainability?

This Environmental Studies and Sustainability major is an excellent program for students excited about field experiences and undergraduate research on sustainability. The Geography Department provides many opportunities for students to present their research, connect with faculty members, and learn about cutting-edge technology related to geographic analysis. Students also have the opportunity to join the Geography, Geology and the Environment Club and the honor society Gamma Theta Upsilon. Students can also get involved with the multitude of environmental initiatives on campus such as the Robert A. Macoskey Center, an 83-acre farm that has been an educational hub for sustainable agriculture since 1990.

What Will You Learn?

As an Environmental Studies and Sustainability major, you will study concepts from the natural sciences, geography, and other disciplines to analyze the complex relationship between human society and the natural world. Throughout the program, you will build: 

  • Foundational knowledge in biology, mapping technologies, and ecology
  • Mastery of research processes and data analysis directed toward environmental advocacy
  • An understanding of environmental ethics 
  • Sensitivity around cultural notions of the natural world from around the globe
  • An understanding of sustainable development and planning 

The curriculum has an abundance of course offerings and electives which include Environmental Justice, Ecotourism, and Cultural Geography, to name a few. Laboratory courses include Wetlands and Aquatic Plants, Georeporting, and Freshwater Biomonitoring. The option to pursue a minor is built into the course sequence, and students can easily incorporate service learning opportunities and fieldwork-related travel into their time at SRU.

Careers In Environmental Studies And Sustainability

The interdisciplinary nature of SRU’s program provides an excellent beginning for any career related to sustainability. Many of these paths are connected to environmental management or advocacy in the public or private sectors. Future jobs relating to this major include environmental educators, community planners, environmental analysts or consultants, and nonprofit positions in conservation. There are also government regulatory agencies (EPA, Pennsylvania DEP) and public land agencies (Pennsylvania DCNR, Forest Service, NPS) seeking graduates with an environmental science degree. 

SRU alumni have made wonderful contributions to environmental sciences creating a varied network across Pennsylvania and the United States that supports our students’ futures. Additionally, fieldwork-related knowledge and a sociocultural understanding of the environment are also applicable to many fields outside environmental studies. 

Earn your Geography: Environmental Studies and Sustainability Degree at SRU!

Slippery Rock University’s program in Environmental Studies and Sustainability is flexible and interdisciplinary; giving you the tools to improve your future and the world. Request more information today!