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Environmental Studies


Environmental Studies Program

The environmental studies degree program aims to help students find solutions to critical environmental problems our society faces — from global warming to species extinction, from water contamination to soil erosion — through interdisciplinary study of academic fields in both the natural and social sciences.

Degrees Offered

Areas of Study

Students who major in environmental studies select a specialization in ecosystems, earth sciences, environmental chemistry, public policy and law, environmental planning, ecological anthropology or environmental economics. BA degrees are available for all specializations, while BS degrees are available in only ecosystems, earth sciences and environmental chemistry. Students can also design their own specialization in consultation with a major advisor.

  • Ecosystems

    This specialization is focused on ecological relationships, including plants, animals and their habitats. Coursework is drawn heavily from Biology.

  • Earth Sciences and Natural Resources

    This specialization is rooted in Geology and looks at Earth systems and processes, including hydrology and land forming processes.

  • Environmental Chemistry

    This specialization applies chemical relationships and techniques to the analysis of environmental pollution problems, drawing on courses in Chemistry and Geochemistry.

  • Public Policy and Law
    This specialization examines the development and implementation of environmental laws and policies. Coursework is drawn heavily from Political Science, Sociology, and Geography.
  • Environmental Planning
    This specialization concentrates on Geography courses to examine planning issues as they relate to the environment, such as natural resource conservation, land use planning and water resources management.
  • Environmental Economics
    This specialization incorporates a number of Economics courses to examine the economic & policy issues relating to the environment. The focus is on the efficient allocation of natural and environmental resources.
  • Ecological Anthropology
    This specialization focuses on people of many cultures as they influence and are influenced by ecological systems.
  • Individualized Specialization
    Students may design an individualized specialization, with approval of the Environmental Studies Committee, if they wish to focus on an area not covered by one of the established specializations. Specializations must include a combination of social science (and/or humanities) and science courses. See Program Director for details.

Last Updated: 4/25/18