The Environmental Studies degree provides students with a broad interdisciplinary background as well as a basis for career specialization and practical application and problem solving. The program is based upon an investigation both of the Earth’s environment and the wide variety of human interactions with that environment.
The major has three basic objectives:
1.    to transmit an understanding of environmental problems and their complexities,
2.    to motivate productive responses to those problems, both vocational and avocational, based on that understanding, and
3.    to foster the development of critical, inquiring minds.
All students majoring in Environmental Studies are required to take 40 credits in core courses. The core courses are designed to provide the student with a foundation in the physical, social and ethical dimensions of environmental issues. In addition to the core courses, students are required to earn either a second major or a minor, or take another 24 credits in concentration-area courses. The requirement of a double major, a related minor, or six concentration area courses is meant to deepen the student’s understanding of the origin and complexity of environmental issues while focusing attention on one particular area of study (e.g., engineering, math, journalism, justice & peace, geology, English, sociology, etc.). The department Chair can assist students in constructing successful concentration area proposals. Students are encouraged, but not required, to take additional courses in writing and computer applications, and should consult the Chair of the department for recommendations.

Major in Environmental Studies

All ENVR majors must take the following 3 courses:
ENVR 151 Environmental Problems and Sustainable Solutions (4 credits)
ENVR 212 Sustainability in Context (4 credits)
ENVR 401 Field Seminar (WID designated WAC course) (4 credits)

Plus courses in each of the following competency areas:

Public Policy (4 credits)
ENVR 351/POLS 309 Environmental Policy
JPST 355 Public Policy Analysis and Advocacy
SOWK 391 Social Policy for Change

Social Science Method Course (8 credits)
ENVR 330 Social Science Research Methods
GEOG 321 GIS with Sustainable Communities Partnership
GEOG 331 Conservation Geography
PSYC 334 Psychology of Sustainability
SOWK 380 Social Work Research w/SUST

Communication (4 credits)
COJO 100 Public Speaking w/ SUST
COJO 372 Environmental Communication
ENGL 202 Fictions of Nature
ENGL 304 Analytical and Persuasive Writing w/ SUST

Ecological Literacy (8 credits)
BIOL 102 Conservation Biology or BIOL 209 Biology of Sustainability
CHEM 101 Environmental Chemistry
ENGR 123 Energy and the Environment
ESCI 310 Environmental Problem Solving
GEOL 115 Environmental Geology or GEOL 162 Earth’s Record of Climate

Entrepreneurial/Leadership Skills (4 credits)
ECON 370 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
ENTR 200 Foundations of Entrepreneurship
ENTR 490 Environmental Sustainability and Innovation
JPST 365 Leadership for Social Justice
PSYC 342 Psychology of Work w/SUST
SOWK 430 Development and Fundraising for Social Service Agencies

Complete a 6-course concentration (24 credits), a 2nd major, or a minor in a discipline of choice.


  •     For those students selecting the 6-course concentration option, students must meet with the department chair to develop a coherent area of emphasis.
  •     Students cannot complete both a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in Sustainability.
  •     Not every SUST designated course fulfills ENVR major requirements. Those that do are stipulated above.

Minor in Sustainability

Available only to non-Environmental Studies majors

All Sustainability minors must take the following course:
ENVR 151 Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Solutions (4 credits)

Plus 16 credits from Sustainability (SUST) designated courses as listed on the Office of Sustainability Initiatives website
Total credits: 20

Course Number Title Credits
ENVR  151 Environmental Challenges 4
ENVR  212 Society and Sustainability 4
ENVR  243 Individual Study 2 OR 4
ENVR  269 Research 2 OR 4
ENVR  298 Topics 4
ENVR  301 Environmental Ethics 4
ENVR  330 ENVR Research Methods 4
ENVR  351 Environmental Pol Formation 4
ENVR  389 Research 2 OR 4
ENVR  393 Individual Study 2 OR 4
ENVR  401 Field Seminar 4
ENVR  476 Experiential Learning 2
ENVR  478 Experiential Learning 4
ENVR  491 Research 2 OR 4
ENVR  495 Individual Study 2 OR 4