Environmental Studies

The Honors Tutorial College program in Environmental Studies offers students a unique opportunity to explore nature-society relations in a highly interdisciplinary environment, drawing on faculty perspectives from the humanities, fine arts, social sciences, public health, physical and natural sciences, engineering, and communications.

The goal of the program is to cast light on the complex nature of the environmental problems that confront us, as well as the wide range of choices available as we plan for a more sustainable future. The tutorial program in Environmental Studies prepares talented and highly motivated students for graduate study or for an environmental career in a variety of fields and disciplines.

Program Overview

Eight tutorials are required over the course of the four-year program. Students complete a Senior Thesis under the direction of a faculty mentor and approved by the Director of Studies (DOS) and the Dean of the Honors Tutorial College. In addition, students are expected to take a minimum of six upper-division environmental courses, including one each from the program's core areas: humanities, social sciences, and natural and physical sciences. These courses are selected in accordance with an academic plan agreed upon by the student, his or her academic mentor, and the DOS. Additional courses in cognate fields are recommended.


Students enroll in one tutorial per semester, including a first-year seminar, ES 2970T Introduction to Environmental Studies, which is taken during the student's first semester in residence. During their fourth year, students use their final two tutorials to conduct original research and write a thesis.

The remaining five tutorials are electives that are selected in consultation with the student's mentor and the program DOS. To ensure that students acquire the necessary breadth of knowledge that such a major demands, no more than one tutorial elective may be taken from the same department. With respect to tutorial electives and classes, the options available to students reflect the diverse teaching and research interests of faculty from several colleges and dozens of departments across campus.


Applicants are selected by the DOS and an Environmental Studies Program Admissions Committee in consultation with the Dean of the Honors Tutorial College. In addition to a superior academic record, committee members look for students who are highly motivated and exhibit the potential to conduct independent research.

Although this is a four-year program, consideration will be given to applications of first-semester Ohio University freshman.

The deadline for applications for admission is November 15th. Interviews are in January.

Director of Studies

Portrait of Stephen Scanlan

Professor Stephen Scanlan
(740) 593-1384
Bentley Annex 125


Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2000

Scholarly Interests

  • Comparative Social Change
  • Environmental Sociology
  • International Development
  • Poverty and Global Inequality
  • Social Movements

Selected Publications

Scanlan, Stephen J. 2018. “Hunger and Food Insecurity.” Pp. 423-441 in The Cambridge Handbook of Social Problems edited by A. Javier Treviňo. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Scanlan, Stephen J. 2017. “Framing Fracking: Scale-shifting and Greenwashing Risk in the Oil and Gas Industry.” Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability. 22(11): 1311-1337.

Scanlan, Stephen J. 2015, “Gender, Development, and the Environment: Female Empowerment and the Creation of Sustainable Societies.” In Development in Crisis: Threats to Human Well-being in the Global South and Global North edited by Rae Lesser Blumberg and Samuel Cohn. New York: Routledge.

Mercer, Carly T. and Stephen J. Scanlan. 2014. “Outsourcing Pollution: Sustainability Challenges and Environmental Injustice in a Globalized China” Pp. 23-46 in Globalization, Development and Security in Asia Volume 4: Environment and Sustainable Development in Asia edited by Jie-Li Li. Singapore, World Scientific Publishing.

Wilson, William Richard, Andrew M. Szolosi, Bruce Martin, and Stephen J. Scanlan. 2014. "Identifying with the Gunks: Investigating the Effect that Serious Leisure Participation and Place Attachment Have on Environmental Concern among Traditional Climbers." Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership 6(2): 114-132.