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Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies: Major, Minor

Environmental Studies explores contemporary and past environmental issues, including a hands-on examination of their causes, mechanisms and effects. The program investigates local, national and global issues through a multi-disciplinary study of culture, art, economics, history, biology, and the physical sciences.

Courses across 11 departments allow students to discover the links between the scientific, social and cultural elements that contribute to national and global environmental issues. With the help of faculty perspectives and expertise, students come to areas of focus including the natural and human causes and effects of climate change, the influence of urbanization on the environment, the role of policy and economics in solving environmental problems, and the ethical and social justice issues related to the environment. Working directly with faculty and community partners, students go beyond the classroom to address current issues facing the local Worcester community such as sustaining a healthy urban ecosystem and preserving the local watershed. 

Environmental Studies Statement on Environmental Racism and Justice

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Program Highlights

  • An integrative understanding of the cultural, economic, political, social, and scientific elements of environmental issues
  • Ethical and social justice issues relating to the environment
  • Role of economic and social policy to address our environmental crisis
  • Natural and human causes and effects of climate change
  • Influence of urbanization on the environment 
students pointing at a computer monitor
Conduct research and fieldwork with program faculty whose work spans numerous disciplines.
Take part in a semester or year abroad experience focused on the environment — on land or at sea.
Numerous hands-on learning opportunities are available at area environmental non-profit agencies.

Environmental Studies News

Video: Take a Look Inside the New Joyce Contemplative Center

Jun 28, 2017

One of the distinguishing features of the Holy Cross experience got grander this past academic year. The College’s well-established retreat programs now have a new home in the Thomas P. Joyce ’59 Contemplative Center in West Boylston, Mass. Since the …