Major Overview

Our curriculum includes courses in oceanography, climate change, natural disasters, and animal behavior, and also incorporates seminars on current environmental issues, including extinction processes, electronic waste, and fresh water resources. You will be able to combine our rich course offerings with electives of your choice, in order to construct an interdisciplinary plan of study for your major. While providing you with the theoretical and practical foundation that you will require for your professional and academic future, our major is tailored to the needs of our global explorer students, as it combines and transcends established disciplines, while relying heavily on the plurality of our students’ national and cultural life experiences.

Featured Course

Environmental Ethics

Exploring the role of humans as moral agents with regard to other living beings and the planet.

Learning Environment

We are committed to providing non-scientists with the theoretical and practical foundation that will allow them to thrive within this or any other discipline. In your small classes and labs, you will be introduced to key environmental concepts and approaches, be trained in the scientific method, focus on specific cases of environmental emergency, and explore the relationships among environment, economics, and development. 

Professor Berg

Faculty Spotlight

I find the idea of students guiding a class very valuable...

Beetle Kinship Project

Student & Faculty Collaboration

Prof. Elena Berg and student Shannon Monahan examined...

Major Components
Build Your Degree

With every single one of our majors, you’ll find a carefully curated medley of core courses and electives, which will provide you with the tools you need to establish an unshakeable foundation in the principles and concepts fundamental to your growth within your disciplines of choice. Many majors also enable you to specialize further within the broader area of study.

Core Courses

Core Courses

We aim to help you develop a range of skills, capacities, and modes of inquiry that will be crucial for your future since employers and graduate schools are looking for the critical thinking and innovative problem-solving skills that are associated with a liberal arts education, including sophisticated writing abilities, willingness to pose difficult questions, and an understanding of the historical and cultural contexts surrounding a topic or decision. 

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With your choice of five electives from the electives list, we want you to find a parallel academic direction for your studies that both complements and is relevant to Environmental Studies. Past examples include Environmental Studies and Social Justice and Environmental Studies and Journalism. 

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Core Curriculum

The Environmental Studies core courses, which you must take as part of the major requirements, will provide you with the tools you’ll need to ground your present and future studies. Your introduction to the fundamentals of Environmental Studies will help pave the way for your successful completion of other Environmental Studies courses.

SC1020 Environmental Science

This course is intended to introduce non-scientists to key concepts and approaches in the study of the environment. With a focus on the scientific method, we learn about natural systems using case studies of disruptions caused by human activity. Topics include global warming, deforestation, waste production and recycling, water pollution, environmental toxins and sustainable development. The relationships between science and policy, the media, and citizen action are also addressed. Must take lab. Please note that an additional fee will be charged for this course.

SC2010 Contemporary Environmental Issues

This course will focus on specific cases of anthropogenic environmental emergencies such as: the ozone hole, global warming or fresh water resource depletion. Students will investigate specific cases discussed in recent peer-reviewed scientific articles. Emphasis will be placed on the physical processes involved and possible solutions.

PL2041 Environmental Ethics

Introduction to ethics by the example of environmental ethics, exploring the role of humans as moral agents with regard to other living beings, the whole planet or its biosphere, and future generations. Through cases studies and to understand implicit assumptions and theoretical problems of standpoints taken by stakeholders in the debate.

EC2010 Principles Of Microeconomics

Focuses on the role played by relative market prices in our society and on the forces of market supply and demand in determining these prices. Since the actions of consumers and firms underlie supply and demand, the course studies in detail the behavior of these two groups.

EC2020 Principles Of Macroeconomics

Examines the determinants of the levels of national income, employment, rates of interest, and prices. Studies in detail the instruments of monetary and fiscal policy, highlighting the domestic and international repercussions of their implementation.

PO3033 Internat'l Politics Of The Environment

Examines concerns about interaction between environmental degradation and developmental aspirations that have recently been placed on political agendas around the world. Examines how and to what extent the international system imposes constraints on and presents opportunities for nation-states as they attempt to achieve sustainable development.

SC4075 Portfolio

The course is taught as a directed study by the chair of the CSMES department or by a faculty member appointed by the chair. The course requires students approaching completion of their Environmental Studies Major course sequence to assemble all their undergraduate academic achievements into a coherent body of work, linked by overarching themes and goals, leading to a proposal for a senior project

SC4095 Senior Project
CM4063 Sustainable Development Practicum

How does communication work as local government bodies, civil-society actors and NGOs put together sustainable development initiatives? How can communication be made to work better? Cutting across disciplines, this practicum allows students to see individuals, groups and communities in collaboration (and sometimes conflict) in a South Asian context marked by the 2004 tsunami. Based in the international eco-community of Auroville (Tamil Nadu, south-east India), students will explore substantive areas including micro-credit, health care with special reference to HIV/Aids, socially responsible business and environmental management. On-site visits and team-work are central to the course, leading to the production of multi-media reports on the interface between communication, development and sustainability. This course has an extra course fee - to guage an estimated cost, the fee was approximately 1600 euros.