The Environmental Studies major is an interdisciplinary program designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and perspectives needed to understand the interactions between human society and the environment. Understanding the ethical and cultural dimensions of our relationship with the environment, as well as the challenges of protecting it, requires insights from multiple perspectives, including the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. Core courses in the major ensure familiarity with basic principles from these three areas. With this shared core of knowledge, majors will focus their studies on an area of special interest, taking electives and related courses that allow greater specialization. Among the many possibilities are environmental sustainability, issues concerning public policy and environmental justice, and the literary and philosophical legacy of human encounters with the non-human world. A capstone course will allow each student to research a distinct perspective on a contemporary environmental issue. A major in Environmental Studies might lead to a career in a variety of fields, including public policy, environmental education, eco-tourism, marketing or consulting, journalism, or advocacy.
The major leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) or the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR). The student’s choice of colleges should be made in consultation with faculty and advisors based upon the student’s interests and career goals.
All majors must take four introductory courses: EVST 1000; NRE 1000, GEOG 2300, GSCI 1050 or GSCI 1051; BIOL 1102 or, for those seeking a more advanced background, BIOL 1108; STAT 1000Q or 1100Q or equivalent.
Core Courses (18 Credits)
All majors must take two of the following courses from each core. Students cannot apply more than one course per department to count within a particular core. Additional core courses taken in the same department can be applied to the additional major requirements beyond the core requirements.
Social Science Core
Natural Sciences Core
Capstone Research Project
EVST 4000W (3 credits). All majors must complete a capstone research project, which fulfills the Writing in the Major and the Information Literacy requirements for the major.
Additional requirements for the major
In addition, environmental studies majors in CAHNR must take an additional 15 credits of courses at the 2000 level or above to meet the 36-credit major requirement. These courses must be designed to form a coherent set of additional courses that will provide the student with a focus or additional depth in an area of interest related to the major. They must be chosen in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor and be approved by the advisor. Courses listed above that are not used to meet the core requirements may be used to meet this requirement.
Other areas of recommended preparation (not required)
- Physical Science: CHEM 1122, CHEM 1127Q; PHYS 1030Q/1035Q
- Earth Science: GSCI/GEOG 1070; MARN 1002/1003
- Economics: ARE 1110, 1150; ECON 1179, 1200, 1201
Note: A B.A. in Environmental Studies can also be earned through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For a complete description of the major in that college, refer to the Environmental Studies description in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section of this Catalog.