Major Requirements

ENST_Senior_2019 Requirements for the Environmental Studies major include seven core courses and a minimum of four courses selected from the list of electives. Students are strongly advised to follow the course sequence outlined below.

Core courses include the introductory course (ENST-120), Ecology (ENST-210), Environmental History (either ENST-220 or HIST-105), Economics (ENST-230), Statistics (ENST-240 or equivalent) and Environmental Policy (ENST-252 or 260).  The senior seminar (ENST-498), offered in the fall semester, fulfills the comprehensive requirement. (Neither the Environmental Policy requirement nor the eleven course requirement apply to students graduating before 2021.)

Beyond the required core courses, majors must take at least four courses from the list of electives. Elective courses must include at least one course from each of the two categories (Category I: Natural sciences and Category II: Social sciences and Humanities), which span different fields of environmental inquiry.

The honors program in Environmental Studies is a two semester sequence.  Majors electing to pursue honors are required to submit a thesis proposal to the Department prior to enrolling in ENST-498.  Following successful completion of ENST-498, students complete their thesis by enrolling in ENST-499.  Here are more details for students wishing to undertake a thesis in Environmental Studies.

Students who wish to satisfy a core or elective requirement with a course taken outisde the College—for example, a Five College course or a course taken abroad—must petition the department through their advisor in writing and submit a syllabus or description of the course for approval.  Note that students for whom Environmental Studies is a second major can count no more than two courses toward both majors. Note also that to credit towards the Environmental Studies major is granted only for courses passed with a grade above a "D". Finally, note that credit is not offered for advanced placement in Environmental Studies. However, students who have taken AP Stats or AP Micro and Macroeconomics can sometimes place out of these core requirements with permission from the Environmental Studies Department. Students would then be required to replace these core requirements with an additional elective.

Recommended Course Sequence

Year 1
Students interested in majoring in ENST should consider taking one of the following core requirements of the ENST major in the fall of Year 1: Economics (ECON-111E/ENST-230), Environmental History (ENST-220/HIST-104 or HIST-105), Statistics (STAT-111E/ENST-240 or STAT-135) or Environmental Policy (ENST-252 or 260). Enrollment in electives for the major should also be considered.

Completion of the required introductory course ENST-120 in the spring semester of Year 1 is strongly recommended.

Year 2
Continued progress towards completion of the core requirements, including Ecology (BIOL-230/ENST-210) in the fall semester.

ENST-120 must be completed by the spring semester of year 2.   It is strongly recommended that either (or both) Economics or Statistics requirements be completed by the end of the second year.

Year 3
The third year is ideal for deepening your ENST training with electives, and perhaps also a study abroad experience.

Students interested in pursuing Senior Honors should consult with ENST faculty during the spring semester of the junior year.

The ENST faculty strongly encourage completion of ALL of the core requirements of the major by the end of year three.

Year 4
The Senior Seminar (ENST-495) must be completed during the fall semester.  Honors candidates will dedicate one additional course credit to their thesis research during both the fall and spring semesters (ENST-498 and 499), or alternatively two course credits during their spring semester.  Additional electives are encouraged during this year.

Core Courses Required for All Majors

  • ENST-120: The Resilient (?) Earth: An Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • ENST-220/HIST-104: Environmental Issues of the Nineteenth Century
    HIST-105: Global Environmental History of the Twentieth Century
  • ENST-210/BIOL-230: Ecology
  • ENST-230/ECON-111E: Introduction to Economics with Environmental Applications
  • A course in statistics such as ENST-240/STAT 111E (formerly MATH 130) Introduction to Statistics, ECON-360 Econometrics, PSYC-122 Statistics and Experimental Design, BIOL 210 Experimental Design and Data Analysis in the Life Science, an upper level course in statistics or the equivalent as approved by the Department
  • ENST-252 or 260: Environmental Policy (Note that neither the Environmental Policy requirement nor the eleven course requirement apply to students graduating before 2021.)
  • ENST-495: Senior Seminar

Elective courses

Category I Electives:  Natural Sciences

BIOL-104: Food, Fiber, Pharmaceuticals

BIOL-181: Adaptation & the Organism

BIOL-201: Introduction to Field Biology: Disease Ecology

BIOL-280/281: Animal Behavior

BIOL-320/321: Evolutionary Biology

BIOL-434: Seminar in Ecology

BIOL-440: Seminar in Conservation Biology

BIOL-454:  Seminar in Tropical Biology

GEOL-105: Introduction to Oceanography

GEOL-109: Climate Change, Global Warming and Energy Resources

GEOL-121: Surface Earth Dynamics

GEOL-301: Hydrogeology

GEOL-450: Seminar in Biogeochemistry

MATH-140: Mathematical Modeling

PHYS-109: Energy

Category II Electives:  Social Sciences and Humanities

ANTH-235: Environmental Anthropology

ANTH-251: Anthropology of Natural Wealth

ECON-210: Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

ENST-160: Politics of Food

ENST-250: Environmental Politics and Policies

ENST-260: Global Environmental Politics

ENST-330: Environmental Justice

HIST-265: Environmental History of Latin America

HIST-207/ENST-207: The Wild and the Cultivated

HIST-402/ENST-401: Proseminar: Research and Writing

HIST-411: Commodities, Nature and Society

LJST-227: Sustainability and the Fate of Law:  Can Law Save the World

LJST-235: Law’s Nature: Humans, the Environment and the Predicament of Law

PHIL-225/ENST-228: Environmental Philosophy

PHIL-464/ENST-464: Population Ethics

POSC-231: The Political Economy of Petro States: Venezuela Compared

POSC-307: States of Extraction: Nature and World Politics in the Americas

PSYC-246: Environmental Psychology

SOCI-226: Footprints on the Earth: The Environmental Consequences of Modernity

SOCI-341: Making Peace with the Planet: Environmental Movements and Ideas

Other Seminars and Tutorials

ENST-410: Seminar on Invasive Species

ENST-420: Seminar on Sustainable Agriculture

ENST-430: Seminar on Fisheries

ENST-490: Special Topics