Dec 07, 2023  
2023 - 2024 College Catalog 
2023 - 2024 College Catalog

Environmental Studies Minor

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View Environmental Studies Program website

Environmental studies is broadly defined as the study of nature, including the relationship of humans to the rest of the natural world. Presently, human activities are altering the life systems of our home planet. Climate change, species extinction, atmospheric pollution and loss of ancient forests are common knowledge, as is the planetary impact of human populations and consumption habits. These problems have a biological basis that requires the application of the scientific method to understand them, to discern cause and effects, and to pose scientifically tenable solutions. However, concern for and stewardship of the planet is not solely the purview of the scientist. Our understanding of these issues is impossible without social, cultural, political, ethical and economic considerations. The work of understanding these trends and forming alternate visions for the future draws upon ideas, information and insight from disciplines across the curriculum as well as from co-curricular activities.

The goals of the environmental studies major and minor are two-fold: 1) to help students achieve cross-disciplinary perspectives on the environment, and 2) to create a community of concern among students and faculty who participate in the study area-a community that encourages learning how to act as well as to understand. Even if no environmental problems existed, students and faculty would study how natural systems function, how the arts and social studies reveal connections between humanity and nature, and how the environment has nurtured philosophical and religious ideas about the place of humans in the universe.

To complete a major or minor in environmental studies, a student must satisfy the following requirements designed to establish the breadth and depth of knowledge consistent with the goals of the environmental studies study area.

Degree Requirements

General College Requirements

Beyond all General College requirements and all requirements for a major discipline, the minor requires six (6) courses with at least 22 credit hours in courses as specified below. ENST minors may not complete a major in ENST. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in each required course for the minor and maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 or better. Pre-approved study abroad may fulfill certain minor requirements.

Required Courses

Six (6) courses with at least 24 credit hours in courses having an environmental focus as specified under a., b., and c. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in each required course for the minor and maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 or better in these required courses.

Foundational Course Requirements

Science Requirement (one (1) of the following):

Elective Course Requirements

Minor requires sixteen (16) additional credit hours in ENST or ENST cross-listed courses:

  • Four (4) credit hours must come from each of the three Tracks (Sciences, Social Sciences/Policy Track, Arts/Humanities Track) - see Track List. 
  • At least eight (8) credit hours must be ENST coded courses.
  • At least eight (8) credit hours must be at the 300-400 level. 

No more than four (4) credit hours can come from an ENST independent study or ENST directed research.

*See the SMCM Catalog for additional information on major credit count, courses offered and other information on major

Summary of Environmental Studies Minor Requirements

  • Credit Hours: 4
  • Science Requirement
  • Environmental Science Track  
  • Elective Requirement
  • Environmental Policy/Social Science Track Elective Requirement
  • Environmental Humanities Track Elective Requirement
  • Additional Elective Requirement

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