Professor points at a drawing titled 'Horses Chased by Wolves' alongside a photo of a man identified as Pop Chalee (Taos/Indian).
Professor Chie Sakakibara teaches the course Indigenous Environmentalism. Photo credit: Yevhen Gulenko
Program Overview

Environmental Studies

Program Type: Major, Minor
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Department: Environmental Studies

Oberlin offers both a major and a minor in environmental studies. Our program seeks to create a learning environment that fosters an understanding of the causes and consequences of our environmental predicaments, as well as help our students develop the creative problem-solving skills to design a more sustainable relationship between humans and the rest of the natural world.

Engaged Liberal Arts

At Oberlin you’ll take what you’re learning in your courses and put it into practice through Research, Internships, Study Away, and Experiential Learning.

Four students sit together on the floor, working on a group project. Viewed looking down from above.
Students work in groups in the ENVS 302 American Agricultures course with Prof. Janet Fiskio. The course examines agrarian thinking and food justice movements in the United States through literature, essays, film, and field trips. Photo credit: Michael Hartman


Ours is an interdisciplinary program that investigates and considers solutions for various environmental challenges facing our world through critical thinking, community engagement, and skill development.

Browse Curriculum

A group of students with shovels and buckets in a field. Some are standing and others are crouching, examining the soil.
George Jones Memorial Farm serves as an outdoor classroom for Oberlin students. With a focus on restoration agriculture, techniques used here help build soil and create healthier, more nutritious crops. Photo credit: Yevhen Gulenko

Where Fieldwork Is Really Fieldwork

Environmental studies majors have access to abundant resources on campus and beyond.

Community Partners & Experiential Learning

Sample Courses

  • ENVS 231 - Environmental Economics 4 credits
  • ENVS 323 - Seminar: Global Environmental Politics 4 credits
  • ENVS 340 - Systems Modeling: Systems Thinking 4 credits
  • ENVS 390 - Sustainable Cities 4 credits

Environmental Studies News

A girl stands in an open window.

Winter Term: Butterflies, One of Nature’s Flashiest Pollinators

September 14, 2020
Mary Perchlik adores butterflies. That interest led to her month-long project in August, which combined the study of butterflies on a species level while maintaining a broader focus on environmental systems that support butterflies and their interactions between different plants, insects, and habitats.
back woman sitting on a chair.

Mental Health Research Assistant: Ify Ezimora ’19

May 15, 2020
Ezimora is applying the professional experience she gained as a double major in psychology and environmental studies as well as her roles as a student treasurer and cochair of the Student Finance Committee.
People working on a farm.

Oberlin Students Host Earth Day Symposium Online

May 12, 2020
The organizers of the Earth Day 50 celebration shifted their plans to make a 10-day symposium of speakers and panel discussions a virtual experience that appealed to a broad audience.