The major in environmental studies requires introductory courses, core courses, elective focus courses, and the culminating experience course (see ENVS major worksheet below). We believe the interdisciplinary nature of environmental studies requires this number of courses to ensure students gain fundamental skills in the areas of environmental science and studies before they move into elective focus courses.
The prerequisites ensure that students have an introduction to a physical science lab science, an understanding of the economic system (since all environmental problems include economic considerations) and calculus so students will have basic quantitative skills used in more advanced environmental studies courses.
The core courses cover a body of knowledge considered fundamental to understanding the relationships between people and their environment, namely, global environmental science, environmental decision making and risk, environmental ethics and the legal system, and political institutions and their role in environmental issues. This core of intermediate level courses provides a unifying set of concepts and principles related to the analysis of complex environmental issues.
The elective focus courses give each student the opportunity to develop an area of emphasis around a theme of their choosing. These courses must be approved as part of the Student Major Plan which must include the rationale for the elective courses.
The culminating experience in the major is fulfilled by ENVS 50, 84, 85 or 91.