Environmental Science

Program Requirements and Courses

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Additional Program Information

Why study environmental science or environmental studies?

As the world becomes more crowded and more consuming, all of us are concerned about our planet’s future. We wonder how to manage a future with increasing population, limited resources, decreasing biodiversity and a changing climate. We wonder how to objectively assess risks and evidence, and how to develop policies to create a healthy, economically sound, sustainable society.

These are challenges that today’s young adults will face as they enter leadership roles in policymaking, business, law and communities.

Solutions do exist for every problem. The world needs a generation of environmental leaders prepared to research, develop and implement those solutions.

Why environmental science or environmental studies at Sweet Briar?

Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Ecology Linda Fink stops to show Brea Marshall '17 how creatures of the forest use the habitat created by fallen trees.
Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Ecology Linda Fink stops to show Brea Marshall ’17 how creatures of the forest use the habitat created by fallen trees.

Sweet Briar offers a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental studies. The faculty is committed to our students and to the natural world.

Because the College’s 3,250-acre campus serves as a living laboratory and outdoor classroom, a tradition of field work marks our program. Forays through meadows, stream and forests are integrated into environmental courses. You will study and explore woods, lakes, streams, meadows, nature sanctuaries and mountaintops. When your class sets out to conduct fieldwork, you won’t pile in a van and drive for an hour. You’ll walk out the door, straight to your research site. You will learn to analyze soils and streams, air and water, and policy and economics.

You will notice our commitment to the study of the environment. You will join a program specifically designed to provide a structured, multidisciplinary approach to solving environmental problems. You will graduate with the intellectual and practical skills necessary for graduate or professional studies, employment in the public or private sector, or to set an example of environmental awareness in whatever life choices you make.

When you become part of our small classes, your professors will get to know you very well. You will forge a close connection that will last long after graduation.

What can you do with an environmental science or environmental studies major?

Our graduates make the world better. They are environmental engineers, scientists, lawyers, teachers and public servants in the U.S. and internationally.