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About the Program

The environmental studies (ENST) major is designed around the guiding principle that, at a liberal arts college, the study of the environment should involve all areas of the curriculum. At the same time, we believe that such a major develops best from a deep knowledge of individual disciplines.

ENST majors have their disciplinary homes all over the campus as any Vassar department, from Biology to Art, may provide a concentration. Knowledge of the natural sciences and their methods is an important part of any study of the environment, and therefore all ENST majors reach at least the intermediate level in biology, chemistry, or earth science. This perspective is then complemented by a disciplinary focus in either the arts and humanities or the social sciences. When ENST students come together in the program's own multidisciplinary courses, they share their diverse disciplinary perspectives and, at the same time, learn how their different forms of knowledge gather around the field of environmental studies.

ENST majors also engage in a substantial amount of field experience, which links their course work to specific problems in the world beyond the Vassar campus.

Graduates from the ENST program go on to pursue graduate education in areas such as urban ecology, environmental policy, public health, environmental law, environmental management, and environmental science. Others go on to a wide variety of careers in which a multidisciplinary perspective is valuable, including environmental education, environmental consulting, sustainable agriculture, green architecture, marine conservation, and environmental journalism.

Environmental Research Institute

The Environmental Research Institute (ERI) is a research and public outreach wing of Vassar’s Environmental Studies Program. Its mission is to provide opportunities for faculty and students to conduct research on Earth’s environmental systems, to promote field work, and to foster engagement with the local community.