Environmental Studies Major

Environmental Studies students on a boat.

U.S. News and World Report named Environmental Studies as one of the top nine "college majors with a future," and Environmental Studies majors at Randolph-Macon College go beyond the classroom, working in project teams to solve real problems. It's a hands-on approach that fosters creative and critical thinking skills vital for addressing the complex issues of the 21st century.

More Than a Major

Complex challenges demand unique perspectives. Every Environmental Studies major develops an additional area of expertise through a minimum of 15 credit-hours' study in a different discipline, and double majors are encouraged.

Real-World Partnerships

Student teams work with real clients, partners, and stakeholders. Recent projects have included restoring a stream for the Town of Ashland and partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the James River Association to develop a restoration and conservation program for the James River's endangered Atlantic sturgeon population.

Extra Options

Environmental Studies majors choose internships with organizations such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Southern Environment Law Center, and private consulting firms. Other options include research projects and study abroad.

Graduate Studies

Graduates of R-MC's Environmental Studies program are now pursuing advanced degrees at schools including Johns Hopkins, Duke and Virginia Tech. Adam Rountrey '03 received a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and now is the Research Museum Vertebrate Collection manager for the university's Museum of Paleontology. During his graduate studies, he was part of the team studying the perfectly preserved, 40,000-year-old remains of a woolly mammoth discovered in Siberia in 2007 and featured in the National Geographic film Waking the Baby Mammoth.


Graduates apply their interdisciplinary expertise to careers in diverse fields such as public policy, consulting, government and conservation.