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Environmental Studies

BA/BS: Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies BA/BS Program

The Environmental Studies Program at Binghamton University provides undergraduates with an interdisciplinary major focusing on the interrelationships of humans and their environment as well as the practical and ethical problems resulting from these relationships. In addition to taking core courses required of all majors, an E.S. major completes a specialization developing a cross-disciplinary perspective with a problem oriented focus.

Within the framework of the E.S. major, a student may obtain the interdisciplinary background required for such professional fields as planning, policy analysis, resource management, environmental analysis or environmental remediation. To foster this, students take both natural and social science courses with an area of emphasis or specialization in one or the other.

Students can obtain either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, depending on their specialization.


  • Advising

    The Environmental Studies Program Advisor and Coordinator is Joyce Kruger-Knuepfer (Office phone: 607-777-2323). The Advising office is located in Science 1, Room 142C.

    Joyce is available during appointment/walk-in hours to answer questions about requirements for the major, to help with schedule planning, and to answer any questions you might have about the different versions of the Environmental Studies majors.

    Binghamton University students can also schedule a shorter, 15-minute or longer, 30-minute appointment with the advisor on my.binghamton.edu by selecting Starfish under "My Favorites" or "Useful Links." On the top left of the Starfish Homepage, select "Services" and then select "Environmental Studies Program Advising"

  • FAQs

    How can I get into closed courses?

    First, check whether the course has a wait list. If a wait list is available, the only way to enter the course is to add yourself to the wait list. For more information regarding the wait-listing procedure, contact the Envi advisor. If the course does not have a wait list is to self-register if a spot becomes available. For closed courses you should monitor BU Brain closely during open registration periods.

    Is the course restricted?

    Be sure to check Restrictions for a course are by going onto BU Brain and clicking on the course title. At the bottom of the page, restrictions for the course will be listed.

    If a course is restricted, you must meet the prerequisites for the course before you are able to register for the course. If you are having credits for the prerequisite transferred in, but the credits do not yet appear on your Binghamton University transcript, please visit the Environmental Studies Academic Advising office. If you have questions about restricted courses offered by the Biology or Chemistry departments, please contact those departments directly.

    How can I register for independent study credits?

    Complete an independent study course registration form for ENVI 397 Independent Study by going to the ENVI Advisor or the Geology Office. Please complete these form carefully.

    Note: Students who want to register for 4 credits of independent study after the add/drop deadline will need to file a late add petition through Harpur and pay the late add fee. Be sure to submit these forms early. It is possible to register for 2 credits of independent study after the regular add/drop deadline. Please contact the advising office to complete the paper copy of the form if the online form is no longer available. For Biology independent study, fill out the appropriate form and return to their main office (S3-210).

    Will any independent study (in any department) count toward the major?

    Yes. However, the independent study must have an environmental studies component. This component must be agreed upon in advance with the ENVI advisor. We do not accept independent studies outside of ENVI as part of your ENVI major after you have taken them.

    Independent research courses outside of ENVI may not automatically appear in the major section of your Degree Works. You will need to see the program's academic advisor so that a Degree Works Exception can be made to allow the research courses to count.

    How can I register for a teaching assistantship?

    Complete the ENVI 491 Teaching Assistant registration form. This form will be sent out to all majors in the semester prior to the course offering. Please complete this form carefully. If you have questions, please ask the ENVI advisor. When you apply for this, please register for a full set of courses not including ENVI 491. If you are accepted for the teaching assistantship position we will swap ENVI 491 with another class of your choosing.

    How do I know if a course I've taken or plan to take at another college will count toward Environmental Studies major requirements?

    Please check with the course-to-course lookup tool. Decisions regarding transfer credits are made by the director of the Environmental Studies Program. To find out if a course taken elsewhere will count toward your Environmental Studies degree requirements, bring a written description of the course (e.g., the catalog description from the other university or a syllabus) to the Environmental Studies Program Advising Office in Science 1, 142C.

    How can I get credits from another institution to count towards my major?

    Submit a completed major/minor petition form with a detailed course description of syllabus to the advising office (Science 1, 142C). Paper copies of the form are also available in the advising office. Evaluation of these petitions can take up to a week or more. Students must petition BEFORE taking courses at other institutions as there is no guarantee that courses/credits will be accepted.

    How can I get credits from a study abroad program to count towards my major?

    In advance of your study abroad class, complete a transfer credit petition form and bring it to the advising office (Science 1, 142C). Evaluation of these petitions can take up to a week or more. Students must petition BEFORE taking courses abroad as there is no guarantee that courses/credits will be accepted.

    What if I need to take an incomplete in a course?

    You must meet with your instructor to determine if you will be permitted to receive an incomplete in a course. Incompletes are warranted when a student has a personal or medical emergency that prevents them from completing coursework. We highly encourage students and faculty to create an Incomplete Contract to ensure that all parties know exactly what coursework remains and when it must be completed by. Copies of the contract should be provided to the instructor, the student, and the advising office (S1-142C).

    What General Education (GE) courses should I take for the Environmental Studies Major?

    As part of your undergraduate degree at Binghamton University, you must take a variety of courses in areas that are designed to give you a broad-based education with an array of skills and expertise. These General Education (GE) requirements can be found here: http://www.binghamton.edu/general-education/requirements.html.

    As long as you meet the distribution requirements you can choose from any of the courses that meet the GE credentials. Any declared ENVI majors will receive a list of current course options. We jave also compiled a list of suggestions that we believe contribute towards training in the ENVI major: You can find this document here

    Note that some of these courses (marked in bold) are required for the major so taking these will meet the GE AND the major requirements. Offered courses are subject to change on a semester basis.

    Courses by specific semester can be found by Looking Up Classes on BU Brain when logged into your student account.

    Additional Questions?

    For more information about course registration, graduation/commencement, enrollment verification, and the final exam schedule, as well as access to any forms please see the Registrar's website.

    See Harpur Advising for any Gen Ed or Harpur College requirement questions.

    Click here for overload request, general academic petition (to waive Harpur College residency requirement, extension of incomplete, etc), transfer petition, and additional Harpur forms.

    For general information about transferring to Binghamton click here.

    For more specific questions, please contact the ENVI Advisor via email: Joyce Kruger-Knuepfer. Binghamton University students can schedule an appointment through Starfish on https://my.binghamton.edu. Anyone can email an appointment request to Joyce.

  • Declaring an Environmental Studies Major or Minor

    If you would like to start the process of declaring a Major or Minor in Environmental Studies, please fill out this form.

    Declaring an interest in Environmental Studies on your admissions application does not mean you have declared your major or minor; all students enter Binghamton as undeclared. Please review the information on the Harpur College website Choosing a Major. Highlights from these pages include the following: "All freshmen enter Harpur College as undecided students. We require you to take time to consider your options, our first years here."

    *TO DECLARE YOUR MAJOR or MINOR IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES YOU MUST HAVE RECEIVED A C OR HIGHER IN BOTH ENVI 101 and ENVI 201.

    If you do not yet meet the requirements, and you hold a class standing of second-semester freshman or higher, it is possible for you to complete a waiver to declare your major before you meet the requirements. If you are a first semester freshmen and qualify under special STEM funding guidelines, use the waiver to declare your major and state your STEM status in the Comments section of the form. By completing the waiver, you acknowledge that you are aware of the requirements for the major and you affirm that you will work to meet the requirements. It is possible to be dropped from the major if you do not make consistent progress toward your degree requirements.

    If you are already declared as an Environmental Studies (ENVI) major or minor but would like to review your progress, schedule an appointment or send an email with a schedule request to jkruger@binghamton.edu. We definitely recommend that you schedule an appointment in advance.

    Use this form to start the process of declaring your ENVI major or minor:

    Major/Minor Declaration Form

  • BA Requirements

    Courses required for the Bachelor of Arts Degree include:

    Five core courses (usually taken early in student's program):

    • Envi 101 - Environment And Man/Women: An Ecological Perspective.

    • Envi 201 - Environment And Man/Women: Physical Aspects.

    • Chem 101, 107, Or 111 - Introductory Chemistry (Students specializing in Envi Chem or Envi Ecosystems or Earth Science and Natural Resources science areas are advised to take Chem 107 or 111).

    • Econ 160 - Principles Of Microeconomics.

    • Envi/Geog 239 - Environmental Planning and Policy or Envi/Phil 149 - Environmental Ethics and Policy or Envi 230 - Introduction to Environmental Policy.

    Problem-oriented courses (usually taken in senior year). Select two of the following:

    • Envi 397 - Independent Study

    • Envi 413 - Environmental Impact Statements

    • Envi 415 - Environmental Planning

    • Envi 495 - Internship in Environmental Studies

    • Envi 498 - Senior Thesis

    • Envi 499 - Honors Thesis

    Eight courses in one of the following specializations:

    NOTE: The science specializations include 6 courses within the discipline and 2 additional courses in the social sciences. The social-science specializations include 6 courses within the discipline and 2 additional courses in the sciences. Note that no courses for which a student receives a grade lower than C- will count toward fulfilling major requirements. Also, no courses for the major may be taken pass-fail, except for Envi 491 and Envi 495 (for which pass-fail is the only option).


    Specializations for BA Degree in Environmental Studies 

    Ecosystems BA:

    • Core courses: BIOL 114 (was 117) and either BIOL 355 or BIOL 373.

    • 16 credits (equivalent of 4 full courses) in ecology. Some of these courses are taught in Biology, whereas others are taught in Environmental Studies or Geography.

    • Courses include BIOL 351*, 352*, 370, 371, 374 (2 cr; cross-listed as ENVI 361), 375, 376, 377, 378, 379 (cross-listed as ENVI 382U), 441 (2 cr), 450*, 453*, 455, 461, 469, 471, 472, 475, 476; GEOG 323 (cross-listed as ENVI 323), 422 (cross-listed as BIOL 459); ENVI 327. *Only 4 credits of non-lab courses may be taken for this requirement. Non-lab courses are noted as *.

    • Two courses in the social sciences. These include several Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 312, 325, 382 (if social science), 457, 481 (if social science)—as well as relevant social science courses taken from Anthropology (cultural courses), Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, as well as a select number of History and Philosophy courses. One course must be 300 level or higher, whereas the other can be at any level. 

    Earth Sciences - Natural Resources BA:

    • One introductory geology course chosen from GEOL 111,114, 115, or 116 (if not used to substitute for ENVI 201.

    • GEOL 311 (was 211) and ENVI/GEOL 304

    • Three additional courses in environmental geology from GEOL 344, 423, 436, 414, 416, 453, 460, 465, 470; ENVI/GEOL 342.

    • Two courses in the social sciences. These include several Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 312, 325, 382 (if social science), 481 (if social science)—as well as relevant social science courses taken from Anthropology (cultural courses), Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, as well as a select number of History and Philosophy courses. One course must be 300 level or higher, whereas the other can be at any level. 

    Environmental Chemistry BA:

    • Core courses: BIOL 114 (was 117) , CHEM 221, 231, and either ENVI/GEOL 304.

    • Three additional courses from CHEM 332, 341, 351, 361, 422, 431, 434, 461; GEOL 416, 465, 470; ENVI/GEOL 342. No more than two of these courses may be selected from geology.

    • Two courses in the social sciences. These include several Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 312, 325, 382 (if social science), 457, 481 (if social science)—as well as relevant social science courses taken from Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, as well as a select number of History and Philosophy courses. One course must be 300 level or higher, whereas the other can be at any level. 

    Environmental Policy and Law BA:

    • Core courses: ENVI 312 and ENVI 460.

    • Law courses: Two from PLSC 331, 333,380F, 414; HIST 356; PHIL 146, 345, 455; SOC 326, 378.

    • Policy courses: Three from PLSC 323, 327, 348, 356, 366, 373; ENVI 239 (if not already used for major); Envi 230 (if not used as core course); ENVI 315, 318, 481G; GEOG 341, 347; ECON 314; HIST 237; SOC 367, 374.

    • Two additional science courses. These can be chosen from several Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 323, 325, 327, 342, 370—as well as courses from Biology, Chemistry, Geology, or Mathematical Sciences. One course must be 300 level or higher, whereas the other can be at any level. 

    Environmental Planning BA:

    • Core course: ENVI 415 (double-counts as problem-oriented course).

    • Six courses from GEOG 232, 233, 235, 323, 330, 333, 335, 336, 337, 341, 345, 347, 350, 352, 356, 357, 360, 445, 463; GEOL 465; ENVI/GEOG 239 (if not already used for major); ENVI 312, 460; ECON 331. Only one course can be below the 300 level.

    • Two additional science courses. These can be chosen from several Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 304, 323 (if not used above), 325, 327, 342—as well as courses from Biology, Chemistry, Geology, or Mathematical Sciences (see current list here). At least one course must be 300 level or higher. 

    Environmental Economics BA:

    • Core courses: ECON 360 and one of ECON 331 or 431 or 433.

    • Three additional economics courses from ECON 331, 431, 433 (if not already used for major); ECON 314, 317, 414, 430, 440, 445, 461, 466.

    • Two additional mathematics courses: (a) Choose a statistics course from MATH 147, 148, ECON 366, MATH 448, CQS 112; (b) Choose a calculus course from MATH 220, 221.

    • An additional upper-division course in science or mathematics. These include a number of Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 304, 323, 325, 327, 342--as well as courses in Biology, Chemistry, Geology, or Mathematical sciences. 

    Ecological Anthropology BA:

    • Core courses: (a) either ANTH 111 or 166; (b) BIOL 114 (was 117); (c) either BIOL 355 or 373; and (d) either ENVI 325.

    • Three courses from among ANTH 244, 252, 254, 255, 256, 258, 337, 349, 354, 362, 363, 364, 365, 380 (depending on topic), 451, 455, 457, 480 (depending on topic); SOC 307, 325, 367. 380 (depending on topic). No more than one course can be below the 300 level.

    • One upper-level ENVI course or a relevant geology or geography course.

    Relevant Science Courses:

    • Biology courses: BIOL 105, 113, 114, 115, 331, 333, 351, 352, 355, 370, 371, 373, 375, 376, 377, 378, 379, 437, 450, 455, 459, 469, 471, 472, 473, 475, 476.

    • Chemistry courses: CHEM 108, 221, 231, 332, 341, 351, 422, 431, 432, 434, 442.

    • Geology courses: GEOL 102, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 301, 303, 304, 311, 342, 344, 366,  411, 414, 416, 423, 436, 453, 460, 465, 470.

    • Mathematics courses: MATH 220, 304, 314, 323, 327, 356, 371, 372, 375, 381, 401, 402, 404, 447, 448, 471, 478, 479.

    • Physics courses: PHYS 121, 122, 131, 132, 323.

    • Statistics courses: MATH 147, 148; ECON 366; PSYC 243; CQS 112.

    Relevant Social-Science Courses:

    • Cultural Anthropology courses: ANTH 111, 124, 166, 244, 252, 254, 256, 258, 273, 275, 277, 354, 362, 363, 364, 365, 367, 369, 370, 451, 455, 457.

    • Art History Architecture courses: ARTH 103, 276, 279.

    • Economics courses (note that some courses may have pre-requisites and be restricted to certain majors): ECON 162, 314, 317, 331, 350, 360, 362, 414, 430, 431, 433, 440, 443, 445, 461, 466.

    • Geography courses (note that some courses may be restricted to certain majors): GEOG 101, 103, 151, 211, 212, 232, 233, 234, 235, 239, 259, 323, 330, 335, 336, 337, 341, 345, 347, 350, 352, 357, 360, 361, 422, 445, 457, 463, 465.

    • History courses: HIST 237, 238, 356.

    • Philosophy courses: PHIL 146, 147, 345, 455, 457G.

    • Political Science courses (note that some courses may be restricted to certain majors): PLSC 111, 112, 113, 117, 311, 321, 323, 326, 327, 331, 333, 340, 348, 356, 360, 366, 373, 414, 419, 421, 435, 441, 442.

    • Sociology courses: SOC 100, 226, 240, 301, 307, 325, 359, 367, 368, 374, 375, 378.

    Relevant Courses for Ecological Anthropology Specialization:

    • Environmental Studies: ENVI 304, 323, 325*,  327, 330, 342 (*whichever courses isn't already used for specialization).

    • Geography: GEOG 323, 330, 333, 335, 336, 337, 341, 345, 347, 350, 352, 357, 360, 361, 422, 445, 463, 465.

    • Geology: GEOL 304, 342, 344, 366, 414, 416, 423, 436, 453,460, 465, 470.

  • BS Requirements

    Courses required for the Bachelor of Science Degree include:

    Five core courses:

    • Envi 101 - Environment and Man/Women: An Ecological Perspective

    • Envi 201 - Environment and Man/Women: Physical Aspects

    • Chem 107 or 111 - Introductory Chemistry

    • Econ 160 - Principles of Microeconomics

    • Envi/Geog 239 - Environmental Planning and Policy or Envi/Phil 149 - Environmental Ethics and Policy or Envi 230 - Introduction to Environmental Policy.

    Problem-oriented courses. Select two of the following:

    • Envi 397 - Independent Study

    • Envi 413 - Environmental Impact Statements

    • Envi 415 - Environmental Planning

    • Envi 495 - Internship in Environmental Studies

    • Envi 498 - Senior Thesis

    • Envi 499 - Honors Thesis

    Eleven courses in one of the following science specializations, differing from the BA by adding 1 second-year chemistry course and 2 additional courses within the primary science discipline:

    NOTE: no courses for which a student receives a grade lower than C- will count toward fulfilling major requirements. Also, no courses for the major may be taken pass-fail, except for Envi 491 and Envi 495 (for which pass-fail is the only option).


    Specializations for BS Degree in Environmental Studies 

    Ecosystems BS:

    • Core courses: BIOL 114 (was 117) and either BIOL 355 or 373

    • Second-year chemistry: CHEM 221 or 231. Note: if you've taken CHEM 107 for the general major requirement, be sure to take CHEM 108 before taking either of these courses.

    • Ecology courses: 24 credits drawn from BIOL 113 and 115 (was 118), 351*, 352*, 370, 371, 374 (2 cr), 375, 376, 377, 378, 379, 441 (2 cr), 450*, 453*, 455, 471, 472, 473, 474, 475, 476, 479 (2 cr); GEOG 322, 323; ENVI 325, 327. *Only 8 credits of non-lab courses may be taken for this requirement. Non-lab courses are noted with a *.

    • Two courses in the social sciences. These include several Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 312, 325, 382 (if social science), 457, 481 (if social science)—as well as relevant social science courses taken from Anthropology (cultural courses), Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, as well as a select number of History and Philosophy courses (see current course list here). One course must be 300 level or higher, whereas the other can be at any level. 

    Earth Sciences - Natural Resources BS:

    • One introductory geology course chosen from GEOL 111, 113, 114, 115, or 116.

    • Core courses: GEOL 311 and GEOL/ENVI 304

    • Second-year chemistry: CHEM 221 or 231. Note: if you've taken CHEM 107 for the general major requirement, be sure to take CHEM 108 before taking either of these courses.

    • Five courses in environmental geology from among GEOL 205, 301, 303, 344, 411, 413, 414, 416, 423, 436, 453, 465, 470; GEOL/ENVI 342. Only one of these courses may be below the 300 level.

    • Two courses in the social sciences. These include several Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 312, 325, 382 (if social science), 457, 481 (if social science)—as well as relevant social science courses taken from Anthropology (cultural courses), Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, as well as a select number of History and Philosophy courses (see current course list here). One course must be 300 level or higher, whereas the other can be at any level. 

    Environmental Chemistry BS:

    • Core courses: BIOL 114 (was 117), CHEM 221, CHEM 231, and GEOL/ENVI 304

    • Five courses from CHEM 332, 341, 351, 361, 422, 431, 434; GEOL 342, 16, 465, 470.

    • Two courses in the social sciences. These include several Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 312, 325, 382 (if social science), 457, 481 (if social science)—as well as relevant social science courses taken from Anthropology (cultural courses), Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, as well as a select number of History and Philosophy courses (see current course list here). One course must be 300 level or higher, whereas the other can be at any level.

    Relevant Social-Science Courses:

    • Cultural Anthropology courses: ANTH 111, 124, 166, 244, 252, 254, 256, 258, 273, 275, 277, 354, 362, 363, 364, 365, 367, 369, 370, 451, 455, 457.

    • Art History Architecture courses: ARTH 103, 276, 279.

    • Economics courses (note that some courses may have pre-requisites and be restricted to certain majors): ECON 162, 314, 317, 331, 350, 360, 362, 414, 430, 431, 433, 440, 443, 445, 461, 466.

    • Geography courses (note that some courses may be restricted to certain majors): GEOG 101, 103, 151, 211, 212, 232, 233, 234, 235, 239, 259, 323, 330, 333, 335, 336, 337, 341, 345, 347, 350, 352, 356, 357, 360, 361, 375, 422, 445, 457, 460, 463, 465.

    • History courses: HIST 237, 238, 356.

    • Philosophy courses: PHIL 146, 147, 345, 455, 457G.

    • Political Science courses (note that some courses may be restricted to certain majors): PLSC 111, 112, 113, 117, 311, 321, 323, 326, 327, 331, 333, 340, 348, 356, 360, 366, 373, 414, 419, 421, 433, 435, 441, 442.

    • Sociology courses: SOC 100, 226, 240, 301, 307, 325, 326, 358, 359, 367, 368, 374, 375, 378.

  • Minor Requirements

    Students can obtain a minor in Environmental Studies by completing six courses.
    Please contact the Program Director for further information and/or to register for the minor.

    Requirements

    1. Envi 101- Environment and Man/Women: An Ecological Perspective

    2. Envi 201- Environment and Man/Women: Physical Aspects

    3. Envi/Phil 149 – Environmental Ethics or Envi/Geog 239 – Environmental Planning and Policy or Envi 230 - Introduction to Environmental Policy

    4. Two upper-division environmental studies courses

    5. Envi 413 – Environmental Impact Analysis or Envi 415 – Environmental Planning. Another upper-division courses in environmental studies or a relevant upper-division course taught by another department may be substituted with permission of the Program Director.

    Note that no courses for which a student receives a grade lower than C- will count toward fulfilling requirements for the minor.

  • Senior Thesis

    The Senior Thesis is a two-semester program comprised of:

    • ENVI 397

    • ENVI 498

    Students who write a thesis are able to work one-on-one with a faculty member they choose on a topic of interest to them. Some past papers have led been published in professional journals.

    If you think you might want to write a senior thesis:

    • Discuss it with the Environmental Studies Director or Environmental Studies Advisor some time in the fall of your junior year.

    • Make sure you work with the ENVI advisor to register for ENVI 397

    If you want to write a thesis but you are planning to graduate in December or finish your degree in less than four years, discuss your situation with the Environmental Studies Director or Environmental Studies Advisor.

  • Steps to Graduate

    Are you graduating?

    Graduating seniors should apply for your degree before current semester withdrawal/grade option change. Please visit the commencement page for more inforamtion.

Last Updated: 4/26/18