Environmental Studies Concentration
The 19-semester-hour Environmental Studies Concentration (ESC) provides an interdisciplinary framework that promotes understanding of humanity’s impact on the natural environment and how the natural environment impacts human development; a critical appreciation of the importance of sustainability; and the central importance of integrating the work of the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities for a holistic and meaningful understanding of any environmental issue or problem. The disciplinary approaches of the natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities, are all essential to a full appreciation of the relationships between human systems and natural systems and any attempt to think critically and productively about how to best meet current environmental challenges.
The Environmental Studies Concentration prepares students for transfer into a variety of majors dealing with the environment, such as sustainability; environmental philosophy, law, and policy; environmental art and literature; environmental engineering and chemistry; conservation biology and natural resource management; and environmental journalism.
Most courses in the concentration meet the general education requirements and have IAI transfer codes. However, students should consult with the Environmental Studies coordinator to ensure that they are taking the necessary courses in each general education area.
Environmental Studies Concentration Requirements
- Required courses – 7 credit hours
- Elective options – 12 credit hours
- at least three credit hours from a social science course with an ESC designation
- at least three credit hours from a humanities course with an ESC designation (other than PHL 204)
- at least three credit hours from a science course (other than BIO 106)
- the last three credit hours from any course with an ESC designation
Students meeting the requirements for the Environmental Studies Concentration will have a notation added to their transcript indicating successful completion. In order to receive this designation, students must complete an Environmental Studies Concentration completion form and meet with the Environmental Studies coordinator.
Concentration Learning Outcomes
- Describe and explain the multiple ways in which humanity at individual, societal, and global levels shapes and is shaped by its natural environment;
- Describe and explain the basic biological and ecological principles that shape the environment and interactions among diverse organisms;
- Apply ecological principles to restore local habitats and reverse human degradation of natural landscapes;
- Evaluate the different principles of environmental justice;
- Analyze the racial, ethnic, national, and economic factors that shape specific environmental issues and problems;
- Identify and analyze the ethical, economic, and social impact of different environmental policies and approaches;
- Identify and analyze the legal, social, and ecological issues associated with our exploitation of natural resources;
- Describe and evaluate the role of the humanities—including philosophy, literature, music, and visual arts – in shaping how we view the natural world;
- Develop ideas and projects for promoting a more sustainable way of life.