Degrees: Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies
Overview: Environmental Studies focuses on relations between the natural environment and social, economic, political, legal, and humanistic aspects of society. As global population and consumption rises, understanding the interplay between environmental and social systems has become an increasingly important component of decision-making and planning. The curriculum in the environmental studies program helps prepare students for careers that emphasize a dual awareness of scientific and social perspectives and their relationship to the natural environment.
Curriculum: The Environmental Studies curriculum is built upon a 'breadth-depth' model. All students entering the Environmental Studies program are required to complete a core set of preparatory science and skill-development courses that provide a broad introduction to the environmental sciences. Students then choose a specialized 'track' that provides more advanced instruction in their areas of interest to help prepare them for careers after graduation. The program has been developed through collaboration with many other departments on campus, and provides considerable flexibility in course selection within the tracks. For most students, the program fuses an understanding of environmental science with the approximate equivalent of a self-designed minor in their specific area of interest.
Although many students in the program will take the majority of their upper-division classes in other departments, Environmental Studies students are hosted by the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and have ready access to all departmental resources, including excellent computer laboratories, annual week-long environmental science field trips, and a strengthening relationship with local internship opportunities.
Careers in the Field: The Environmental Studies program prepares students for careers in business, law, government, or wherever knowledge of scientific and social perspectives on the environment is important. Students also have the opportunity to prepare for more advanced degrees in a wide range of fields, including law, economics, and public policy.
About the Faculty: The Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences has a proud tradition of combining strong classroom and field-based instruction with an internationally recognized research faculty. Although growing, the department is small enough to provide a warm, collegial atmosphere that promotes extensive interaction between students and faculty. The Department frequently hosts visiting scientists from around the globe, and sponsors technical and general environmental science seminars that provide opportunities for students to interact with specialists from a wide variety of career options.
Internship Opportunities: Undergraduate students in the Environmental Studies program have the option to pursue internship opportunities through the Department or in collaboration with other departments on campus. Students also have the option to participate in a capstone project designed to provide a 'real-world' perspective as part of their undergraduate training.