Two students looking at a globe in a library

Environmental Studies Major (BA)

Climate change is the defining issue of our lifetimes. Join the environmental studies department to develop the skills you need for a fulfilling and socially responsible career, whatever path you choose. Environment-related jobs are expected to continue to increase by 10% over the next decade, and your environmental studies expertise will help you create sustainable solutions for a future where everyone will thrive. 

You'll engage with climate-related issues as diverse as public health, justice and equity, education, natural sciences, business, economics, political science, creative writing, and more. In today’s job market, each path you choose will intersect with the environment in one way or another, whether that's preparing for climate change-driven weather events, designing resilient coastal communities, or planning urban areas to protect residents from heat waves.

Student research opportunities

At Hamline, students participate in research with faculty as early as their first year, something usually reserved for graduate students at other institutions. You'll design and conduct your own research project based on your individual interests and goals, and you can even study away in programs focused on environmental topics. The local, regional, and national connections you make with organizations working on behalf of the environment will give you an edge in whatever career you choose.

The list of possible research projects is as varied as our students. For example, picture yourself:

  • Analyzing data for a local nonprofit to create forest and land restoration projects
  • Traveling to field stations around the world to study the effects of climate solutions and solutions that local governments have created
  • Consulting with a school to design a curriculum for high school students to learn about the environment
  • Collaborating with peers in public health, media arts, and other arts, sciences, and communication fields to design research projects and recommend action based on the capabilities of neighborhood groups, employers, and government partners in your research area

During your research process, you’ll collaborate with scientists at major research institutions, publish your research in scientific journals, and present your work at local, regional, and national conferences. 

Internships for environmental studies students

We make sure you leave Hamline with work experience in the field of environmental studies on your resume. And the opportunities are boundless. Whether you want to explore a career in climate justice, education, land management, or more, we have internship opportunities for you.

Examples of past environmental studies student internships include:

  • City of Everett Surface, water intern 
  • Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, horticulture intern
  • Global Visions International, environmental studies intern
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, fisheries and wildlife intern
  • MN350, climate justice intern
  • Native Sustainability LLC, intern
  • Rebecca Otto for Governor, intern
  • Saint Croix River Association, aquatic invasive species intern
  • Sierra Club, summer outreach intern

Explore career paths

Our innovative courses and one-on-one mentoring by faculty will give you the tools to succeed in a variety of jobs, such as:

  • Museum educator
  • Sustainability manager
  • Health and environment advocate
  • Environmental justice advocate
  • Urban forestry manager
  • Environmental analyst
  • Outdoor recreation planner
  • High school science teacher
  • Nonprofit communications specialist

You can also put your degree to work in any number of fields, including:

  • Environmental education
  • Wild land management
  • Environmental policy
  • Eco-tourism
  • Energy consultation
  • Food production

Take your studies further with graduate school

Our graduates have gone on to graduate schools across the country in the pursuit of master’s and doctoral degrees. Examples of programs and schools include:

  • Master of Arts in Education: Natural Sciences and Environmental Education, Hamline University
  • Master of Science in Natural Resource Science and Management, University of Minnesota
  • Doctorate in Education, Hamline University