Drew University offers nationally recognized, cross-disciplinary programs of study in the environmental sciences and in environmental studies and sustainability. Our curriculum integrates the sciences with the social sciences, humanities, and the arts, and exemplifies Drew University’s academic and community identity.

Supported by a generous grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, our program offers both a BS in Environmental Science and a BA in Environmental Studies and Sustainability, which are unique in their emphasis on our local ecology, cultures, and collaborative practices. The BS in Environmental Science provides students a solid grounding in environmental science, as students take courses across science disciplines with a focus on environmental problems. The BA in Environmental Studies and Sustainability provides students with an understanding of environmental issues from a range of perspectives across disciplines.

Internships and research experiences prepare graduates for careers in environmental advocacy, education, consulting and science.

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Drew University Class of 2023 Outcomes: Rachel Papa

Drew University Class of 2023 Outcomes: Rachel Papa

Rachel Papa C'22 graduated a semester early and now works in Drew's Admissions office May 2023 – The members of the Drew University College of Liberal Arts Class of 2023 are set to graduate and start their careers and continue their educations in an array of...

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Highlights of Studying ESS at Drew:

Research With Professors
Research experience is highly recommended, for science track students in particular.  Research opportunities are available to interested ESS students, at Drew during the summer or academic year or elsewhere through, for example, the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. Many ESS students participate each summer in Drew University’s DSSI (Drew Summer Science Institute) program, collaborating with Drew professors. Recent research topics include:

  • Fish advisories and environmental justice in Alaska
  • Asthma in Newark, NJ, an environmental justice community
  • Diesel exhaust measurement and analysis in Newark NJ
  • Photochemical oxidation of asphaltenes
  • Photochemical reactions of atmospheric pollutants with humic substances
  • Photochemistry of humic acid with nitrogen dioxide
  • Chemistry of biomass combustion products adsorbed on atmospheric aerosols
  • Ozonolysis of catechol vs. methylcatechols: theory & experiment
  • Dynamics and demography of invasive Norway maple tree populations
  • Impacts of deer and invasive vines on forest structure and dynamics
  • Mammalian wildlife research: effects of deer on other animal populations
  • Interspecies communication in primates of Peru
  • Development of a bioassay for PCBs
  • GIS (computer mapping and spatial analysis) of air pollution sources in Newark, NJ [This project helped stop a planned incinerator facility in an environmental justice community already experiencing high rates of child asthma]
  • GIS  and spatial analysis of invasive marine species
  • Environmental sources and impacts of theater scene shop materials
  • Sustainability and the land in Ecuador:  reforestation, sustainable agriculture, archaeology

Students should speak with professors whose work interests them to explore research possibilities.  Prior coursework in the field of investigation is expected.

Study Abroad
Unique to Drew University are Drew International Seminars, month-long study abroad opportunities led by Drew professors who also teach pre-departure courses on each topic. Past seminars with environmental components have taken place in the Galapagos Islands, Egypt & the Red Sea, Eritrea, Ecuador and Peru.

Environmental studies students are encouraged to study abroad for a summer or semester; course credit toward environmental studies can often be arranged. The Center for Global Education at Drew can help you search for opportunities that are right for you. Past students have participated in the following programs with high relevance to environmental studies and sustainability:

  • Organization for Tropical Studies, Costa Rica and other locations
  • School for International Training, Tanzania, Botswana and other locations
  • School for Field Studies: Australia, Kenya, Costa Rica and other locations
Internships & Scholarships


Internship opportunities and scholarships (as well as course offerings, events, jobs and research projects!) are posted regularly on Drew’s ESS Program Moodle group. Contact any faculty in the ESS program to enroll as a participant in the ESS Moodle Site.  Enrolling in the site will give you notices of site updates and events by email.


Most ESS students meet their experiential requirement through academic internships, taken for credit during the summer or the academic year.  Other interested students are urged to pursue environmental internships as well. To locate opportunities, read guidelines, and arrange academic credit, contact Drew’s Internships and Career Development, which provides access for Drew students to an extensive data base of internships.


Every year, Drew offers several grants to help our students with costs of unpaid (or low-paying) summer experiences related to environmental studies or field biology. Some other summer activities such as research and summer courses abroad may also be eligible for support.  These grants are available to all students with internships in these fields, not just ESS students!

  • Drew Environmental Studies & Sustainability (ESS) Internship Awards
    Through grants to Drew from the Andrew Mellon Foundation and NASA, we offer awards of up to $3000 to support summer internships or research related to environmental sustainability. Priority is given to ESS majors or minors, but students with other majors are also eligible.
  • Helen Fenske Internship Award
    $500 to support a summer internship related to environmental policy or environmental protection.  Priority is given to students majoring or minoring in ESS, political science, or biology.
  • Woods Hole/Field Station Scholarship
    Two $700 scholarships for students taking ecological field courses or undertaking other field-oriented experiences this summer. Not available for seniors because these scholarships take the form of tuition remission the next semester. Available to students of biology, neuroscience, anthropology, and environmental studies, with the background coursework necessary for participating in the field course.