Environmental and Sustainability Studies

Environmental and Sustainability Studies 

As an environmental and sustainability studies major at WMU, you'll join students who will tackle the environmental and sustainability challenges of our day. Whatever your career path- natural resources and conservation, business leadership and innovation, policymaking, law, communication, or the arts- you'll blend rigorous academics with your own creativity and commitment to make a positive impact.                                                                                       

More specifically your time with us will entail:

  • Meaning, purpose, and passion with a practical twist: Combine interdisciplinary coursework with specialized training in a second major.
  • Learning and doing: Take courses designed for first-hand experience and real-world applications. Examples include participating in Lobby Day and organizing public events.
  • Campus (and beyond) as an outdoor classroom: Learn outside. Examples include walkabout and field trips, stream sampling Michigan waterways, going on a weekend camping trip.
  • Professional pathways: Consult with advisors and faculty on course electives and hands-on opportunities to further your career applications.
  • Twenty-first-century alignment: Develop competencies that employers demand: critical thinking, complex problem solving, creativity and imagination, and effective communication.
  • A culture of care and support: IES believes that your well-being is essential to your academic success and sense of fulfillment at WMU.


The program requires a double major – students must pair their developing understanding of the environment and environmental issues with knowledge from another discipline. Students in the major have dual majored in more than 35 other programs on campus, in almost every college. In doing so, they have forged new career paths and synergies and enriched their coursework and future careers with a focus on sustainability.

Major Program Details


The minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies is an excellent choice for students who seek insight into the nature of the environment and the complexity of environmental problems, but who choose not to major in this program.

Minor Program Details

Beyond the classroom 

  • Students are encouraged to gain valuable experience outside the classroom by taking part in cutting-edge research projects with a faculty mentor or pursuing an internship. Research programs and internships provide real-life, hands-on experience in subjects you learn about during class, and they may help identify specific career paths.
  • Student organizations such as Students for a Sustainable Earth and the BioClub, and working with WMU's Office for Sustainability also offer ample opportunities for you to get involved and gain real-world experience.

After graduation

  • Environmental analysts
  • Conservationist scientists
  • Wildlife biologists
  • Environmental and resource managers
  • Environmental lobbyists
  • Environmental lawyers
  • Environmental policy analysts
  • Sustainability coordinators
  • Architects and green developers
  • Corporate social responsibility specialists
  • Environmental consultants or advocates
  • Journalists
  • Environmental writers


Speak to the IES Director, about general program details and career information, or schedule an advising appointment for specifics about program requirements, course transfers, and scheduling.