Environmental Studies

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.


Introductory Courses

All majors must take four introductory courses:

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.

Humanities Core

PHIL 3216/W; GERM 2400; HIST 2210E or 3540E or 3542; ENGL 3240E or 2635E or 3715E or JOUR 3046.

Social Sciences Core

ARE 3434E or 4462E or ECON 3466E; GEOG 2400 or 3350; NRE 3000 or 3245E; POLS/EVST 3412; SOCI 2701 or 2709W.

Natural Sciences Core

AH 3175; EEB 2208; ERTH 2010; GEOG 3400; NRE 4170.

Capstone Research Project

EVST 4000W (three 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 CLAS must take nine credits of electives at the 2000 level or above, plus an additional 12 credits of related courses, approved by the student’s advisor. 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. Total credits (2000-level or above): 30, plus 12 credits of related courses.

Other areas of recommended preparation (not required)

Note: A B.A. in Environmental Studies can also be earned through the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. For a complete description of the major in that college, refer to the Environmental Studies description in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources section of this Catalog.

CLAS Home | Back to top