Why Environmental Studies?

When Americans are asked to prioritize topics of political significance to them, environmental issues are usually near the top of the list. Most people have an innate desire to leave the world a better place for future generations.

Environmental studies integrates the study of interactions among physical, chemical and biological components of the environment. Students take many courses in the natural sciences, but not at the expense of courses in the social sciences and humanities. The field has grown substantially since the 1960s, as public awareness of environmental problems grew. The public began to rely on informed scientists to recommend practical public policies and environmental standards. Today, environmental scientists study issues like climate change, conservation, biodiversity, pollution, natural resource usage, waste management and sustainable development.

The Environmental Studies Program at the University of Richmond prepares students for the kinds of demanding critical, integrative thinking that is essential for students going into environmental science, resource management, public policy and the law.