The major in Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary program. Students customize their majors by selecting courses in art, anthropology, biology, chemistry, economics, history, mathematics, philosophy, politics and government, sociology and environmental economics. Students also are required to take advanced courses in disciplines such as the natural sciences and mathematics, social science, art and humanities.

Environmental Studies majors do a senior project and either off-campus field work or an internship. The core provides the necessary scientific and economic background for environmental decision-making. The additional courses provide exposure to methodologies and a knowledge base important to environmental studies.

Latest News

Adam Wronski '20

Adam Wronski ’20 publishes first research paper as a Ph.D. student

A paper co-written by Adam Wronski ’20 is published in the March 2023 issue of Environmental Pollution, an international peer-reviewed journal, and is available on […]

Sarah Frohardt-Lane

Sarah Frohardt-Lane activities support environmental studies

A podcost that came out Oct. 20 on includes Sarah Frohardt-Lane. In “One Year: 1942,” she talks about rubber rationing during World War II, […]

Steve Galster

‘Preventing the Next Pandemic’ to be discussed at Ripon College Wednesday

The talk “Preventing the Next Pandemic” will be presented Wednesday, Sept. 8, at Ripon College. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Kresge Little […]


Colleen Byron

Byron, Colleen

Professor of Chemistry, L. Leone Oyster 1919 Chair in Chemistry

Sarah Frohardt-Lane

Frohardt-Lane, Sarah

Associate Professor of History, Chair of History Department, Director of Environmental Studies

ben grady

Grady, Benjamin R.

Assistant Professor of Biology

Soren Hauge

Hauge, Soren

Patricia Parker Francis Professor of Economics, Chair of Economics and Business Management Department

Paul Jeffries

Jeffries, Paul

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Chair of Philosophy Department

Memuna Khan

Khan, Memuna

Professor of Biology, Chair of Biology Department


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. We also work collaboratively with Ripon College Career and Professional Development to help match your interests and skills to concrete goals and construct a plan for professional success offering personalized career counseling, off-campus learning opportunities and an online job board with potential to connect with local, national and international employers. Our collaboration with Student Support Services provides tutoring and additional academic and skill development, as well as tools to help with note-taking, exam preparation, goal-setting and time management. Likewise, Mentors in the Franzen Center provide in-depth, one-on-one or group mentoring for students about class projects and college-level writing, and can share problem-solving strategies to overcome academic obstacles.

Advising at Ripon


There are three components to the ENV major. I. All students must take a series of core courses: ENV 120, 243, 247, 332, 500; CHM 100, 111 or 112; MTH 120 (or PSC 211). II. Students must complete 10 elective credits or three courses from the following categories: (1) Natural science and mathematics — BIO 337, 450; CHM 211; selected course in mathematics (with permission of the director); (2) Social sciences — ECO 361 or 461; ANT 222; SOC 116; (3) Arts and humanities — ART 190; CMM 236; HIS 248, 285, 385; PHL 353. (Students must take at least one course from two of the three categories listed above. Note that the lists presented above are not exhaustive: departmental studies or special topics courses that have a significant environmental component also may be counted in any of these areas.) III. Students must complete an in-depth program of study, either through Individualized Learning Experiences (ILE), a substantial Off-Campus Experience (OCE) or an InFocus course that has a substantial environmental component. Students wishing to pursue graduate work in environmental studies are encouraged to take additional courses in an area of specialty (e.g., anthropology, biology, chemistry, economics, politics and government, and/or sociology).

Career Tracks

Environmental studies can lead to careers in research, conservation, sustainability, education, biology, government, business, law, medicine, social services, and as park rangers and naturalists.

Ripon graduates include the CEO of an environmental consulting firm, an industrial hygiene manager, an environmental lawyer, a professional with the Environmental Protection Agency, and several who are making their careers in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Unique Opportunities

  • Through the Department of Educational Studies, certification in environmental science is available in early adolescence/adolescence (grades 6-12).
  • The Oak Ridge Science Semester enables students to join ongoing investigations at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee in research areas as diverse as astrophysics, cell biology, DNA sequencing, genetic mutagenesis, parallel computing, robotics, toxicology and more.