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Environmental and Sustainability Studies, B.A., B.S.

Environmental and Sustainability Studies draws upon a variety of disci­plines to develop a holistic, place-based, and solutions-oriented understanding of environmental and sustainability challenges. The program emphasizes a practical approach to environmental issues through collaborative problem-solving, involvement in faculty-led research projects, internships, practicums, and community engagement projects. Students gain an understanding of the way interconnected physical, institutional, and cultural systems shape our attitudes and behavior toward the environment.

Visit the program website for more information.

Program Overview

The major requires completion of 35 to 37 credits, plus the B.A. or B.S. program requirements. A minor is also available with the completion of 21 credits. Students select coursework from three categories: social and cultural perspectives, physical and life science perspectives, and political and economic perspectives. Visit for more information.

Why Study Environmental and Sustainability Studies at Grand Valley?

  • Students gain the broad educational background needed to create positive change as leaders, thinkers, decision-makers, and citizens.
  • Students can combine the ENS major or minor with other majors to expand their interdisciplinary knowledge and career options.
  • Students acquire first-hand experience addressing large and complex environmental problems through community based-learning, internships, independent and collaborative research.
  • Students have access to a multitude of opportunities for campus engagement including GVSU's Sustainable Agriculture Project, Office of Sustainability Practices, and student-led organizations such as the Student Environmental Coalition and Farm Club.

Helpful Links

For More Information

Environmental and Sustainability Studies
229 Lake Ontario Hall
(616) 331-8016

Admissions Office

Location & Format

Undergraduate students in this program study at Grand Valleys Allendale Campus.

Format: Face To Face


In addition to three required core courses and a technical skills elective, students organize their studies around one or more of four focus areas:

  • Sustainable Food Systems
  • Water Resources
  • Energy
  • Culture and the Built Environment

Career Options

Businesses, government, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions are increasingly interested in implementing environmental and sustainability initiatives. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in the emerging field of sustainability implementation and in a wide variety of other occupations that involve environmental and sustainability communication, advocacy, outreach, education, and research. Students may also pursue postgraduate studies in areas such as law, public policy, administration, business, or environmental humanities.