Director: Stefan Schnitzer, Ph.D.

The major and minor offer interdisciplinary studies on issues related to the environment. Students take core and elective courses that address the environment from a wide range of fields, including biology and ecology, chemistry and physics, theology and ethics, economics, political science, sociology, anthropology and history. The major is ideal for students who intend to pursue a career that focuses on the environment (e.g., environmental management, restoration, mitigation, consulting, policy, economics), or who intend to pursue graduate or professional school in environmental science, law, business, policy, economics, philosophy, theology or ethics.

The specific learning outcomes for graduates of the Environmental Studies major are to:

  • understand the basic organization of ecosystems and their response to environmental factors
  • quantitatively analyze scientific and economic data related to the environment
  • have a fundamental understanding of the social, economic, political, and historical components that influence the decision-making process with respect to the environment
  • understand philosophical and ethical aspects of environmental issues
  • gain practical experience working on environmental issues via internships
  • understand and synthesize the study of the environment from the perspective of multiple disciplines

Environmental Studies Major

The goal of the major is to provide a comprehensive and in-depth education in environmental studies, which includes the study of the ecology of natural ecosystems and the processes by which humans influence, exploit, evaluate, value, mitigate and restore their environment. Students learn to understand and address pressing environmental issues through an interdisciplinary approach. Students complete 16 required courses (48-49 credits) and two elective courses (6-7 credits) that cover subjects from the sciences, social sciences and humanities.

Required courses
BIOL 1001General Biology 13
BIOL 1002General Biology 23
BIOL 2401Ecology3
MATH 1700Modern Elementary Statistics 13
CHEM 1080Chemistry in the World3-4
or PHYS 1009 Earth and Environmental Physics
PHIL 3350Philosophy of the Environment3
or THEO 4440 Foundations of Ecological Ethics
Required Experimental Biology course (choose one of the following):3
Experimental Ecology and Field Biology
Experimental Microbiology
Tropical Ecology in Panama
Environmental Studies Internship or approved research experience (New 2018)3
Environmental Studies Capstone course (New 2018)3
Required Economics courses9
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
Required Political Science courses6
International Politics
American Politics
Environmental Politics and Policy
Required Environment and Society courses6
Human Geography
Environment and Society
Food, Water and Society
Environmental History: Ecology and Society in the Modern World
Elective Courses: Choose two courses not already completed as required courses from the following, including at least one upper division course. 26-7
Environment and Society
Global Aid and Humanitarianism
Health, Science and Environmental Communication
Literature and Place
Material Cultures
Environmental History: Ecology and Society in the Modern World
Food, Water and Society
Environment and Society
Foundations of Ecological Ethics
Philosophy of the Environment
Environmental Science and Anthropology
Evolutionary Biology
Plant Biology
Microbiology
Advanced Ecology
Survey of Meteorology
Earth and Environmental Physics
Chemistry in the World
Human Evolutionary Process
Introduction to Biological Anthropology
Demography
The Rise of Agriculture
Archaeology of Complex Societies
Culture Change and Development
Political Science
Interest Group Politics
Politics and Regulation
The Political Economy of Development
Economics
Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis
Urban and Regional Economics
Development Economics
Total Credit Hours54-56
1

MATH 4720, MATH 4740, PSYC 2001 or SOCI 2060 can be substituted to fulfill this requirement.

2

Additional courses may be counted as electives with permission of the program director.

Environmental Studies Minor

The goal of the minor is to provide an overview of environmental studies, which includes the study of the ecology of natural ecosystems and the processes by which humans influence, exploit, evaluate, value, mitigate and restore their environment. Students learn to understand and address pressing environmental issues through an interdisciplinary approach. Students complete 4 required courses (12-13 credits) and three elective courses (9-10 credits) that cover subjects from the sciences, social sciences and humanities.

Required courses
BIOL 1001General Biology 13
BIOL 2401Ecology3
CHEM 1080Chemistry in the World3-4
or PHYS 1009 Earth and Environmental Physics
PHIL 3350Philosophy of the Environment3
or THEO 4440 Foundations of Ecological Ethics
Elective courses (choose one from each category, excluding those completed as required courses)
Category 1: Environmental Science3-4
Experimental Ecology and Field Biology
Experimental Microbiology
Advanced Ecology
Tropical Ecology in Panama
Earth and Environmental Physics
Chemistry in the World
Survey of Meteorology
Category 2: Anthropology/Sociology3
Human Geography
Demography
Culture Change and Development
Environment and Society
Food, Water and Society
Global Aid and Humanitarianism
Category 3: Economics/Policy/Humanities3
Health, Science and Environmental Communication
Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
Development Economics
Environmental History: Ecology and Society in the Modern World
Environmental Politics and Policy
The Political Economy of Development
Foundations of Ecological Ethics
Philosophy of the Environment
Total Credit Hours21-23