2022-2023 University Catalog 
    Jun 22, 2024  
2022-2023 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Studies

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Professors Baptiste, Burnett, Cardelús, Frey, Fuller, Helfant, Henke (Director), Kawall, E. Kraly, McCay
Assistant Professors Pattison, Tseng
Steering Committee Baptiste, Burnett, Cardelús, Frey, Fuller, Globus-Harris, Helfant, Henke, Levy, Loranty, McCay, Pattison, Perring, Tseng

Colgate’s Environmental Studies Program helps students to understand the complexity of environmental issues and explores the consequences and impacts of the human experience on the environment. Students in environmental studies learn to think, speak, and write clearly and articulately about environmental issues from a variety of perspectives. The environmental studies curriculum combines interdisciplinary breadth with depth in a chosen field of study.

The Environmental Studies Program is an interdisciplinary program located within the Division of University Studies and staffed by faculty from a number of departments who apply their knowledge and expertise to teaching and research endeavors that cross disciplinary boundaries. The program administers five majors: environmental studies plus four departmentally affiliated majors including environmental biology, environmental economics, environmental geography, and environmental geology. All five majors include a common set of courses that ensures a shared interdisciplinary experience. Each student achieves depth in analytical ability by taking a specified set of courses, usually in a particular discipline, chosen in consultation with her or his adviser. To fulfill environmental studies graduation requirements, students must possess a minimum overall GPA of at least 2.00 in all courses counted toward the major, both ENST courses and those taken in other departments and programs.

Honors and High Honors

Environmental studies majors wishing to pursue honors should consult with the environmental studies program director and a research sponsor no later than the spring of their junior year. Honors may be awarded to students majoring in environmental studies who accumulate a GPA of 3.30 in courses counted toward the major, and complete a semester-long independent research project under faculty guidance through enrollment in

 . Students pursuing honors will submit a proposal developed in consultation with an ENST-affiliated faculty member who will serve as research sponsor. The proposal describing the project will be submitted to the environmental studies steering committee in the fall semester of their senior year for approval. The research project should reflect the student’s area of focus but must also demonstrate the understanding gained using an interdisciplinary perspective and approach. The Director of the program will normally serve as second reader to the honors project. Alternatively, the director and research sponsor may designate up to three faculty members to evaluate the merit of the work and report to the environmental studies steering committee. Students standing for honors will deliver an oral presentation to faculty and students of the program, and produce a report in a format most appropriate to the project. The environmental studies steering committee and the research sponsor must determine whether the oral presentation and report are of high quality and worthy of honors in the program. Students demonstrating exceptional commitment to research and meeting all the requirements for honors may be awarded high honors if the overall quality of their work is deemed to be outstanding by the environmental studies steering committee and research sponsor.

To qualify for graduation with honors or high honors in environmental biology, environmental economics, or environmental geography, students must take

  and also meet the requirements for honors or high honors in the biology, economics, or geography major (depending on the area of specialization). The major GPA is calculated from all courses counted toward the major, both ENST courses and those taken in other departments and programs.

Honors and High Honors for Environmental Geology

To be eligible for honors in environmental geology, students must complete the following requirements in addition to the environmental geology major: (1) Complete

 , (2) take four full-credit courses in mathematics, chemistry, physics, or biology, (3) complete a year-long senior thesis as described in the honors section of the geology major, and (4) achieve a minimum average GPA of 3.0 in the three 200-level core courses and 400-level capstone course. If additional courses are taken in these categories, the highest grades will be used to compute this GPA.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of two course credits transferred from other institutions may be applied toward the environmental studies major. One course credit transferred from another institution may be applied toward the environmental studies minor. If the requirement for Focus in a Particular Field of Study is waived because of a second major or minor, transfer credits contributing to the second major or minor do not count toward this maximum. Approved courses taken as part of Colgate sponsored study groups, such as the Australia study group affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program, are not considered transfer credits and do not count toward the maximum. In many cases, courses that might be applied toward the environmental studies major or minor will be approved for university credit by another department on campus. For example, an environmental economics course would be reviewed for credit by the economics department. Once approved for university credit, the course must be approved by the director of environmental studies for credit toward the major or minor. In some cases, a course might be approved for university credit as an environmental studies (ENST) course. Students must supply the director with a course description and syllabus to apply for transfer credit in these cases. Limits on the transfer of courses toward environmental biology, environmental economics, environmental geography, and environmental geology majors are determined by the biology, economics, geography, and geology departments, respectively, and are available in the affiliated department section in this chapter.

Australia Study Group

This program at the University of Wollongong provides a unique opportunity for junior majors and minors to expand their studies of the environment. For more information, see Off-Campus Study .


The Award for Excellence in Environmental Studies — awarded annually to the environmental studies student who has demonstrated excellence in academics and in service to the environmental studies community.


The courses listed below are offered by the ENST program. As an interdisciplinary program, select courses from other departments/programs may also count toward the ENST major and minor requirements. Use the major/minor links below to find other courses that count toward these requirements. 

Majors and Minors



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