Environmental Studies offers a diverse selection of thought-provoking and hands-on courses. The program is tailored to prepare students for successful graduate studies or satisfying careers. Our goal is to prepare future leaders in civic or federal services, environmental consulting, environmental law, fish and wildlife, environmental assessment and management, or emerging “green” industries and services.

Environmental Studies might be for you if…

  1. You like the outdoors and high-tech analysis
  2. You are interested in a wide range of disciplines (and want to try out different things)
  3. You strive to gain 21st-century job skills for a satisfying and well-paid career
  4. You care about your impact on the planet
  5. You seek intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking ideas
  6. You value Hands-on skills needed for grad school, other disciplines and professions
  7. You like to bridge disciplines, for example, tourism, business, hydrology, toxicology, history, English, biology, chemistry, geography, GIS/GPS, remote sensing)

Classes at a Glance

Learner-centered experiential learning is practiced where the instructor and the students co-produce knowledge throughout the course of the semester. Teaching methods include:

  1. Lectures
  2. Guest speakers who periodically deliver expert knowledge face-to-face, via Skype, or by phone
  3. Laboratory exercises
  4. Field trips
  5. Group discussion and group presentations organized by students
  6. Individual student research projects
  7. Relevant videos and documentaries


All required courses and electives for the Environmental Studies major strike a balance between the social and natural sciences as they relate to the environment. Students are exposed to the scientific principles, fieldwork, current research, perspectives, and theories, as well as other academic disciplines that contribute to the study of the environment and its connections to social responsibility, global awareness, economics, politics, and policy development.

Experiential learning is a fundamental component of the Environmental Studies major. Experiential learning includes exposure to and the application of cutting-edge technology, meeting professionals, review, and authorship of research articles, and participating in field trips and fieldwork in areas such as air and water quality, sustainable tourism, terrestrial ecology, and prairie ecosystem preservation. Students will have an opportunity to participate in the Institute’s interdisciplinary excursions. Summer internships and service learning, while not a requirement, provide students with important real-world experiences.

Undergraduate Research

Environmental Studies majors conduct original research in the form of capstone research projects. Students explore various topics including:

  1. Comparing water pollution in Guatemala and Nevada, Missouri
  2. Eco-cultural aspects of multicultural festivals at Cottey College
  3. Environmental justice issues related to water pollution in Lake Victoria, Uganda
  4. Lack of Public transportation and its associated problems in Nevada, Missouri

Students attend and present their research at national and regional level conferences such as:

  1. The Plains Anthropological Society Conference
  2. The Missouri Academy of Sciences
  3. The National Association of Environmental Professionals Conference

Additionally, students annually participate in the Academic Showcase at Cottey College.

Field trips

Students attend various field trips that are organized by the Environmental Studies program every year. These trips include:

  1. Prairie State Park, Mindenmines, Missouri
  2. Bridal Cave, Ozarks, Missouri
  3. Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Ozarks, Missouri
  4. The Missouri Department of Conservation reserve, Missouri
  5. The Heifer International, Arkansas

Career Opportunities

  1. Graduate study in environmental studies or a specialized area within the field such as environmental management, environmental design, resource management, geography, environmental anthropology, environmental sociology, Geographic Information System (GIS) and environmental science
  2. GIS professional in an industry such as the utility sector, banking, environmental organizations both government and non-government
  3. Environmental analyst in non-profit organizations such as The Greenpeace international, The Nature Conservancy, and The Basel Action Network
  4. Environmental analyst in government organizations such as the US Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Conservation, Department of Natural Resources, and Park Services
  5. Environmental consultants for companies
  6. Environmental educator
  7. Environmental policy analyst
  8. Sustainability specialist
Program taught in:

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Last updated July 13, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sept. 2019
4 years
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sept. 2019
End Date
Application deadline

Sept. 2019

Application deadline
End Date