College of Arts and Sciences

Environmental Science and Sustainability Program

Requirements for the Environmental Studies Minor


The environment is receiving significant attention in recent years in light of issues such as climate change, declining energy resources, and other sustainability related issues.  A minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies is meant to serve a broad student population and will provide students with an extensive understanding of environmental and sustainability issues.  The minor will yield graduates who are truly "men and women for others" by preparing students for careers that will identify and study the causes and effects of current and future environmental challenges, educate others about the environment, and help write and analyze related policy.

Students completing this minor will:

  • Develop an understanding of the natural environment as an integrated system of complex biological and physical interactions and how human activities affect that system.
  • Develop an understanding of the connections and interdependency of ecology, economics, society, governmental regulation, and politics in the modern world and the implications of this for environmental problem solving.
  • Develop skills in addressing moral and social dilemmas implicit to solving environmental problems.

Requirements for the Minor

Students must take six courses for the Minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.  Courses taken to fulfill requirements of the minor may also fulfill the GEP or overlay (Ethics, Globalization /Diversity) requirements. 

All students will take (in this sequence):
ENV     106    Exploring the Earth
ENV     102    Environmental Theory and Ethics Seminar (PHL 154 prerequ)

2 Semesters of ENV 390 Seminar (can be taken any semester)

Students are required to take 4 additional courses from the following three groups.  Courses do not need to be taken in any particular order, but some courses may require prerequisites.  No more than 2 courses can be taken from each group. 

Note for Natural Science majors: Students majoring in Biology, Chemistry, Chemical Biology, or Physics may minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.  These students should fulfill the their electives from the Societal Responses and Economic Issues groups.

Understanding our Earth
BIO     165    Exploring the Biological World
CHM    100    Chemistry for the Consumer
PHY     112    Energy: Problems and Promise
PHY     113    Exploring the Physical World

Societal responses past and present
POL     327    Environmental Politics in America
HIS     386    American Environmental History
ENG    150   Nature in America
ENG    376   Writing and Environmental Justice
ENG    426   Nature Writing
PHL     316    Food and Justice

Economic issues and solutions
SOC     316   Fair trade:  Co-op to cup
ECN     370    Economic Development
ECN     375    Environmental Economics
ECN     376    Economics of Food
MKT     150    People, Planet, Profit
LEO     212    Organizational Sustainability

Experiential learning

ENV     490   Environmental Internship