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Undergraduate Studies, Major, Minor, Modified Major and Honors

Major and Minor Information

Choose from the following two major worksheets.

Choose from the following three minor worksheets.

Other major modified with ENVS worksheet

Helpful information when completing worksheets can be found at the links below.

Major and Minor Advising

If you need help getting started, stop by and see Kim Wind, Program Administrator, in 112 Steele Hall.

If you already have your worksheet completed or would like to meet with an advisor, please email one of the professors below to make an appointment.  Please write "Advising Appointment Needed" in the subject line.

  • Doug Bolger, ecology, biology and conservation
  • Rich Howarth, economics, policy, law, politics, ethics, governance, sustainable development
  • Anne Kapuscinski, sustainability, agriculture and aquaculture, marine conservation, environmental policy
  • Chris Sneddon, water resources, international development, environmental politics, environmental conflict, resource geopolitics, and social theory and the environment

The Major

The Major in Environmental Studies requires introductory courses, core courses, elective focus courses, and the culminating experience course. (see ENVS major worksheet above). We believe the interdisciplinary nature of Environmental Studies requires this number of courses to ensure students gain fundamental skills in the areas of environmental science and studies before they move into elective focus courses.

The prerequisites ensure that students have an introduction to a physical science lab science, an understanding of the economic system (since all environmental problems include economic considerations) and calculus so students will have basic quantitative skills used in more advanced environmental studies courses.

The core courses cover a body of knowledge considered fundamental to understanding the relationships between people and their environment, namely, global environmental science, environmental decision making and risk, environmental ethics and the legal system, and political institutions and their role in environmental issues. This core of intermediate level courses provides a unifying set of concepts and principles related to the analysis of complex environmental issues.

The elective focus courses give each student the opportunity to develop an area of emphasis around a theme of their choosing. These courses must be approved as part of the Student Major Plan which must include the rationale for the elective courses.

The culminating experience in the major is fulfilled by ENVS 50, 84 or 91.

ENVS 50: Environmental Problem Analysis

Students work together in groups to formulate and justify policy measures that they think would be appropriate to deal with a local environmental problem. The purposes of this culminating course are to (1) give students an opportunity to see how the disciplinary knowledge acquired in their various courses and departmental major programs can be integrated in a synthetic manner; (2) provide a forum for an in-depth evaluation of a significant environmental policy problem; and (3) give students the experience of working as a project team toward the solution of a real-world problem. Considerable fieldwork may be involved, and the final examination consists of a public presentation and defense of the student-generated policy recommendations. To satisfy the culminating experience we will restrict the course to juniors and seniors and we will require each student to produce an individual written report on their contribution to the combined group report so we can more directly assess individual achievement.

ENVS 50 Reports

ENVS 50 Presentation
May 29, 2013

ENVS 84: Seminar on Environmental Issues of Southern Africa

Students on the Africa Foreign Study Program, working in small sub-groups, will undertake multidisciplinary studies of specific regional environmental issues in southern Africa.

ENVS 91: Thesis Research in ENVS (Senior Honors Thesis Guidelines)

A candidate for the Honors Program must satisfy the minimum College GPA Requirement and complete ENVS 91, or a similar research course approved by the Chair. ENVS 91 may be taken two terms but may only once count toward the major.  Please see Internships and Grants for funding sources.

ENVS 91 Recent Honors Theses

2014 Senior Honors Thesis Writers
first row: Rachel Carter, Katie Gougelet, Ali Uribe, Deborah Yeoh-Wang, Janna Wandzilak, Sammi Dowdell
second row: Michael Berger, Shea Flanagan, Maya Johnson, Lisa Rennels, Jimena Diaz
photo courtesy of Kim Wind


Transfer Term Course Credit

To apply to the Environmental Studies Program for transfer term course credit, please email the following items to the Chair, Professor Howarth and cc the Program Administrator, Kim Wind. (If submitting hard copies, please drop off to Kim Wind in 112 Steele):

1. Actual syllabus for the course you will take in the specific term that you will take it, or the prior term it was taught.

2. CV of the instructor who will teach the course in the term that you will take it.

3. A completed Transfer Term Application. The ENVS evaluation of your application depends a lot on what you write to "describe how you plan to incorporate the transfer term into your Dartmouth academic program".

4. Transfer Credit Approval Form. Be sure to clearly specify which course at Dartmouth you are asking for the transfer term course to replace, or whether you are seeking a general ENVS credit (indicated as ENVS 000).

Please allow one week for review of the submitted documents and decision. .

Note: the Registrar requires that you submit a transfer approval request before you take the course. The Registrar's office will not approve transfer credit after you've already started taking a course somewhere else.

Learning Outcomes

  • Environmental Studies Major Learning Outcomes
    The Environmental Studies major prepares students for careers as leaders in understanding and addressing complex environmental issues from a problem-oriented, interdisciplinary perspective. Students:
    • Master core concepts and methods from ecological and physical sciences and their application in environmental problem solving.
    • Master core concepts and methods from economic, political, and social analysis as they pertain to the design and evaluation of environmental policies and institutions.
    • Appreciate the ethical, cross-cultural, and historical context of environmental issues and the links between human and natural systems.
    • Understand the transnational character of environmental problems and ways of addressing them, including interactions across local to global scales.
    • Apply systems concepts and methodologies to analyze and understand interactions between social and environmental processes.
    • Reflect critically about their roles and identities as citizens, consumers and environmental actors in a complex, interconnected world.
    • Demonstrate proficiency in quantitative methods, qualitative analysis, critical thinking, and written and oral communication needed to conduct high-level work as interdisciplinary scholars and/or practitioners.
  • Environmental Studies Minor Learning Outcomes
    The Environmental Studies minor supplements other majors to facilitate students’ understanding of complex environmental issues from a problem-oriented, interdisciplinary perspective. Students:
    • Understand key concepts from economic, political, and social analysis as they pertain to the design and evaluation of environmental policies and institutions.
    • Appreciate concepts and methods from ecological and physical sciences and their application in environmental problem solving.
    • Appreciate the ethical, cross-cultural, and historical context of environmental issues and the links between human and natural systems.
    • Reflect critically about their roles and identities as citizens, consumers and environmental actors in a complex, interconnected world.
  • Environmental Science Minor Learning Outcomes
    The Environmental Science minor supplements other majors to facilitate students’ understanding of complex environmental issues from a problem-oriented, interdisciplinary perspective. Students:
    • Understand core concepts and methods from ecological and physical sciences and their application in environmental problem-solving.
    • Appreciate key concepts from economic, political, and social analysis as they pertain to the design and evaluation of environmental policies and institutions.
    • Appreciate the ethical, cross-cultural, and historical context of environmental issues and the links between human and natural systems.
    • Appreciate that one can apply systems concepts and methodologies to analyze and understand interactions between social and environmental processes.
    • Reflect critically about their roles and identities as citizens, consumers and environmental actors in a complex, interconnected world.

Last Updated: 9/16/14