Upon declaring the environmental studies major, students choose one of two concentrations: environmental science (ESCI) or environment and society (ESOC). Students complete all required courses within their chosen concentration as well as a set of required courses designed to cultivate breadth. All environmental studies students complete the environmental studies core curriculum consisting of introductory and mid-level coursework and a senior capstone course. At the introductory level, all students (majors and minors) take courses spanning the natural and social sciences. Introductory courses in environmental science and environment and society are designed to introduce students to the biological, physical, and chemical science of environmental change, as well as the human dimensions (social/political/cultural/economic) of such change.
At the intermediate level, all environmental studies majors complete the core courses ES 311 Biosphere and Society and ES 230 Political Ecology, which draw from and integrate a range of disciplines to help students master a set of key concepts and analytical methods fundamental to environmental studies. During their senior year, students actively integrate the approaches and methodologies they have practiced and experimented with at the 100 and 200, 300 and 400 levels toward further research on a particular problem, issue, or theme of their choosing, based on their research and future career interests. This integration starts in a methodology course in which students select an environmental issue and propose to address it, and the integration culminates in the capstone course in which students implement their research proposal. Completing an internship is encouraged, but not required.