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Environmental Studies Program

Environmental Studies courses deal with a wide range of contemporary problems associated with the interactions between humans and nature. Coursework is designed to meet the needs of two groups of students: those who choose to major in environmental studies and those who desire knowledge in this area as part of their general education. A primary objective of the program is to aid the student in understanding that environmental problems are multi-causal phenomena and to develop skills necessary for effective environmental citizenship and leadership.

The program introduces students to a wide variety of perspectives that examine the many connections between humans and nature. To do this, the program combines a broad set of relevant courses in the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities. The basic preparation can then transfer easily to further graduate training or to an immediate career in research, policy, or some other professional environmental direction. 

The hallmarks of the Whitman program are its multidisciplinary organization, and local and regional in empirical emphasis. Students wrestle with the challenges—and come to understand the necessity—of an interdisciplinary approach in the elucidation of any environmental problem.

Program Goals

• Foster critical thinking skills about environmental problems.
• Enhance environmental literacy.
• Encourage interdisciplinary integration of disciplinary approaches to environmental concerns.

Develop communication skills in a wide variety of formats designed for diverse audiences. 

The Environmental Studies major develops a common core of knowledge through extensive interdepartmental coursework, complemented by a concentration in a specific area in either the environmental humanities, sciences or social sciences. 

Students may elect one area concentration—Anthropology, Art, Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Geology, Humanities, History, Physics or an individually planned major (psychology, for example)—in the Environmental Studies major. 

Environmental Studies Courses & Requirements

Learn more about Environmental Studies learning objectives and requirements in the course catalog. 

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