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Environmental Studies Major

The BA program in Environmental Studies helps to bridge the gap between science and the application of this knowledge to other disciplines. These collaborations are vital to the development of strategies to protect and sustain our planet. The program draws upon the abilities of several departments and programs at the University, including environmental science, biology, chemistry, geology, business, communications, political science, criminal justice and sociology, and is designed to prepare a diverse group of environmental professionals in a growing environmental job market.  Students focus on courses in the natural sciences and humanities to provide a framework for the study of critical issues such as the impacts of climate change, water and energy insecurities, ecological degradation, wasteful consumption, our debilitated recycling system, sustainability, corporate responsibility and the development of environmental policies. Employment opportunities for students with a degree in Environmental Studies include environmental consulting, business development, corporate responsibility, communication, regulation and policy, urban planning and sustainability, environmental advocacy, and the management and conservation of natural resources.

Environmental Studies majors begin their program with a foundational curriculum in their freshman and sophomore year, and advance their interests by taking courses in 4 different focal areas in their junior and senior year to provide opportunities for individualized study. Foundational curriculum will include general training in the natural sciences and humanities. Students will then apply this training to the focal areas of business, communication, public policy and sociology, and may choose to focus on one or more areas of study. Students in this program will be exposed to a variety of learning strategies including problem-based learning, laboratory activities, experiential learning and service related to environmental stewardship. Service will focus on both local and global environmental issues.

Required courses


Course Number


Course Title

Recommended Sequence Year/Semester




Principles of Biology I







BUS 228 3 International Business and Cultures 1S or 2S
CHE 106 4 Practical Chemistry for Life
or CHE 121, General Chemistry I and CHE 121L, Laboratory for General Chemistry I
1F or 2F
COM 228 3 Business and Professional Speaking 2
ENG 345 3 Grants Writing and Research 3S or 4S
ENV 117 4 Introduction to Environmental Science 1F
ENV 205 3 Introduction to GIS 2F, 3F or 4F
ENV 217 2 Environmental Studies and Sustainability 2S
ENV 308 4 Field Botany Without Borders 2F or 3F
ENV 409 3 Global Issues in Environmental Science 3S or 4S
ENV 465 1 Environmental Internship 3S or 4F
ENV 498 1 Capstone Environmental Research  




Physical Geology


HIS 225 3 Environmental History 2F, 3F or 4F
POL 105 3 American National Government 1S or 2S
SLR 155 1 Added Credit Option (ENV 117, 217, or 409) 1 or 2F
SOC 105 3 Principles of Sociology 1 or 2




Focal Area Requirement

3 or 4

There are 53 credits required for this major. Prerequisite courses may be necessary and the General Education Requirements must be completed.

Focal area requirements

Students must select 4 additional courses in focal areas to be taken in their junior and senior year of study. Students may choose a generalized plan of study (12 credits from any focal area) or concentrate on a specific focal area. Projects and research papers in focal areas will focus on environmental issues.


Department Course Number Credits Course Title
ACC 101 3 Principles of Managerial Accounting
MGT 205 3 Principles of Management
MKT 205 3 Principles of Marketing
___ ___ 3 One course from the following: BUS 358, FIN 305, or ENT 325


Department Course Number Credits Course Title
COM 105 3 Understanding Media
COM 109 3 Multimedia I
COM 126 3 Principles of Design
___ ___ 3 One course from the following: COM 237, 315, 329, or 399

 Social Science

Department Course Number Credits Course Title
SOC 106 3 Societies
SOC 206 3 Social Problems
SOC 309 3 Urban Sociology
___ ___ 3 Once course from the following: SOC 327, 328, or 405

Public Policy

Department Course Number Credits Course Title
CRJ 109 3 Criminal Justice Administration
CRJ 115 3 Law and the United States Legal System
POL 105 3 Introduction to Politics
___ ___ 3 One course from the following: POL 206, 208, 209, 309, 307, or 316