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Environmental Studies, B.A.

Program Overview

Does your passion for writing, art, or activism align with your call to care for the environment? If so, PLNU’s Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies equips you to pair your talent and Christian worldview to address our planet’s climate crisis and create sustainable change.

Housed in PLNU’s department of Literature, Journalism, Writing & Languages, the environmental studies program offers foundational courses in biology, the social and political sciences, and the arts and humanities — along with focused concentrations of study ranging from creative writing or literature to media arts or public policy — to give you depth of expertise as well as breadth of perspective.

As Jesus proclaims in Matthew 22:37-39, the two commandments which encompass all others are to love God and love neighbor. Cultural geographer Carolyn Finney claims it is necessary for humans to “understand how our unhealthy relationships with the natural environment are intimately linked to our unhealthy relationships with each other.” PLNU’s environmental studies program makes that link by providing cultural context, scientific foundation, and communication skills as they relate to humans and the environment. 

The goal of the environmental studies major is for students to develop compassion for all of creation and other humans by listening to and understanding the context of the human story across cultures; with foundational knowledge of ecosystems and the human relationship to them; with communication skills in writing, media, and verbal avenues; and with the agency to use these traits to serve in the world.

Choose one of the following concentrations: 

Biology

A strong background in the biology and chemistry of environmental systems empowers environmental justice with the ability to evaluate and use scientific data. With a concentration in biology, an environmental studies major can wield your biological expertise to educate and inform environmental social action. Careers include: sustainability officer, lab management, science writer.

Cultural Studies

Understanding where our current ideas about environmental and social justice come from is vital to having agency for positive change. Environmental studies majors with a cultural studies concentration will be able to identify, critique, challenge, or champion cultural stories and themes about humanity’s relationship with the environment. Careers include: teaching, nonprofit management, public relations.

Design

Good design can capture the imagination and bring about powerful change. With a concentration in design, environmental studies majors gain valuable skills in presenting information and arguments in a visually pleasing format to reach a wide audience for environmental change. Careers include: graphic design, science illustration, biodesign, branding.

Social Impact

Social service impacts the way the world works. With a social impact concentration, environmental studies majors will understand the structures and policies that govern our culture and find avenues of service that will let them be a powerful force for environmental change in the world. Careers include: law, urban planning, social work, public administration.

Writing and Communication

A clearly communicated idea has the most impact. With a writing and communication concentration, environmental studies majors will develop the skills to share their ideas and stories both in written and verbal outlets. Clear communicators can take the complexity of many environmental issues and present them for a wide audience to understand. Careers include: editing, writing, screenwriting, journalism, marketing.

Ocean is filled with trash

Turning The Tide: Ensuring A World With The Ocean For Future Generations

The ocean is under threat, read about how carelessness is destroying God's creation, and what the rest of us can do to help. 

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

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Career Opportunities

Students with an environmental studies B.A. find careers in diverse fields that address human relationships with the natural world. From public relations and fundraising to design and engineering, environmental studies majors find jobs that rely on compassion, knowledge, and the ability to communicate well.