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Academic Programs

Environmental Studies

May Dell on Salem College

Salem’s Environmental Studies major concentrates on the study of natural systems and our relationship with them as a basis for taking action to support sustainability at levels ranging from personal to local to global. The goal of the Environmental Studies program is to deepen students’ understanding of past and present environmental issues, develop their grasp of the principles of conservation ecology, prepare them to manage environmentally sustainable processes, and prepare them to shape public opinion and public policy to produce social change in support of sustainable environmental systems. Salem offers a bachelor of arts degree with a major in Environmental Studies and four concentration options: 1) environmental management; 2) computational environmental analysis; 3) environmental policy and advocacy; and 4) conservation ecology. We also offer an Environmental Studies minor.


Student Experience

Environmental Studies majors at Salem experience an interdisciplinary curriculum that exposes them to the complexities of human interactions with our environment, with a focus on exploring practices that are environmentally, economically, and culturally sustainable. Core courses provide introductions to environmental studies, earth sciences, biology, nonprofit management, economics, and political science. Working with an academic advisor, each student selects a concentration that best fits their academic and career interests. Students opting for an environmental management concentration and take advantage of courses offered by Salem’s superb Nonprofit Management and Community Leadership program and Communication program, while the environmental policy and advocacy concentration pulls from some of these courses and also our strong Political Science program. Students interested in more mathematical and/or natural science-based approaches to environmental studies may opt for a Computational Environmental Analysis or Conservation Ecology concentration. Many students benefit from engaging in a semester-long environmental studies internship that gives them professional experience and contacts for networking.


Health Leadership Highlights

  • Many of the impacts on human health are environmental in nature. The Environmental Studies program prepares students to understand the impact of both the natural and human-made environment on our everyday health, from the air we breathe and the water we drink, to the land we build our homes and neighborhoods on.
  • Through a robust study of scientific principles, coupled with electives in social science, political science and public policy, public health, and business we are creating leaders and advocates to evaluate and manage current issues in environmental health, policy and ecosystems both locally and globally.

Jobs and Outcomes

A degree in environmental studies will prepare you to enter law school, numerous fields, or various graduate programs, including environmental health, veterinary science, civil engineering, public policy, wildlife conservation, sustainability engineering, and environmental advocacy.


Program Leadership

To meet other faculty, please go to the faculty/staff directory.

Success Stories

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