Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program

The ESS program provides students with an interdisciplinary curriculum that equips them to understand the environmental, intellectual and social challenges of sustainability and trains them to think deeply about these problems from a variety of liberal arts perspectives, including natural and social sciences, humanities, and fine arts. The program encourages students to gain experiential learning through internships and engagement in sustainability efforts on campus.


Agnes Scott College is a charter signatory of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment and has a director of sustainability.

Through environmental and sustainability studies, an interdisciplinary minor, you will think deeply about the challenges and solutions to the problems of the environment and appreciate that living honorably includes protecting our environment and resources. 

The core of this program will introduce you to the social and scientific aspects of these fields. Electives permit you to design your approach to the challenges with input from other social, scientific and humanistic disciplines. 

What will I study?
In addition to the introductory course in environmental studies and a natural science course and a social science course, you will focus on areas of your interest in approaching the study of the environment and sustainability. 

After completing most of your coursework, you will participate in an internship, which ideally will synthesize at least two different areas of study. Possible internships include on-campus environmental/sustainability efforts and local environmental organizations such as Southface (an Atlanta organization promoting sustainable homes, workplaces and communities), the National Wildlife Federation or the Georgia Conservancy. ESS minors can also consider a summer internship elsewhere in the U.S. or abroad. If you are planning a minor in this program, consult early in your college career with one of the advisers to plan your course of study. 

Learn How to Make Intelligent Choices
The Environmental and Sustainability Studies program provides an academic approach to preservation of natural resources by humans in rethinking actions that impact the environment. By working with faculty and internship sponsors, you can understand how to make intelligent choices about preserving the world and its limited resources. 

Get Involved On Campus 
You will have the chance to be extensively involved with the college’s sustainability efforts and can provide leadership to campus sustainability and environmental groups. 

What can I do with this degree?
The environmental and sustainability studies minor can enlighten you to ways you can combine your concern and commitment to preserving the environment with other academic majors. With a minor, you can: 

  • Teach at primary and secondary levels
  • Work for an environmental or sustainable resources firm or nonprofit organization
  • Attend graduate school in one of many areas related to your academic major with a focus on the environment
  • Attend graduate school in environmental or sustainability studies
  • Pursue law school with an emphasis on the environment or sustainability
  • Work in the public sector