Degree Requirements

2018 - 2019

Program Guidelines and Goals

Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary inquiry into the relationship between humans and the environment. Both a major and a minor are available to students with an interest in the rigorous study of these issues. The major requires students to develop a specific environmental focus as a concentration in addition to the environmental core and distribution courses. The minor in ENVS allows students to integrate an environmental perspective with their major field of study.
 
As an interdisciplinary area, Environmental Studies draws on work in the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the arts. It endeavors to bridge these many intellectual approaches and perspectives in the hope that students will gain a deeper understanding both of the environmental concerns facing the world and of proactive opportunities for change. Among issues of concern and investigation are resource utilization, the impact of technology on ecosystems, relationships between the environment and sociocultural systems, geographic analysis, environmental economics and policy, conservation of biological diversity, nature writing, alternative dispute resolution, environmental psychology, political ecology, environmental photography, sustainable agriculture and environmental ethics, among many others.

Environmental Studies Major

The Environmental Studies Major requires nine courses as part of a three-prong program:

  1. Four required core courses:
    1. ENVS 100 - Integrated Environmental Studies;
    2. ENVS 200 - Environmental Analysis
    3. ENVS 301 - Environmental Practicum;
    4. ENVS Senior Experience (either ENVS 401 - Environmental Senior Project or ENVS 451 - Senior Research-ENVS 452 - Senior Research)
  2. Four distribution courses: Students are to fulfill the requirements of the distribution categories listed below. No double counting is permitted among these distribution categories. See the ENVS website for updates to the list of courses that may be used to fulfill these categories. Also note that some of these courses have prerequisites.
    1. One environmental methods course from the Humanities or the Arts. Examples include:
      AHVC 263World Views: Spatial Imagination in East Asia
      AHVC 302Medieval Art and Architecture
      CLAS 312Ancient Identities
      ENGL 291Nature and the Literary Imagination
      ENGL 391Nature's Nation
      ENVS 256Farmscape: Visual Immersion in the Food System
      HIST 240Advanced Studies in Latin American History (when taught as "Environmental History of Latin America")
      PHIL 260Environmental Philosophy
      REL 205Religion and Nature
      See the ENVS website for a complete and current list.
    2. One environmental course from the Social Sciences. Examples include
      ECON 202Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability
      ECON 427Environmental Economics
      COMM 215Special Topics in Communication (when taught as "Environmental Communication")
      ENVS 220Approaches to Environmental Education
      ENVS 240Environmental Politics and Decision Making
      ENVS 262Environmental Dispute Resolution
      ENVS 265Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, Environmental Rights
      ENVS 284Environmental Planning and Design
      ENVS 334Sustainable Agriculture
      See the ENVS website for a complete and current list.
    3. A two-course sequence in the Natural Sciences. Examples include: 
      BIOL 230Ecology and Evolution (BIOL 210 & 220 prerequisites)
      ENVS 215Renewable Energy Systems (any 100 or 200 level science course prerequisite)
      ENVS 274Ecosystem Management (any 100 or 200 level science course prerequisite)
      GEOS 200Environmental Geology (GEOS 111 prerequisite)
      GEOS 240Earth Resources (GEOS 111 prerequisite)
  3. A thematic concentration.  The concentration is a set of courses (typically five) that provides depth in an area of interest.  Concentration courses may not double count with the Core or Distribution categories above.  Approved concentrations are given on the ENVS website.  Examples include: Ecosystem Conservation, Environmental Decision Making, Environmental Education, Global Environmental Justice, Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Design, and Sustainable Development.  Students may also design their own thematic concentration, pending program approval.  ENVS majors declare their concentration in the sophomore year.  

Environmental Studies Minor

The Environmental Studies Minor requires six courses. Regular offerings are listed here for each category. Check with the ENVS program office or website for a list of special offerings that may be allowed to fulfill each requirement. Also note that some of these courses have prerequisites.

  1. ENVS 100 - Integrated Environmental Studies
  2. ENVS 200 - Environmental Analysis

Four distribution courses: Students are to fulfill the requirements of the distribution categories listed below. No double counting is permitted among these distribution categories. See the ENVS website for updates to the list of courses that may be used to fulfill these categories. Also note that some of these courses have prerequisites.

  1. One environmental course from the Humanities or the Arts. Examples include: 
    AHVC 263World Views: Spatial Imagination in East Asia
    AHVC 302Medieval Art and Architecture
    CLAS 312Ancient Identities
    ENGL 291Nature and the Literary Imagination
    ENGL 391Nature's Nation
    ENVS 256Farmscape: Visual Immersion in the Food System
    HIST 240Advanced Studies in Latin American History (when taught as "Environmental History of Latin America")
    PHIL 260Environmental Philosophy
    REL 205Religion and Nature
  2. One environmental course from the Social Sciences. Examples include: 
    ECON 202Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability
    ECON 427Environmental Economics
    COMM 215Special Topics in Communication ((when taught as "Environmental Communication")
    ENVS 220Approaches to Environmental Education
    ENVS 240Environmental Politics and Decision Making
    ENVS 262Environmental Dispute Resolution
    ENVS 265Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, Environmental Rights
    ENVS 284Environmental Planning and Design
    ENVS 334Sustainable Agriculture
  3. A two-course sequence in the Natural Sciences. Examples include
    BIOL 230Ecology and Evolution (BIOL 210 & 220 prerequisites)
    ENVS 215Renewable Energy Systems (any 100 or 200 level science course prerequisite)
    ENVS 274Ecosystem Management (any 100 or 200 level science course prerequisite)
    GEOS 200Environmental Geology (GEOS 111 prerequisite)
    GEOS 240Earth Resources (GEOS 111 prerequisite)

Additional Points of Interest

Choosing a Concentration for the ENVS major
Students who major in ENVS choose an area of concentration during the sophomore year.  Prospective ENVS majors are encouraged to discuss possible concentrations with any of the ENVS-affiliated faculty listed above prior to the sophomore year.    
 
ENVS courses and General Education (GE) requirements 
Courses taken under the ENVS heading typically fulfill the Interdivisional (I) General Education requirement.  In the case of cross-listed courses, students may choose to enroll under the ENVS heading to earn the Interdivisional (I) GE, or the heading of the home department to earn the GE designation appropriate for that department.  In either case, the course will count toward the ENVS major or minor.  
 
Off-Campus Study
Students are encouraged to participate in study abroad programs when appropriate to enhance the concentration area or otherwise supplement course offerings at Denison. Students who want to study abroad should plan to do so during their junior year. Courses taken abroad that serve as substitutes for courses listed above or that are otherwise used to satisfy elements of the Environmental Studies major must be approved in advance by the Environmental Studies Director, prior to the student's departure for the off campus program. A maximum of two off-campus courses may be used to satisfy requirements in the major for students who spend one semester off-campus, and a maximum of three off-campus courses may be used to satisfy requirements in the major for students who spend two semesters off-campus.

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