The environmental studies major will provide students with an educational specialty grounded in the subjects and issues related to the natural environment and the relationship of the human being to the natural environment. The major offers the breadth and depth of interdisciplinary inquiry, integrating knowledge across the natural sciences, behavioral sciences, and humanities. The major develops analytical tools and skills for understanding the environment, while emphasizing the role of beliefs, values, ethics and aesthetics in shaping human behavior.

Students will be exposed to coursework which develops skills in the following areas: laboratory research and environmental science; policy analysis, social, historical and global awareness; philosophical and ethical inquiry; writing and composition; oral presentation; educational techniques and strategies; legal research; and group enterprise. This will prepare students for careers in such diverse fields as environmental and urban planning, natural resource management, scientific journalism, environmental law and policy making, parks and recreation, landscape and architecture, public health, education, the arts, and many more. The Environmental Studies major or minor satisfies the Environmental perspective requirement.

The major includes five foundational courses, four environmental field courses, one upper-level elective, one upper-level synthesis course, ES 498 Environmental Studies Research Methods & Practicum, and the completion of a minor which complements their interests. Students graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Only two courses can double count between Environmental Studies major and the following interdisciplinary minors (or second major): Animal Studies, Coastal Management, East Asian Studies, Entrepreneurship, Film Studies, Interdisciplinary Arts, International Relations and Global Affairs, Marketing, and Sustainability.

Foundational Classes (first year and sophomore year)

  • ES 172 Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • ES 211 Introduction to Earth Science or MS 101N Geological Oceanography
  • ES 270 Introduction to Environmental Biology or BI 111N Ecology, Evolution, and Diversity or MS 102N Biological Oceanography
  • EC 280S Intro Microecon of the Environment, or EC 281S Principles of Microeconomics
  • One statistics class (note: in the case of PS 200 & 201M Statistics and Research Design I & II, both courses must be taken)

Environmental Field Classes (sophomore and junior year)

  • One Human Ecology class (ES 214 Green Design, ES 225 Environmental & Climate Justice, ES 228 Food and Sustainability, ES 280 Environmental Education, ES 375 Environmental Communication, AN 210 Sustainable Development, PO 354G UN & Sustainability)
  • One Environmental Policy class (ES 216 Coastal Management, ES 315S Wildlife Politics & Policy, ES 218S Energy Policy, EC 373 Natural Resource Economics, EC 374 Environmental Economics, EC 388 International Economic Development, PO 325S Environmental Politics and Policy, PO 233E Global South: Environment, PO 343S International Environmental Law, PO 337E Chinese Environmental Politics)
  • One Environmental Humanities class (AH 234E Eco Art History, AM 314E Environment in American Thought, AM 319E Environmental Film Colloquium, CO 200E Writing the Environment, ES 225 Environmental and Climate Justice, ES 351E Influential Environmental Writers, HI 316E Empire and the Environment, HI 253E Environmental History, HI 254E European Environmental History, JA 235E Japanese Cinema: Images of Nature, LI 106E Southern Literature and the Environment, LI 208E Children's Lit and the Environment, PL 243E Environmental Ethics, MU 326E American Musical Landscape, PL 210E Ideas of Nature, RE 282E Asian Religions and Environment, RE 283E Nature Religion, RE
    381E Ecotheology
  • ES 341 GIS for Environmental Studies

Advanced Classes (junior and senior year)

  • One additional 300+ level environmentally related elective, or AN 335E Cultural Ecology or ES342 Introduction to Remote Sensing
  • One upper-level synthesis course that requires at least one of the introductory courses and crosses two or more environmental fields. (ES 317N Global Environmental Change, BI 371 Conservation Biology, BI 373 Restoration Ecology, ES 460 Coastal Hazards: Science & Management, ES 461 Coastal Ecosystem-based Management, ES 463 Fisheries Governance, ES 470 Wetlands, ES 475 Climate Change Communication, ES 493 Sustainable Cities, MS 309 Principles of Hydrology, MS 310 Marine Conservation Ecology, MS 311 Marine Mammalogy), MS 313 Mangrove Biology and Ecology
  • ES 498 Environmental Studies Research Methods & Practicum (requires a 70 Internship done the summer before your last year, or during the last year. You may not double count the hours with other courses/requirements)

The minor in Environmental Studies requires six courses, three required courses and three environmental field courses as follows:

  • ES 172 Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • ES 211 Introduction to Earth Science or MS 101N Geological Oceanography
  • ES 270 Introduction to Environmental Biology or BI 111N Ecology and Evolution or MS 102N Biological Oceanography
  • One Policy field course
  • One Humanities field course
  • One Human Ecology field course

See the Environmental Studies major for a listing of field courses.