Effective:  Fall 2015-Current

May be elected as an interdepartmental major

The major in Environment is intended to ensure scientific literacy, familiarity with advanced problem-solving techniques, and an ability to integrate scientific and social scientific approaches in addressing environmental problems. It serves students interested in environmental literacy as well as those interested in a wide range of career tracks related to environmental issues.

Prerequisites to the Major

Prerequisites need not be completed prior to declaring an Environment major. To ensure a common background and understanding of disciplines relevant to environmental study, students take all of the following (many of these courses also satisfy LSA area distribution):

  1. Introductory Interdisciplinary Course (one of the following):
    • ENVIRON 110 / AOSS 171 / BIOLOGY 110 / EARTH 171 / ENSCEN 171 / RCNSCI 110. Introduction to Global Change: The Science Behind Sustainability
    • ENVIRON 111 / AOSS 172 / EARTH 172 / ENSCEN 172 / GEOG 111. Global Change: The Sustainability Challenge
    • ENVIRON 201 / RCNSCI 202. Ecological Issues
    • ENVIRON 270. Our Common Future
    • CEE 260. Environmental Principles
  2. BIOLOGY 162 OR 163 OR 171, OR 100 & 111 (Introductory Biology)
  3. CHEM 130 (General Chemistry)
  4. ENVIRON 117 / EARTH 117 or ENVIRON 116 / EARTH 116 (Introduction to Geology)
  5. ECON 101 (Principles of Economics I) or ENVIRON 211 / RCSSCI 211 (Social Sciences and Environmental Problems)
  6. MATH 115 (Calculus I)

Requirements for the major

A minimum of 32 credits required.

  1. Core Courses. These courses expand students knowledge of environmental problems and solutions by exposing them to a wide range of natural science, social science, and humanistic disciplines. Students select one course at the 200 level or above in each of the following categories.

    1. Analytics : One course chosen from: STATS  250 or SOC 210.

    2. General Ecology. One of the following:

      • BIOLOGY 281 / ENVIRON 281 and BIOLOGY 282 / ENVIRON 282, General Ecology and Lab
      • EEB 381 / ENVIRON 381, General Ecology

    3. Social Science: Two courses chosen in consultation with the department advisor. One course must be at the 300 level or above.

    4. Natural and Earth Systems Science (AOSS, BIOLOGY, CHEM, ENVIRON, EARTH, PHYSICS): One course chosen in consultation with the department advisor.

    5. Culture and Environment : One course chosen in consultation with the department advisor.

    6. Senior Capstone Course : One course chosen in consultation with the department advisor.

  2. Field Experience Requirement. Students are required to spend time off-campus participating in a pre-approved Internship or Field/Study Abroad course.

  3. Specializations. To gain a deeper understanding of applicable skills in one discipline of environmental study, students take three courses at the 300-level or above, approved by the specialization committee, in one of the following areas: Environmental Science, Environmental Social Science, or Culture and the Environment.

Honors Plan

The Honors major is open to students who have achieved a GPA of 3.5 or better. Request for admission should be made by completing an application available from the program office by October 15 of the junior year. Honors majors will normally take a junior Honors seminar (ENVIRON 399) in which they develop research skills, identify a faculty advisor, and prepare the proposal for the Honors thesis project. In the senior year students enroll in ENVIRON 499 (thesis). The final version of the thesis is due on the last day of classes in the winter term of the senior year.


Teacher Certification

For information about teaching certificates, please contact the Program in the Environment.


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