List of Best Colleges For Environmental Studies

Mar 19, 2021

Best Eco-friendly Colleges Worldwide for Environmental Studies

You know what’s the next cool thing in the world right now? Go Green! You see it everywhere. College students have started wearing ‘Save the planet’ tee shirts (I have one which says- ‘this is why I’m hot’, with the sun facing the earth and burning it). We have kiddos going on environmental marches and movements and starting facebook groups. It seems that these idealists are willing to do absolutely everything to save our biosphere, expect take some science courses and actually study about it. 

Here are some of the top colleges and universities with stellar programs where you actually go and get some clean air! 

1. Middlebury College:

Forbes, Grist, Alternet and The Daily Green have named it among America’s greenest schools. Middlebury established its Environmental Studies major in 1965, making it the first of its kind in the nation. The ES program is an interdisciplinary, nondepartmental major. Environmental Studies is one of Middlebury College’s most popular academic programs. Students get to experience hands-on training in top-notch science facilities. The departments are small, so you get plenty of one-on-one time with professors.

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2. University of Oregon:

Located in the gorgeous “Emerald City” of Eugene, this university provides students with opportunities to work alongside world-class scholars and researchers and gain hands-on experience relevant to a number of fields like environmental planning, environmental education, green investment planning, wildlife biology and many other fields. The Environmental Studies Program offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Environmental Studies (ENVS) or Environmental Science (ESCI). Some of the courses offered include Avian Conservation, Wetland Ecology and Management, Political Ecology and Environmental Leadership.

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3. College of the Atlantic:

This college is the most unique: students design their own majors. There’s no defined list of majors or even departments. COA takes a holistic approach to learning, requiring every student to engineer his or her own education.  So they smartly call the academic program ‘Human Ecology’ and ask students (yes, us!) to learn creativity, critical thinking, community engagement, communication, integrative thinking and interdisciplinary. Environmental sciences is one of COA’s ‘Resource Areas’, with Field Ecology & Conservation Biology, Ecological Policy and Planning and Marine Studies among its six loosely defined ‘focus areas’. The College is located, adjacent to the Gulf of Maine and Acadia National Park. Could there be a better place to start fieldwork?

Where do I start:

4. Warren Wilson College:

It offers an Environmental Studies program that gives students a balance of theory, first-hand knowledge and field experience with six concentrations available: Conservation Biology, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Education, Sustainable Forestry, Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Policy. This college puts an emphasis on learning outside the box, with opportunities to get hands-on experience on its 300-acre working farm and 600-acre forest, which operate as research laboratories for sustainable practices. This is to place to go for those who want to become responsible caretakers of the earth.

Where do I start:

5. Northland College:

Situated in Wisconsin offers three environment-related majors: Environmental Sciences, Natural Resources and Nature and Culture. Focus areas include environmental geosciences, biology, ecological restoration and environmental humanities. Northland is all about: liberal arts with an emphasis on the environment. For example, you might take an art class that uses entirely environmentally friendly materials. To add to this, it is located in the lush environment of the Lake Superior watershed, students are inspired to learn more about the environment and how they can help preserve it.

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6. The Australian National University - Canberra, Australia

Located in Canberra, the ANU offers the opportunity for students to experience life and study in the city where Australia’s national environmental policies are made. Environmental Studies at the ANU has a multidisciplinary focus and includes some of the world’s leading researchers in environmental studies including Climate Change. Many courses have fieldwork components around Australia and overseas (e.g., Thailand and Vietnam) Class sizes are small enough for students to get to know their lecturers. Plus you get an internship combination. 

Where do I start:

7. AUT University - Auckland, New Zealand:

Students at AUT are exposed to leading researchers in diverse research disciplines, in marine (intertidal to the deep sea), freshwater and terrestrial ecology, with research undertaken in aspects of aquaculture (shellfish, squid, algae, fish), conservation (cetacean biology, deep-sea biology), resource management, planning, and marine-invertebrate systematics (squid, sponges). Large emphasis in practical skills and experience Work placement in industry Small class sizes, allowing students to build relationships both with other students and teaching staff (did that come out wrong or is it just me?) 

Where do I start:

8. School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University:

How can Yale, not come in a top ten list? The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies offers masters degrees in environmental management, forestry, forest science, and environmental management--plus mid-career one- and five-year masters programs, and joint degrees with programs that include architecture, law, international relations, and divinity. Doctoral students focus their efforts on research; current options include biodiversity conservation, hydrology, pollution management, tropical ecology, and water resource management--plus many others.

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9. Green Mountain College:

All students at Green Mountain College base their education around the Environmental Liberal Arts program, which includes classes on our understanding of nature, the ethics of environmental policies, and an intensive writing seminar. The campus's Farm & Food Project lets students participate in the growing process, from gardening organically to driving oxen, putting them in touch with what the farm manager calls, "the food revolution that is transforming farming."

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10. SUNY-ESF Syracuse, New York:

The last one on our list is one of the favorites opted by students. The college handles more than 25,000 acres of land in Central New York and the Adirondack Park, where nearly 2,500 students in the graduate and undergraduate program choose majors as specific as aquatic and fisheries science, construction management, forest ecosystem science, paper engineering, and bioprocess engineering. 

Where do I start:

The earth needs us, just as much as we need the earth. The world is ending faster than we think. So go ahead, save our planet! 


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