Environmental Studies

Major, Minor

Westminster College of Arts and Sciences

4-Year Degree

Students sitting on the floor and talking to each other.

The Environmental Studies Program at Westminster University

Students in environmental studies investigate the relationship between humans and the natural world by examining our response to issues like conservation, biodiversity loss, climate change, environmental justice, urban planning, sustainable agriculture, and international development. You’ll explore your environment as a system shaped by natural and cultural forces, develop your communication and problem solving skills, and discover diverse approaches to social and legislative change. Throughout the program, you’ll have opportunities to demonstrate your passion for sustainable living through hands-on coursework. Most importantly, you’ll apply what you learn through fieldwork outside of the classroom surrounded by Utah’s amazing natural landscape.

The Environmental Studies program is an immersive program taught by faculty with expertise in ecology, environmental biology, agriculture, geography, environmental politics, environmental humanities, ecofeminist theories, and creative activism. The classes are hands-on and you can focus your studies on the areas you find most interesting, while exploring what your passions in the unique context of Utah’s deserts, lakes, and mountains.

Explore the ways you can get involved in the Westminster community to make the most of your environmental studies education, and get insight on the perspectives of Westminster environmental studies students.

Who the Environmental Studies Program Is For

The environmental studies program is designed for students with an adventurous spirit and a passion for the environment. Whether you see yourself creating sustainability plans for corporations, working with communities to fight for environmental justice, or working on the next great American novel from your base camp among the red rocks of southern Utah, you’ll graduate with the skills you need to live an ethical, impactful, and meaningful life.

What Are the Key Benefits of the Environmental Studies Program?

  • Earn credit toward your degree by participating in field trips, like camping with your classmates in Zion National Park, and field study projects.
  • Apply your skills in the real world while giving back to the community through partnerships with local nonprofits.
  • Choose an area of concentration that focuses your studies on the subjects you’re most passionate about.
    Participate in a program that works seamlessly with study abroad opportunities.

sample Environmental studies courses

  • ENVI-102: Ecology of Food Systems
  • ENVI-203: Climate Resilience
  • ENVI-301: Field Study
  • ENVI-353: Environmental Movements

related programs

The program can also be taken as a minor, which is a great addition to a degree in biology, geology, chemistry, political science, or philosophy.

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Our Faculty

Christy Clay, PhD

Brent Olson, PhD

Xiumei Pu, PhD
Associate Professor


potential environmental careers

  • Field ecologist
  • Community organizer
  • Sustainable entrepreneur
  • Environmental educator
  • Peace Corps volunteer
  • Environmental lawyer
  • Biotech engineer
  • National Park Ranger
  • Wildlife manager
  • Conservations scientist
  • Urban planner

Potential Employers

  • Colorado State University  
  • Utah State University 
  • Rodale Institute  
  • Rad Power Bikes 
  • Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance  
  • Woodward Mountain Center 
  • Ski Association of Slovenia


"My business statement is to use art to persuade people to be cyclists: let the artistry of the bike be the seductive component that lures people to want to travel, commute, and have fun more sustainably."

Read The Story

Arly Landry

Environmental Studies Plan of Study

You’ll start by taking introductory-level courses introducing you to the core concepts of environmental studies. As you move through the program and choose an area of specialization, you’ll take classes in ecology, environmental ethics, chemistry, politics, history, and environmental literature, and choose electives ranging from Environmental Toxicology to Spiritual Ecology. Throughout the program, you’ll have opportunities to study abroad, participate in internships, or develop your own field study experiences. To complete your degree, you’ll participate in a senior capstone class with the rest of your cohort.


Environmental Science, bachelor of science

Explores the fundamental scientific and ecological questions related to environmental issues—and the tools necessary to address them.

Environmental Studies, bachelor of arts

Examines the relationship between nature, society, politics, and economics, and the connections between the environment, literature, philosophy, and art.

Liberal Education Courses

You must complete the WCore program or join the Honors College (and complete requirements) to fulfill your liberal education credits.

Tuition and Aid

There's No Better Investment Than You

Westminster University knows you want an education where you matter—a place that will serve as a launchpad for a successful career and a meaningful life. Westminster will work with you individually through every step of the financial aid process. From scholarships to grants and loans, Westminster helps you make it happen.

With the highest percentage of students who complete one or more internships in the state, Westminster students hit the ground running with real-world experience. Plus, 90% of students were either employed or attending graduate school within 5 months of graduating. With a Westminster degree, you don't have to choose between a successful career and a fulfilling life.

Learn About Tuition

You’ll be automatically considered for scholarship and grant opportunities.

In addition to general merit scholarships, other scholarship programs are available to support you throughout your time at Westminster.

Check Out Scholarships

Your tuition, fully paid

All students should have the ability to explore their passions. Westminster University is proud to cover the cost of tuition for qualifying students through the Westminster Commitment.

Learn About the Westminster Commitment