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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 practical approaches through collaborative problem-solving, research and community engagement projects, internships, and practicums. Students explore the ways interconnected physical, institutional, and cultural systems shape our attitudes and behavior toward the environment.

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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 choose 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, decision-makers, and citizens.
  • Students can combine the ENS major or minor with other majors to expand their knowledge and career options.
  • Students acquire first-hand experience addressing large and complex environmental problems through community-based learning, internships, and independent and collaborative research projects.
  • 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, Farm Club, and Beekeepers.

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


Students select courses from the following four focus areas:

  • Sustainable food systems
  • Energy
  • Water resources
  • 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 a variety of other occupations involving communication, advocacy, outreach, education, and research. Students may also pursue postgraduate studies such as law, public policy, administration, business, or environmental humanities.