Students lie on the grass in the campus quad, studying and relaxing

Environmental and Sustainability Studies

Pursue a career designed for impact.

Our environment is changing on a global level, and now we’ve reached a tipping point. Over the next several years, international organizations, governments, businesses, and individuals will be tasked more than ever before with finding creative, sustainable solutions to protect Earth’s climate and natural resources. 

These efforts will require skilled scientists — but just as important, they’ll also need skilled thinkers and policy-makers. They’ll need people who can manage projects and persuade audiences, who are able to both study an ecosystem and inspire others to protect it. As a student in York College’s Environmental and Sustainability Studies program, you’ll be prepared to do that valuable work. 

The Environmental and Sustainability Studies major bridges the gap between high-impact science and the change-making policies and processes necessary in bringing that science to life. You’ll have the opportunity to make a real difference on whatever level you choose, whether you’re interested in local organic farming, regional waterways, or national legislation.

York College students getting hands-on learning in our creek.

Majoring in Environmental and Sustainability Studies

  • Key Courses

    Key Courses

    The Environmental and Sustainability Studies major offers a wide variety of required classes, electives, and real-world learning opportunities. These include:

    • PHL 240: Environmental Ethics
    • LIT 379: Literature and the Environment
    • HIS 387: North American Environmental History
    • SES 491: Internship in Sustainability and Environmental Studies
  • Career Opportunities

    Career Opportunities

    No matter your interests, York College’s experienced faculty will guide you toward real-world opportunities that allow you to build a strong professional network in your preferred subject area.

    These are just a few of the many career opportunities available to graduates of the Environmental and Sustainability Studies program:

    • Sustainability Officer
    • Policy Advisor
    • Sustainability Consultant
    • Climate Change Analyst
    • Community Organizer
    • Agricultural Specialist
  • Internships & Work Experience

    Internships & Work Experience

    All Environmental and Sustainability Studies majors are required to complete an internship or independent study — and the nature of your work experience will depend on your personal interests and career goals. YCP students have supported organic farms, assisted in policy-making for solar energy firms, and everything in between. 

    Even before your internship, you’ll find classes that challenge you and coursework that allows you to learn by doing. The Environmental and Sustainability Studies program features classes that offer students the opportunity to 

    • Map watersheds
    • Examine light pollution
    • Analyze erosion mitigation approaches
    • ...and more.

    Because we know there are some things you simply cannot learn from a textbook.

  • Mentorship & Community

    Mentorship & Community

    As a student in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies program, you’ll have the opportunity to conduct research as an undergraduate. Your professors will work closely with you to develop successful, meaningful research projects.

    Additionally, select courses within this major allow students to study abroad to a variety of locations, including Costa Rica’s Cloud Forest.

    At York College, sustainability is also an ever-growing focus of our campus culture. A number of student organizations are involved with on-campus efforts, including student-run Spartans for Sustainability.

Program Requirements

Required Courses and Degree Requirements for Graduation
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2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Contact Us
Rory Kraft, Ph.D.
Chair, Arts and Humanities
Wolf Hall , Room 206A
Phone: 717.815.6591

Danielle Barnhart, Administrative Assistant
Wolf Hall, Room 206
Phone: 717.815.1354