Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Environmental Studies

Considering Environmental Studies?

Environmental Studies at Southwestern is one of our premier interdisciplinary programs; and it is designed to expose students to a wide range of perspectives and disciplinary orientations to understanding ‘the natural environment’ and human-environment interactions and connections. Students graduating with Environmental Studies pursue a wide variety of careers in government, NGOs, the sustainability sector, environmental law, or go on to graduate school to deepen their knowledge.

Major Requirements

Introductory level course:

  • Introduction to Environmental Studies (ENV 49-104)

Two mid-level “core” courses:

  • US Environmental Policy (ENV 49-364) (offered in the Fall)

And, in their senior year,

Science Courses (choose two)

  • Introduction to Earth Science (ENV 49-034)
  • Chemistry of the Environment (ENV 49-064)

    Biodiversity (ENV 49-112) l

  • Environmental Science (ENV 49-144)
  • Energy and the Environment (ENV 49-384)
  • Global Change Biology (ENV 49-414)
  • Ecology (ENV 49-434)
  • Environmental Chemistry (ENV 49-614)

(Occasionally offered topics courses, eg, Spring 2014—Landscape course) 

Environmental Justice courses (choose one)

  • Environmental Philosophy (ENV 49-294)
  • Religion and Ecology (ENV 49-334)
  • Animals and Religion (ENV 49-344)
  • Sacred Space and the Environment (ENV 49-374)
  • Global Environmental Justice (ENV 49-444)
  • (Occasionally offered special topics courses)


We also strongly recommend students study abroad.  School for Field Studies (SFS) and School for International Training (SIT) are excellent programs, as are a number of possibilities through ISEP and IES. Set up a meeting the Intercultural Learning Office!


We also strongly recommend students complete an internship before they graduate! Set up a meeting with Internship Services in Career Services.


Finally, make sure you meet with an Environmental Studies Professor for advice about the major if one is not already your advisor, to make sure you are on track! 

general educatioN REQUIREMENTS

Environmental Studies students are also strongly encouraged to fulfill their general education/distribution requirements with courses that have special pertinence to the study of the environment. The course list suggests which courses best fit the Environmental Studies program.

Minor in Environmental Studies


  • Introduction to Environmental Studies (ENV 49-104)


  • ENV49-034 Introduction to Earth Science
  • ENV49-054 Chemistry Appreciation
  • ENV 49-143/153 Principles of General Chemisty (take with 151)
  • ENV 49-151 Chemical Methods and Techniques Laboratory (take with 143/153)
  • ENV49-064 Chemistry of the Environment
  • ENV49-112 Biodiversity
  • ENV49-144 Environmental Science
  • ENV49-384 Energy and the Environment
  • ENV49-414 Global Change Biology
  • ENV49-434 Ecology
  • ENV49-614 Environmental Chemistry

Three Upper-level Courses:

Three additional upper-level Environmental Studies courses, at least one of which must come from the Humanities Division