The Environmental Studies Program at Randolph College embodies the conviction that to pursue life work in the realm of the environment, a student must grasp the complex interactions that characterize today’s most pressing environmental problems. Since these problems lie at the nexus of natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, environmental studies provides a rigorous, interdisciplinary course of study, enriched with research experiences and practical opportunities. Both a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a B.S. in Environmental Science are offered. Both degrees provide a strong foundation upon which to build environmental expertise and are designed to incorporate study abroad, internships, and research. Many academic opportunities are available for environmental majors, such as the Marine Biological Laboratory in Environmental Science at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Washington Semester Programs, summer and semester fieldwork through the international School for Field Studies, and many study abroad options.
The B.A. degree is a flexible, interdisciplinary program focusing on the relationships between human society and the environment. The B.A. provides a solid grounding in the natural sciences as well as economics, political science, and humanities. Students pursuing the B.A. complete an environmental internship during a semester or over a summer as part of their senior capstone experience. The B.S. degree is a strong, science-oriented program focusing on the biogeochemical dynamics of the earth system, methods of environmental analysis, and the impacts of human activity on the environment. The major has depth and breadth in mathematics and the natural sciences as well as advanced courses in environmental science. Students conduct senior research with a faculty member as part of their capstone experience. Both the B.A. and B.S. are rigorous and challenging, and give students the knowledge base and the practical tools and skills needed for graduate or professional school, private consulting, public advocacy or administration, and careers with government agencies and laboratories as well as non-governmental organizations. The concentration in environmental studies is appropriate for students in any major program who wish to add an environmental perspective to their chosen field. Students majoring in environmental studies or environmental science are encouraged to pursue a concentration in a relevant discipline, such as biology, business administration, chemistry, communications, creative writing, economics, global studies, mathematics, or political science.