• <a href="/live/image/gid/5/width/650/86521_ENVS_main_image.jpg" class="lw_preview_image lw_disable_preview" tabindex="-1"><picture class="lw_image lw_image86521"><source media="(max-width: 500px)" type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/5/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/5/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(max-width: 500px)" type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/5/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/5/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.jpg 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(min-width: 501px)" type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/5/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/5/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(min-width: 501px)" type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/5/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/5/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.jpg 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/5/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.jpg" alt="Associate Professor of Geological Science Elizabeth Safran leading a field trip in the Gorge. " srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/5/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/5/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2504" data-max-h="2400" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a> <div class="hero-split_image_caption collapsable-caption">Associate Professor of Geological Science Elizabeth Safran leading a field trip in the Gorge. </div>

Why Choose a Degree in Environmental Studies?

Our unique program will challenge you to transcend intellectual, geographic, and communication boundaries as you weave insights drawn from across the sciences and humanities; apply them in local, regional, and global contexts; and learn strategies to connect with the people and institutions you encounter. You will draw a larger—potentially more hopeful—circle around environmental issues. You will graduate with a background in environmental science situated in a broader understanding of cultural, political, and other key dimensions, plus skills and experience you can apply to professional opportunities, graduate study, and effective environmental action.

What You’ll Study

We offer a major and minor. The heart of our interdisciplinary curriculum includes core courses in environmental studies, which help build an intellectually coherent understanding of environmental problems and solutions; breadth courses in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, which provide important discipline-specific tools for environmental analysis; elective courses, which offer opportunities to explore key topics; and a quantitative requirement, which builds skills in data analysis and modeling. In addition, many of our students earn course credit toward their environmental studies degree while on an overseas program. Popular programs for our students are Australia, East Africa, Ecuador, India, Japan, and Senegal.

Outside the classroom, the annual Environment Across Boundaries (ENVX) Symposium is organized by a committee of students with support from faculty and staff. This multiday, interdisciplinary event encourages students to expand their search for new scholarly concepts and skills, transcend geographic boundaries as they explore environmental issues around the world, and engage with people on all sides of these issues, ideally working toward mutual respect and collaborative solutions. The symposium offers the Lewis & Clark community and general public an opportunity to experience this broader approach to studying the environment. Our students also regularly engage in constructive environmental dialogue with people from diverse backgrounds in Portland and across the Pacific Northwest, and develop their own engagement projects to reach out to people connected to environmental issues. Graduating seniors have the opportunity to travel to and present their capstone work at the annual Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) national conference. Additionally, many of our students become trip leaders for College Outdoors, taking their peers to spectacularly beautiful sites in the Pacific Northwest. This opportunity provides them with leadership opportunities and professional training for careers in outdoor education.

Curriculum

Complement Your Education With One of These Minors

The most popular minors for our environmental studies majors are data science, Earth system science, and political economy.


What Students Are Saying About Lewis & Clark

  • Izz posing outside wearing a brown vest over a button-up shirt.

    Environmental studies allows you to explore so many different directions and avenues. I enjoy feeling like I could study a wide variety of topics, all which allow me to follow my passion about combating environmental degradation.

    Izz Lamola BA ’25
    Environmental Studies | Rhetoric and Media Studies | Seattle, Washington
    More about Izz
  • Annabelle Rousseau BA '23

    My favorite and most challenging class has been Emerging Topics in Environmental Law with Adjunct Professor Karen Russell. We dove into the history of environmental law in the U.S., and the landmark cases and pieces of legislation that inform the environmental field today.

    Annabelle Rousseau BA ’23
    Environmental Studies | English | Modesto, California
    More about Annabelle
  •    Francisco Perozo BA '23

    As part of the planning committee for the ENVX Symposium, I have the opportunity to meet with passionate, inspiring, and driven peers who are engaged in the environmental movement.

    Francisco Perozo BA ’23
    Environmental Studies | Art and Art History | Caracas, Venezuela
    More about Francisco

What Can You Do With a Degree in Environmental Studies?

Our alumni use their BA in environmental studies in a variety of careers in nonprofit organizations, in academia, and at companies and agencies. Many go on to pursue advanced degrees in environmental history, landscape architecture, nuclear engineering, and other fields.

Dedicated Faculty

Our expert professors are your expert mentors. You will learn directly from faculty (no graduate assistants here!) that are nationally recognized in their fields of study and who love to work with and learn from their students. Your professors will inspire you to be a thoughtful and passionate participant in a diverse world. Your small classes will support you as you explore new ideas, find your voice, and speak your truth.

Meet the Professors

  • Equity 

    We are the only liberal arts school in Oregon on Colleges of Distinction’s “Best Equity and Inclusion” list for 2023–24.

  • 19 

    Average class size for undergraduate students

  • 96% 

    Within six months of graduation, 96% of the Lewis & Clark Classes of 2018–2022 were already changing the world through employment (76%), continuing studies (19%), and service work (1%), like the Peace Corps.

  • 125 

    of our undergraduate students are Third Culture Kids.

  • 54 

    nationalities represented in our undergraduate student body

Invest in Yourself

A private liberal arts education is often more affordable than you think. Last year, Lewis & Clark distributed over $74 million in assistance from institutional, federal, state, and private sources. Additionally, we’re so confident that our first-year students will graduate in four years with their bachelor of arts degree that if you don’t, we’ll cover the extra semester of tuition.

Find Your People

Students can join a variety of student-run organizations that relate to their environmental studies degree, like the ENVX: Environment Across Boundaries symposium and Students Engaged in Eco-Defense (SEED). Don’t see what you’re looking for on the club list? Start something new and build your own community of peers!


Where Lewis & Clark Will Take You

  • Karl smiling outside, wearing glasses, a plaid button-down shirt, and a blue jacket.

    Thanks to the Rogers Summer Science Research program, the opportunity to gain practical experience in outreach and work with off-campus organizations will be crucial to my future work in environmental-adjacent fields.

    Karl Peterson BA ’23
    Environmental Studies | Earth System Science | Boulder, Colorado
    More about Karl
  • Mia Babasyan BA '22

    I have been working remotely as a project manager for a boutique film company; allowing me to gain new experiences while being able to travel occasionally to visit family and friends.

    Mia Babasyan BA ’22
    Environmental Studies | Entrepreneurial Leadership
    More about Mia
  • Chrislyn DeMattos BA '19

    Lewis & Clark gave me all the necessary tools to successfully complete graduate school and thrive in my current position.

    Chrislyn DeMattos BA ’19
    Environmental Studies
    More about Chrislyn

Environmental Studies Events

September 30

ENVX Symposium

until October 4
October 1

ENVX Symposium

until October 4
October 2

ENVX Symposium

until October 4
October 3

ENVX Symposium

until October 4
October 4

ENVX Symposium

until 12:00am on October 4

More News and Events →