What is a Specialization?

A PitE specialization is a collection of of three 300- or 400-level courses of your choice, based on your particular interests. Think of your specialization as the focus of your PitE major. 

The specialization allows you to develop depth in a particular area of environmental science or environmental studies, and compliments the broad understanding of environmental issues and problem-solving tools provided by the rest of the PitE major requirements.

To give you some idea of what a Specialization may look like, several examples are provided below. These are merely illustrations and are not a comprehensive of possibilities. The range of Specialization options is as diverse as our students' interests.

Possible Specializations include:

Aquatics/Fish +

  • Environ 311 (Rivers,Lakes and Wetlands)
  • Environ 409 (Ecology of Fishes)
  • Environ 422 (Biology of Fishes)

Environmental Economics +

  • Environ 367 Global Enterprise and Sustainable Development
  • Environ375/Econ 370 Environmental and Resource Economics
  • Environ/Geosci 380 Mineral Resources, Economics and the Environment
  • Econ 471 (Environmental Economics)
  • Econ 472 (Intermediate Natural Resource Economics)


Environmental Policy +

  • Environ 312 (Environmental Politics and Policy)
  • Environ 365 (International Environmental Policy)
  • Environ 475 (Environmental Law)

Terrestrial Ecology +

  • Environ 337 (Woody Plants)
  • Environ 430 (Soil Property and Processes)
  • EEB 348 (Forest Ecosystems)

Urban Planning +

Choose 3 courses from:

  • Environ 350 (The Built Environment)
  • Environ 360 (Behavior and Environment)
  • Environ 370 (Intro to Urban Planning)
  • History 364 (History of Suburbia)

How / When Do I Select My Specialization?

Submit your specialization worksheet for approval no later than the end of your junior year. Submitted specializations are reviewed by the PitE Specialization Committee mid-month for approval.  

  1. Download and complete the specialization worksheet (below).
  2. Indicate your 3 course choices, along with a written rationale defending your selections to the PitE Specialization Committee. 
  3. Submit your proposal by turning in the Specialization Worksheet to 1120 USB. 

It's never too early to plan your specialization. If you're having trouble figuring out how to form your specialization, contact PitE's Lead Advisor Jaime Langdon (jlangdon@umich.edu) for more information.

Download the Specialization Worksheet (Word document)