Major Requirements

ENST_Senior_2019 Requirements for the Environmental Studies major include a minimum of eleven courses. Students are strongly advised to follow the course sequence outlined below.  

Major course checklists are available for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 and later.

Required courses include the introductory course (ENST-120), Environmental History (ENST-220/HIST-104 or HIST-105), Economics (ENST-230/ECON-111E or ECON-111), Statistics (ENST-240/STAT-111E or STAT-111 or STAT-135), Ecology (ENST-210/BIOL-230), and Environmental Policy (ENST-260).  The senior seminar (ENST-495, offered in the fall), fulfills the comprehensive requirement.

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 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 involves two course credits.  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 in writing through their advisor and submit a syllabus or description of the course for approval. Credit is not offered for advanced placement in Environmental Studies. However, students who have taken AP statistics or AP micro and macroeconomics can sometimes place out of these core requirements with permission from the department. Students who place out of a required course must replace that course with an additional elective.

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". 

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 semester of Year 1: Economics (ENST-230/ECON-111E or ECON-111), Environmental History (ENST-220/HIST-104 or HIST-105), Statistics (ENST-240/STAT-111E or STAT-111 or STAT-135). Other courses serving as electives may also be considered in the first semester.

In the spring semester of Year 1, completion of the required course ENST-120 The Resilient (?) Earth: An Introduction to Environmental Studies is strongly recommended, as it provides a broad overview of the major and serves as a pre-requisite for Ecology (ENST-210/BIOL-230), Environmental Policy (ENST-260), and other upper-level electives in the major.

Year 2
Continued progress towards completion of the core requirements in the fall semester.It is strongly recommended that either (or both) Economics or Statistics requirements be completed by the end of the second year.

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 by ALL majors, including thesis writers, during the fall semester.  Additionally, honors candidates will dedicate two course credits to their thesis research; typically, one course in the fall semester (ENST-498) and one course in the spring (ENST-499).  In some cases, a double course can be taken in the spring semester (ENST-499D).  Additional electives are encouraged during this year.

Courses Required for All Majors 

The Environmental Studies major consists of a minimum of 11 courses:

  • ENST-120: The Resilient (?) Earth: An Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • 5 core courses:
    • Environmental History (ENST-220/HIST-104 or HIST-105)
    • Economics with Environmental Applications (ENST 230/ECON-111E or ECON-111)
    • Statistics (ENST-240/STAT-111E or STAT-111 or STAT-135)
    • Ecology (ENST-210/BIOL-230)
    • Environmental Policy (ENST-260) *Note that the Environmental Policy and eleven-course requirement do not apply to students graduating prior to 2021.
  • 4 Electives (see lists of electives below)
  • ENST-495: Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies

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-112: Surficial Earth Dynamics: Climate, Environment and Life
GEOL-301: Hydrogeology
GEOL-450: Seminar in Biogeochemistry
MATH-140: Mathematical Modeling
PHYS-109: Energy

Category II Electives:  Social Sciences and Humanities

ENST-160: Politics of Food
ENST-207/HIST-207 The Wild and the Cultivated
ENST-226 Unequal Footprints on the Earth: Understanding the Social Drivers of Ecological Crises and Environmental Inequality
ENST-228/PHIL-225 Environmental Philosophy
ENST-250: Environmental Politics and Policies
ENST-252 U. S. Environmental Policy
ENST-260 Global Environmental Politics
ENST-265 Climate Change Policy and Politics
ENST-310 Conservation Social Science
ENST-320 Knowledge, Politics & the Environment
ENST-330 Environmental Justice
ENST-341 Ecology, Justice, and the Struggle for Socio-Ecological Change: Environmental Movements and Ideas
ENST-342 Socio-Ecological Victories and Visions
ENST-401 Wine, History, and the Environment
ENST-440 The Social Construction of Wildlife
ENST-460 Partisanship and Environment in the U.S.
ENST-464/PHIL-464 Seminar: Population Ethics
ENST-497 Hurricane Katrina: Race, Class, and Environmental Justice
ANTH-235 Environmental Anthropology
ANTH-251 Anthropology of Natural Wealth
ECON-210 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
HIST-207/ENST-207 The Wild and the Cultivated
HIST-265 Environmental History of Latin America
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-112 The International Politics of Climate Change
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
RELI-225 Christianity, Ecology, and Environmental Responsibility
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