Environmental Studies

Environmental studies focuses on the relationship between the environment and social, economic, political, legal and human aspects of society. As global population and consumption rises, understanding the interplay between environmental and social systems has become an increasingly important component of decision-making and planning.

Major in Environmental Studies

SLU’s environmental studies curriculum is built upon a “breadth-depth” model that requires all students to complete a core set of science and skill-development courses that provide an introduction to the environmental sciences.

If you choose to major in environmental studies at SLU, you'll complete a minimum of 38 credit hours in math and science core classes before focusing your upper-division studies in one concentration area:

  • Philosophy, religion and ethics
  • Economics, politics and public policy
  • Society and the environment through space and time
  • Advocacy and discourse
  • Natural sciences

These concentrations will provide you with more advanced instruction in your area of interest to help prepare you for your career after graduation.

No matter which you choose, you'll have ready access to the resources of SLU’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, including excellent laboratories, week-long environmental science field trips and local internship opportunities.


A minimum of 27 credit hours is required for completion of the concentration. All students must complete an internship or a capstone project.

  • BIOL 1040-1060: Principles of Biology I and  II
  • BIOL 1140: Our Living Environment
  • BIOL 1340: Diversity of Life
  • CHEM 1005: Chemistry and the Environment
  • EAS 1020-1030: Earth Dynamic Environment I and  II
  • EAS 4170: Introduction to GIS
  • MATH 1510-1520: Calculus I and II
Internships and Careers

Undergraduate students in SLU’s environmental studies program have the option to pursue internship opportunities through the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences or in collaboration with other departments on campus.

The environmental studies program prepares students for careers in business, law and government. Students also have the opportunity to prepare for more advanced degrees in a wide range of fields, including law, economics and public policy.


SLU’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric sciences combines strong classroom and field-based instruction with an internationally recognized research faculty. It frequently hosts visiting scientists from around the globe and sponsors environmental seminars that provide opportunities for students to interact with experts from a wide variety of career options.

Student-Faculty Ratio

One-on-One Attention  

Although growing, SLU’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences — which hosts the environmental studies program —  is small enough to provide a welcoming atmosphere that promotes extensive interaction between students and faculty.