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 Comprehensive Exam/Internship, and the completion of a minor related to environmental studies chosen from a pre-approved list. Students graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Foundational Classes (freshman 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 and Evolution or MS 102N Biological Oceanography
  • EC 201S Introductory Economics 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 280 Environmental Education, or AN 210 Sustainable Development)
  • One Environmental Policy class (PO 325S Environmental Politics and Policy, ES 216 Coastal Management, or ES 315S Wildlife Policy)
  • One Environmental Humanities class (AM 319E Environmental Film Colloquium, CO 200E Writing the Environment, ES 351E Influential Environmental Writers, HI 316E Empire and the Environment, HI 353E Environmental History, HI 354E European Environmental History, LI 106E Southern Literature and the Environment, PL 243E Environmental Ethics, RE 381E Ecotheology, RE 382E Asian Religions and Environment)
  • GIS (ES 341 GIS for Environmental Studies)

Advanced Classes (junior and senior year)

  • One 300 level environmentally related elective from the environmental fields (Human Ecology, Environmental Policy, Environmental Humanities, GIS) or one of the following courses: AN 335E Cultural Ecology, EC 373 Natural Resource Economics, EC 374 Environmental Economics, EC 388 Economic Development, ES 342 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 342 Field Botany, 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 480 Advanced Policy of Protected Areas, ES 481 Advanced Ecotourism Policy and Practice, ES482 Sacred Sites: Conservation and Management, ES 493 Sustain
    able Cities, MS 311 Marine Mammalogy)
  • ES 498 Environmental Comprehensive Exam/Internship

Completion of a minor related to Environmental Studies:

Coastal Management (Up to two courses can be counted both for this minor and the major)
Computer Science
East Asian Studies
Human Development
Interdisciplinary Arts
International Relations and Global Affairs
Political Science
Religious Studies

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.