Environmental Studies

Why environmental studies?

Environmental studies equips students with practical skills that help them to make positive, enduring changes for a more sustainable, resilient world.

  • One of the fastest growing majors at Augustana, environmental studies is relevant and impactful for nearly every career path.
  • At Augustana, environmental studies students personify the core value of community. Students have previously had the opportunity to help clean up the water in the Big Sioux River, experience urban beekeeping, learn sustainable agriculture and practice prairie restoration.
  • Every environmental studies major will complete a capstone project of lasting benefit to Sioux Falls and its surrounding communities.


students in Alaska

Environmental Studies at AU

Course Descriptions

Major Map




Latest News

Julia Radtke ‘24, who graduated from Augustana University in May, has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Award from the U.S. Department of State and Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to conduct research in Norway for the 2024-25 academic year.


Augustana's outdoor classroom


Graduates secure careers as environmental engineers, policy analysts, hazardous substance specialists, sustainability and conservation officers and nature writers.

Hands-On Learning  

Environmental studies takes students out of the classroom and into the community.

Internship opportunities include:

  • Agriculture and wildlife management
  • Clean water and ocean studies
  • Environmental engineering
  • Architecture and design
  • Nonprofit environmental advocacy and international development
  • Public works and government sustainability, planning and education

Environmental studies students study away in:

  • Central America or the Galapagos Islands — focusing on field ecology
  • Alaska — focusing on nature writing with AU faculty
  • Iceland — focusing on environmental photography with AU faculty
  • Spain and Morocco — focusing on religion, culture and environment with AU faculty

Courses & Organizations

Students study society, history, and culture, as well as law, ethics, justice and policy. They also learn about ecology and the mapping of data.
As an environmental studies major, students participate in elective courses offered all over campus and the country. Some of the most popular courses include:

  • Nature Writing in backcountry Alaska 
  • Environmental Policy in Washington, D.C.
  • Environmental Photography
  • Religion and Environment

Students choose any department of study, with the most popular choices being philosophy, chemistry, religion and interdisciplinary tracks.

Environmental studies students often participate in:

  • Augie Green
  • Campus Garden
  • Biology Club
  • Sustainability Committee
  • Bike Club
  • Government Club
  • Sustainability Club