Environmental Science at Messiah College
If you care about the responsible stewardship of creation, this hands-on major gives you the chance to experience environmental science with other Christians.
With a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in environmental science from Messiah College, a top private Christian college in the U.S., you’ll have the unique opportunity to practice science with other Christians who also care about being responsible stewards of creation.
Environmental science major distinctives
As an Environmental Science major at Messiah College, you’ll be able to:
- Conduct extensive field studies on our beautiful 471-acre campus with expansive woodlands, wetlands, and fields. Off-campus sites include the nearby Appalachian Trail corridor, and the Susquehanna River and its tributaries.
- Participate in forest and wetland restoration projects on campus.
- Gain hands on field experiences in ecological field techniques.
- Take courses in entomology, herpetology, ornithology, aquatic biology, mycology and plant taxonomy.
- Participate in research projects and present your findings at the annual Spring Research Symposium and the Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences.
- Choose to pursue a graduate degree in wildlife ecology, forestry, plant ecology, herpetology, ornithology, insect ecology, and sustainable development.
- Land internships in places like the Nature Conservancy, Education Concerns for Hunger (ECHO), Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Protection, the Fish and Boat Commission, and the PA Association of Environmental Professionals which has a student chapter on campus.
- Dig into on-campus “green” initiatives such as the Grantham Community Garden, Earthkeepers, the Messiah College Sustainability Committee, and others.
Career options for environmental science majors
As a graduate of the environmental science program, students are equipped to secure positions in areas such as:
- Stream and landscape restoration
- Wetland delineation
- Wildlife management
- Parks and recreation management
- Sustainable agriculture
- Agricultural missions work
Internship and research opportunities for environmental science majors
Messiah’s nationally recognized internship program places students in a variety of environmental science internships. A few examples include:
- The Nature Conservancy
- PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
- PA Department of Environmental Protection
- Fish and Boat Commission
- National Park Service
- Audobon Society
Learn more about the Department of Biological Sciences
The Department of Biological Sciences is housed in the School of Science, Engineering and Health. Learn more about the Department of Biological Sciences by visiting our website, or check out some of the distinctives below.
- One hundred percent of faculty hold terminal degrees in their field.
- Faculty have published in peer-reviewed journals including American Scientist, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Science and Christian Belief, Journal of Virology, Journal of Immunology, Northeastern Naturalist, Zygon, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Clinical and Experimental Metastasis, Biotechniques, American Journal of Pathology, Clinical Cancer Research and Journal of Herpetology.
- Recent graduates have been admitted to top graduate programs, such as University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, Loma Linda University, Case Western Reserve, Penn State University and Drexel University College of Medicine.
- High graduate school acceptance rate
- Opportunity to get involved with Sigma Zeta, Grantham Community Garden, Earth Keepers, Medical Awareness Society, Biology Club
- On-campus green house, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines, phase contrast and fluorescence microscopes with digital photography, scanning electron microscopes, environmental growth chamber, forward-looking infrared (FLIR) system, plant and animal tissue culture hoods and incubators.
- More than 100 acres of natural habitat on campus including 70 acres of forest and the Yellow Breeches Creek.
- Students can travel to international settings to study biology or health care-related courses taught by Messiah faculty.
The environmental science curriculum is interdisciplinary, drawing heavily from biology and chemistry. You’ll take courses in entomology (the study of insects), herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians), ornithology (the study of birds), aquatic biology (the study of organisms in the ocean or other bodies of water), mycology (the study of fungi) and plant taxonomy.
Research and hands-on learning
As you prepare for your future career, you will also have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of opportunities such as field research, on-site restorations, clubs and internships at well-known places like The Nature Conservancy, PA Department of Environmental Protection, Fish and Boat Commission and more. Students are also encouraged to study at AuSable Institute of Environmental Studies, and participate in a semester abroad at the GoED Mekong program in Thailand and the Creation Care Study Program in Belize or New Zealand.
During your time at Messiah, you not only learn science--you will also “do” science. You won’t just study the theory of science but also practice its application. And by combining this strong foundation of scientific knowledge and methods with a Christian perspective about God’s creation and your place in it, our innovative, hands-on curriculum, field work, internships, restoration projects, research, study abroad and more will prepare you to make a real and lasting difference in the world.
As a graduate of the environmental science program, you will be prepared to enter the environmental job market or graduate programs in such fields as ecology, conservation biology, forestry, parks and recreation management, environmental science, environmental law, wetland delineation, environmental public policy, regional planning, landscape architecture and restoration, sustainable agriculture, conservation biology, the marine sciences and more.