Program Overview

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"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike. -- John Muir

 The Environmental Studies Department helps students use the resources of the University to gain an interdisciplinary understanding of increasingly serious issues such as pollution, wildlife and wilderness preservation, land use, loss of biodiversity, resource depletion, energy conservation, and generally a healthful relationship between nature and society. The Department offers both a major, a minor, and also assists students in constructing special majors and identifying programs and individual courses in various departments.

The Program offers a variety of classes that focus primarily on the social and policy aspects of current environmental issues and natural resource conservation. The strength of the curriculum is in its breadth and integrative nature. The Program ensures that students must utilize concepts from the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities to succeed in their upper division courses.

The major is designed to help students understand environmental problems in their political, social, and scientific context. Because dealing with environmental problems requires an interdisciplinary approach, The Department emphasizes the development of strong writing, research, quantitative skills and a broad liberal arts perspective.

Completion of the degree also requires a senior thesis, which is completed in one semester through the ENVS 190 course options, or senior seminars.  These senior seminar courses include: Environmental Quality and Social Justice, Environmental Politics and Policy, and a third proposed seminar in Scientific Issues in Environmental Studies.