Environmental Studies at Elon

Elon University offers both an A.B. degree in Environmental and Sustainability Studies, a B.S. degree in Environmental Studies, and a B.S. degree in Environmental and Ecological Science.  The curriculum blends the scientific foundations with an appreciation of society’s needs and concerns. As we face the future, it becomes clear that environmental challenges are not isolated. The quality of our water and air, the integrity of our coasts, and the health of our forests and grasslands have shaped the world in which we live. The Earth’s capacity to provide is not without limits and is challenged by demands of our human population. Though the challenge is global, solutions must be found through local, national and international actions grounded in a renewed appreciation for the Earth. Elon University guides students to meet the challenges of today and to become creative and visionary stewards who will lead us to the Earth of tomorrow.

In Elon’s program, students take a balanced, interdisciplinary core of classes grounded in ecological understanding. The strength of the program is from the emphasis placed on considering the environment from many perspectives – for example, discussing water resources in science, social science and humanities classes.  The B.S. in Environmental Studies includes a focus on advanced social science courses while the B.S. in Environmental and Ecological Sciences includes a focus on advanced environmental science and ecology courses.  The A. B. degree is designed to complement interests in traditional disciplines through minors or a second major, building an environmental focus.

The program culminates in a capstone senior seminar, in which students develop a community-based project.   In recent seminars, students designed disaster relief housing modules including food production components, built community gardens to provide fresh food to low income communities in local food deserts, and assisted in a developmental project to incorporate heirloom wheat varieties for a local community to produce distinctive bakery products.   Students are required to complete an internship and are encouraged to participate in independent research. Students are also eligible to apply for the Elon College Fellows Program and the Elon University Honors Program.