The Major in Environmental Science & Policy
The Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P) major is designed for students with interests in the environment and sustainability and a commitment to scientifically based problem solving and policy analysis. The objectives of the major are to prepare students to transcend disciplinary boundaries; combine analytical and communication skills with a well-rounded understanding of the environment; and translate this knowledge into meaningful action and innovative solutions. Four integration courses form the intellectual and organizational core of the major. Each course brings together frameworks, proficiencies, and knowledge from natural and social sciences in an explicitly integrative fashion to explore and analyze important environmental topics at local, regional, national and global levels. Additional introductory courses provide breadth in the natural and social sciences, humanities and policy and statistics and introduce students to fundamental aspects of disciplines important to understanding human-environment interactions. Students gain depth of knowledge by choosing a coherent sequence of electives with a clear environmental focus. Students are strongly encouraged to engage in environmentally oriented internships, independent research, or study away opportunities.
Prospective majors should consult with an ES&P faculty adviser in choosing their courses. In their first semesters, students are encouraged to enroll in one of the introductory courses (see list) and an appropriate core course (ENV 101) as well as statistics.
The ES&P major requires 14 courses. These include:
- four integration courses (ENV 101, ENV 201/202, ENV 311, ENV 312);
- three introductory courses in the Natural Sciences from different departments (BIO, CHM, EGR/PHY, GEO), two of which must include labs (see list in the catalogue copy);
- two introductory courses in the Social Sciences, Humanities and Policy from different departments (see list in the catalogue copy);
- one course in Statistics; and
- four electives that create a coherent sequence with a clear environmental focus. No more than 1 elective can be at the 100-level and at least one must be at the 300-level. One semester of independent study (ENV 400) or credit toward an Honor’s thesis (ENV 430d) may be substituted for 1 elective. Internships or study abroad experiences are strongly encouraged.
One course fulfilling the major requirements may be taken S/U; ENV 201/202, ENV 311, and ENV 312 may not be taken S/U.