Sustainability and Environmental Studies
Sustainability happens when people work with three common goals: equity, economics, and ecology (some people say "people, profit, and planet"). We help students re-frame other coursework to see how to keep a whole, larger picture in mind.
An independent major, Sustainability and Environmental Studies (SENS) incorporates experiential learning in a variety of fields, working in close collaboration with other hands-on departments, including Agriculture and Natural Resources, Engineering Technologies and Applied Design, Economics and Business, Entrepreneurship for the Public Good and Computer Science. Coursework might include ecological design, economics with a focus on the environment, and working to make business and agricultural models more sustainable. In addition, SENS offers courses cross-listed with Appalachian Studies, Biology, Chemistry, African and African American Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Peace and Social Justice.
Opportunities & Internships
Students have interned in agricultural settings, local governments, public health and conservation. Though there is opportunity to study abroad just about anywhere, many of our students go to Greece, Honduras or Costa Rica.
While on campus, Sustainability and Environmental Studies students can work for Facilities Management, the Berea College Farm, the Ecovillage or the Office of Sustainability, among others. Four SENS majors live in the Margaret S. Austin SENS House, an ecologically designed residential, demonstration and teaching facility in the Ecovillage. The SENS House is largely self-reliant for energy, water and waste treatment. The student SENS House directors live in the house while developing and implementing educational programs in sustainable living and ecological design.
Careers & Outcomes
Environmental education jobs are plentiful for new graduates, and many students take paid internships with the Student Conservation Association for the first couple years after graduation. There is a wide array of graduate paths that can be taken, including public health, city and regional planning, and agriculture.
Berea College | Draper Building | CPO 2025 | Berea, KY 40404 | 859-985-3362