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Environmental Studies

p: 704-894-2398

Mailing Address

Box 7056
Davidson, NC 28035

Shipping Address

209 Ridge Road
Davidson, NC 28035

Environmental Studies Major

We are a broad department that includes Environmental Science, Environmental Social Science, and Environment Humanities in our curriculum. Our majors are able to choose one of those tracks to focus on, and we offer courses in a number of different fields including anthropology, art, biology, chemistry, ecology, economics, English, geology and earth sciences, history, political science, and social justice.

We are very proud of the interdisciplinary experience we offer our students. Students within Environmental Studies can earn either a B.S. (Natural Science) or a B.A. (Social Science or Humanities), but all students take classes in all three tracks.

All of us Environmental Studies faculty members have had the delight of working with students who started in one track and switched to another. We take great pains to offer students strong experiences in all three tracks and to give students flexibility to pursue their passions even as their academic interests mature.

As you plan your courses for the Environmental Studies major, you may find our Major Worksheet (PDF) helpful.

Interdisciplinary Overviews (3 Courses)

These three courses may be taken in any sequence, but two must be completed by the end of the sophomore year and the third must be completed by the end of the junior year. ENV 201, 202, and 203 are prerequisites for more advanced courses that fulfill major requirements, including ENV 498: Capstone.

  • ENV 201 - Environmental Science
  • ENV 202 - Environmental Social Sciences
  • ENV 203 - Environmental Humanities

Depth Component Courses (4 courses)

Three content courses plus a related methodology course. Students may choose from one of three tracks (Environmental Natural Science, Environmental Social Science, Environmental Humanities) or may self-design a Depth Component, subject to the approval of the Environmental Studies faculty. At least three courses in the Depth Component must be at the 200 level or above; at least two courses in the Depth Component must be from the same department.

Breadth Component Courses (2 Courses)

The Breadth Component is determined in conjunction with the Depth Component. If a student chooses one of the established tracks for the Depth Component, the Breadth Component will consist of one course from each of the other two tracks. Students who self-design the Depth Component will also propose a corresponding Breadth Component, again subject to the approval of the Environmental Studies faculty.

Capstone (2 Courses)

  • ENV 401: Interdisciplinary Level Seminar
  • ENV 498: Capstone (Prerequisites: ENV 201, 202, 203)

Environmental Studies majors enroll in ENV 498 in the fall semester of their senior year. In this course, students complete an independent Capstone project on a topic chosen in conjunction with a faculty mentor. Students work collaboratively with mentors throughout the Capstone process, culminating in a defense of the project at the end of the course. Planning for this process begins in the junior year.

Honors in Environmental Studies

Students who do exceptional work may communicate their intent to proceed with an honors project. Honors students typically extend their Capstone project research through the spring semester leading up to graduation. Honors is awarded to students who have done well across the curriculum, within the major, and have successfully defended their honors research projects.
For a full breakdown of the requirements for the Environmental Studies major, including honors requirements and a comprehensive list of courses that meet the depth and breadth components, please visit the College Catalog.