At Goshen College, all students who are interested in sustainability can gain hands-on experiences regardless of their major. In addition to majors in environmental & marine science, sustainability management, sustainability studies and sustainable food systems, Goshen College offers a Sustainability Leadership Semester and Agroecology Summer Intensive open to all students. We also offer a master’s degree in environmental education.
Environmental & Marine Science Major
As an environmental & marine science major, you can choose to concentrate in ecology or earth & climate science. You’ll take classes on our main campus as well as Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, a 1,189-acre nature preserve and field laboratory 30 miles from campus.
Sustainability Management Major & Minor
Recognizing that the need to understand and respond to sustainability issues in business will drive the success and long-term financial health of organizations in the 21st century, the business department launched the unique new sustainability management major and minor, which places equal emphasis on the planet, people and profit, a concept referred to as the triple bottom line.
Sustainability Studies Major
The sustainability studies major takes a broader approach and builds upon the distinctive environmental and sustainability education students receive at Goshen College. You will gain hands-on experience in building collaborations between a variety of community partners and organizations.
Sustainable Food Systems Major
The sustainable food systems major will prepare you to understand and engage with the entire food system, from production, processing, distribution and preparation, engaging questions of justice and social interconnections. You will study at the innovative and award-winning Merry Lea Sustainable Farm and throughout the growing local food system in Elkhart County.
Sustainability Leadership Semester
The Sustainability Leadership Semester (SLS) is an interdisciplinary fall semester program open to all students regardless of major. Investigate local wetlands and prairies and live with other students in sustainable LEED platinum-certified “green” buildings at Merry Lea’s Rieth Village.
Agroecology Summer Intensive
The Agroecology Summer Intensive (ASI) is a 9-week residential program based at Merry Lea and open to students of all majors. Earn 12 credits while gaining an integrative, hands-on approach to growing food at our Merry Lea Sustainable Farm.
The Master of Arts in Environmental Education program is based at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center. This 12-month program immerses students in natural history, conducting ecological field research and engaging in environmental education programs for grades K-12.
The degree includes core courses, a project, a portfolio and an extensive practicum. Students integrate ecological learning with developing skills in pedagogy, land management and administration. For more information, see the Merry Lea graduate program website.
Many Goshen College academic departments incorporate ecological stewardship concerns into their curriculum. A sampling of courses and programs:
- BIOL 340 Field Experience in Environmental Biology – Taken by all elementary education majors. Participants develop and conduct interpretive programs in nature study for visiting school groups.
- HIST 345 Environmental History – Explores conditions which have led to preservation or destruction of the environment, particularly in the non-Western world.
- PJCS 320 Borderlands – Examines U.S./Mexico border dynamics as they influence politics, economics, migration, the environment and more.
- PHED 255 Camping and Recreation – Hands-on experience in a wilderness setting. Emphasizes low-impact camping and learning from nature.
- English professors sometimes choose environmental themes for literature or writing courses.
- A required public health course in the nursing department includes environmental health issues.
- All Study-Service Term sites include field trips focused on ecological stewardship concerns.