/ Sustainability


Hope College is committed from both the college’s mission statement and the vocation of Creation Care to ensure that sustainability courses are offered to as many students as possible across different academic disciplines.

Hope gives you the tools and skills to analyze resource problems on global, national, regional, local and personal levels. We offer courses, programs, internships and project activities that promote awareness about sustainable development and how sustainability best practices can be applied.


Each year, more and more sustainability-related courses are offered at Hope. These courses typically fall under first-year seminars, general education math and science, environmental studies and environmental science.

Hope also offers a unique opportunity for students to study for their fall semester in the Oregon Cascades. Learn more about the Oregon Extension Program.

You can also take additional courses during a study-abroad program in locations like Costa Rica, Australia, Germany, Ireland and others. Visit the Fried Center for Global Engagement to learn more.


Minors for both environmental science and environmental studies can complement any major at Hope.

A minor in the American ethnic studies (AES) program is designed to develop citizens, participants and activists who strive daily to build community, both locally and nationally, in the pursuit of justice and equality.

The peace and justice minor takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding peace theory, application and strategy.

Women’s and gender studies minor provides a critical, interdisciplinary and cross-cultural understanding of women, gender and power in a global context.


The environmental science program focuses on scientific approaches to solving environmental problems. Students can select a concentration in biology, chemistry or geology.

The field of biology represents a number of different approaches to the study of life, from the molecular to organismal to ecological levels.

The geological sciences play a key role in addressing environmental problems, recognizing and mitigating natural hazards, and procuring natural resources.

The professional practice of engineering requires an understanding of analytical methods, design techniques, social and economic influences and an appreciation for cultural and humanistic traditions. Option for an environmental engineering emphasis.

With several majors and minors, the chemistry department allows you to tailor your studies to your specific career goals — whether you hope to pursue dentistry, chemical engineering or environmental science.

Global Health is an interdivisional program composed of credits from several different departments. A major consists of 42–44 credits, including 30–32 credits of required coursework and 12 credits in one of four concentration areas. A minor in consists of 28 credits of required coursework. Concentrations include the environment, healthy communities, and policy and ethics.

Women’s and gender studies major provides a critical, interdisciplinary and cross-cultural understanding of women, gender and power in a global context.

A major in religion with a focus on ethics, culture and social witness covers topics such as: How do religion and culture influence each other? How can Christians engage in moral reflection? What does it mean to care for the earth, to seek justice, and to do the things that make for peace, to bind up the wounds of people who are afflicted?

We also offer enough sustainability-related courses that you can create a customized composite major in Environmental Studies. Contact the Registrar's Office for more information.

All of our majors and programs can be viewed here.

Summer Terms

Many May, June and July terms are related to sustainability. Check out the Vienna Summer School, the ecological theology and ethics course, and others in fields such as biology and the humanities. Enrolling in one of the special summer terms allows you to travel and pursue a stronger focus on a particular area of interest.


Internships are available throughout the school year and summer. Contact members of the Green Team, Hope College Sustainability Institute or Boerigter Center for Calling and Career for more information. Off-campus internships are available through the Washington D.C. Honors Semester or The Philadelphia Center.


Students may participate in sustainability-related research that bolsters the resilience of the college, the local community and the world. Research is completed through the Green Team, Hope College Sustainability Institute or with a faculty advisor. Hope’s Annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity is a culminating event for many students to showcase their work to students, faculty, family and community members. The Sustainability Institute recognized over 60 projects at the 2021 Celebration as research that focused on economic, social or environmental questions.

The Global Water Research Institute enables water-centered research that can transform the health and well-being of local, regional and global communities. Our interdisciplinary, collaborative student and faculty research provides improved understanding of water and equips communities to make data-driven decisions about their water use.

Day1 Research Communities allow students to gain new skills, work with professors and upperclass students, and tackle environmental issues in the Great Lakes region starting on day one of your college experience!

Summer Research — Every year hundreds of students join mentors in disciplines across campus to delve into research through the Summer Hope Academic Research Program (SHARP). Through SHARP, students conduct research with faculty mentors each summer. Students learn cutting edge research techniques, conduct literature reviews, attend seminars and analyze data.

The Office of Natural and Applied Sciences is housed in the A. Paul Schaap Science Center, and is one of the nation’s premier undergraduate science education facilities. We use modern equipment and several spaces (on and off campus) to support innovative research, community outreach and coursework.


Past and continuing projects have included: