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Academics: Environmental Studies

Major in environmental studies

The Environmental Studies Major educates students for a broad range of environmental careers, from environmental law to land use planning. Majors choose one of three disciplinary tracks: Geography, Political Science, or Economics. Students are strongly urged to do an internship as part of the major. Course substitutions may be approved by the environmental-studies director.

Required Courses for Majors (35 Hours)

  • BIOL 123: The Living World (Living World)
  • BIOL 225: Ecological and Evolutionary Systems
  • ECON 232: Environmental and Resource Economics (Societal Structures in North America)
  • ENST 210: Human Modifications of the Global Environment (Global and Historical Studies)
  • ENST 302: Environment and Society
  • ENST 395: History and Philosophy of Environmental Thought (Capstone)
  • GEOG/GEOL 120: Earth Systems; or GEOL 151: Introduction to Geology (The Physical World)
  • GEOG 261: Geographic Information Systems and Cartography (Rhetoric in Culture)
  • POLS 212: American Public Policy (Societal Structures in North America)
    • Cognate: MATH 143: Introduction to Probability & Statistics (Depending on other majors or minors, some students may substitute MATH 243: Statistics, PSYC 255: Statistics and Research Design, or SOC 255: Social Science Statistics.) (Mathematics)

Required Courses for the Disciplinary Tracks (15-19 Hours)

Five additional offerings—semester courses, interim courses, off-campus programs, and internships—from the list below or approved by the student’s advisor in one of the following disciplines: Geography, Political Science, or Economics. Students may also choose to focus their studies in another discipline if approved by the Environmental Studies program director and an advisor in that discipline. (50-54 Total Hours in the Major)


  • GEOG 110: World Regional Geography
  • GEOG 230: Geography of the Global Economy
  • GEOG 295: Special Topics in Geography
  • GEOG 311: Geomorphology
  • GEOG 320: Introduction to Cultural Geography
  • GEOG 351: Introduction to Urban and Regional Planning
  • GEOG 361: Advanced Geographic Information Systems
  • GEOG 385: Internship in Geography


  • POLS 101: American Politics or POLS 110: Persons in Political Community
  • POLS 202: American State and Local Politics
  • POLS 207: Introduction to International Politics
  • POLS 209: Public Administration or 314: The President and Congress
  • POLS 251: Methods in Political Analysis
  • POLS 276: Latin American Politics or 279: African Politics
  • POLS 309: International Organizations and Law
  • POLS 380: Internship in State or Local Politics


  • ECON 221: Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON 222: Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECON 325: Managerial Economics/Advanced Microeconomics
  • ECON 326: Business Cycles and Forecasting/Advanced Macroeconomics
  • ECON 330: Urban Regional Economics
  • ECON 339: Public Finance
  • ECON 343: Quantitative Economics and Econometrics
  • BUS 359: Internship in Business


Student Learning Outcomes


Environmental Studies majors will have two advisors: the program advisor and a disciplinary advisor. The program advisor will be responsible for the student’s overall academic progress, with particular attention to core requirements and various electives. The disciplinary advisor will be responsible for work that the student does in his or her disciplinary track.  

The program advisor for the Environmental Studies major is James Skillen (GEO).