Environmental Studies Curriculum

Environmental challenges, solutions, and justice do not have disciplinary boundaries. Our curriculum is designed to teach students to approach a particular topic not simply as a question of biology, politics, or theology, but rather to combine these (and many more) perspectives to better understand environmental issues in all their complexity.


student collecting data during prairie lab

The major consists of 53 credits

Required Core Courses: 25 credits

This sequence is designed to offer introductory knowledge on environmental issues. Skills developed in this sequence - reading and writing comprehensively, understanding how to create and/or analyze data, building research skills across disciplines - provide a scaffold for both academic and career success.

  • ENVR 150: Intro to Environmental Studies (4)
  • ENVR 175: Earth Systems Science (4) (NS, NW, QR)
  • ENVR 275: Humans in the Environment (4) (NS)
  • ENVR 279A: Environmental Methods and Analysis (4) (SS, SW, TF-TR)
  • ENVR 320: Research Colloquium (4)
  • ENVR 395: Research Seminar (4)
  • ENVR 397: Internship (1)

Environmental Perspectives: 12 credits

These courses offer a deeper dive into relevant environmental topics. Students must take at least one course from each category.

1. Environmental Science

  • ENVR 300T: Sustainable Agricultural Science (4) (NW, TE3-MV)
  • ENVR 331: Science of Climate Changes (4)

2. Environmental Social Science

  • ENVR 310: Environmental Geography (4) (SW, TE3-MV)
  • ENVR 377: Energy and Society (4) (SW, TF-JU)

3. Environmental Humanities

  • ENVR 278A: Global Environmental History (HM, HE, TF-MV)
  • ENVR 315: American Environmental Classics (4) (HM, HE, TE3-JU)
  • ENVR/HIST 360: U.S. Environmental History (4) (HM, HE)

Environmental Electives: 16 credits

Students must complete four elective courses selected from the following lists. The flexibility in elective choice allows students to decide to add depth in a particular discipline (i.e. science, policy, energy), or continue to add breadth and depth to their interdisciplinary credentials.

Note that the courses in Environmental Perspectives are listed here as well; course that were not selected to fill that requirement may be taken as electives. Additional ENVR 397: Internship credits may not be counted toward elective requirements.

Departmental Courses (4 credits each):

  • ENVR 200A: Environmental Art and Architecture (FA)
  • ENVR 278A: Global Environmental History (HM, HE, TF-MV)
  • ENVR 300I: Environmental Anthropology
  • ENVR 300Q: Environmental Health
  • ENVR 300R: Sustainable Urban Planning
  • ENVR 300T: Sustainable Agricultural Science (NW, TE3-MV)
  • ENVR 300Z: Outdoor Adventure Education & Leadership (2 credits)
  • ENVR 303: Climate Action Workshop (2 credits) (EX, TE3-JU) - pairs well with ENVR 305 offered the same semester
  • ENVR 305: Global Climate Policy (2 credits) (SS, SW, EX, TE3-JU) - pairs well with ENVR 303 offered the same semester; enrolled students typically attend the UNFCCC COP
  • ENVR 310: Environmental Geography (SS, SW, TE3-MV)
  • ENVR 311: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (AS)
  • ENVR 315: American Environmental Literature (HM, HE, TE3-JU)
  • ENVR 327: Gender and Environment (GE, ES, CS)
  • ENVR 330: Environmental Politics/Policy
  • ENVR 331: Science of Global Climate Change
  • ENVR 360: U.S. Environmental History (HM, HE)
  • ENVR 377: Energy and Society (SS, SW, TF-JU)

Cross-listed and Non-departmental courses (4 credits each):

  • BIOL 334: General Ecology
  • BIOL 337: Aquatic Ecology (NW, TE3-MV, BN)
  • COMM 309: Environmental Rhetoric
  • PCST 354: Global Environmental Politics
  • PHIL 322: Environmental Ethics


The minor consists of 24 credits

Required Core Courses: 12 credits

  • ENVR 150: Intro to Environmental Studies
  • ENVR 175: Earth Systems Science (NS, NW, QR)
  • ENVR 275: Humans in the Environment (NS)

Environmental Electives: 12 credits

Choose THREE courses from the following list.

  • ENVR 300I: Environmental Anthropology
  • ENVR 300Q: Environmental Health
  • ENVR 300R: Sustainable Urban Planning
  • ENVR 300T: Sustainable Agricultural Science
  • ENVR 300Z: Outdoor Adventure Education & Leadership (2 credits)
  • ENVR 303: Climate Action Workshop (EX) (2 credits) - pairs well with ENVR 305 offered the same semester
  • ENVR 305: Global Climate Policy (EX, SW, TE3-JU) (2 credits) - pairs well with ENVR 303 offered the same semester; enrolled students typically attend the UNFCCC COP 
  • ENVR 310: Environmental Geography (SS, SW, TE3-MV)
  • ENVR 311: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (AS)
  • ENVR 315: American Environmental Classics (HM, HE, TE3-JU)
  • ENVR 327/GEND 360M: Gender and Environment (GE, ES, CS)
  • ENVR/POLS 330: Environmental Politics/Policy
  • ENVR 331: Science of Climate Changes
  • ENVR/HIST 360: U.S. Environmental History (HM, HE)
  • ENVR 377: Energy and Society (SS, SW, TF-JU)

Only 300-level courses that are formally listed as ENVR are accepted as elective in the minor. Courses from other departments that are not cross-listed (i.e. BIOL) may not be counted toward the minor. Courses taken through other institutions (i.e. study abroad) must be approved by the department chair on an individual basis.