Majoring and Minoring

The Lewis & Clark course catalog has complete information about majoring and minoring in environmental studies. The information below is for students who have adopted the 2022-23 catalog and declared their ENVS major. Students who entered LC before Fall 2022 are encouraged to adopt the new requirements if appropriate. After you have consulted with your ENVS advisor, you can change your catalog via this form: REQUEST FOR CHANGE OF CATALOG YEAR.

ENVS Requirements

The major includes core courses in environmental studies; breadth courses in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities; elective courses; and a quantitative requirement.

Core courses are designed to weave together concepts and skills drawn from breadth course fields, in order to build an intellectually coherent understanding of environmental problems and solutions. The core sequence starts with a broad introductory course (ENVS 160) followed by development of quantitative and qualitative analytical skills (ENVS 220). It culminates in a senior capstone (ENVS400) representing original scholarly research on a topic of practical relevance. An additional core course (ENVS 295) builds communication, cultural competency, and other skills toward successful public engagement.

Breadth courses in fields including biology, chemistry, English, earth system science (ESS), economics, political science, sociology and anthropology, international affairs, history, philosophy, and religious studies provide important discipline-specific tools for environmental analysis.

Elective courses in environmental studies and earth system science offer opportunities to explore key topics outside of ENVS core and breadth courses.

The quantitative requirement builds skills in data analysis and modeling, given the significance of these skills in environmental studies.

Majors receive faculty guidance toward areas of interest relevant to their academic and professional goals, and are encouraged to pursue overseas study, ideally related to these areas of interest, during their third year.

Major Requirements

A minimum of 50 semester credits, including the following:

Core Requirements

  • ENVS 160 Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • ENVS 220 Environmental Analysis
  • ENVS 295 Environmental Engagement
  • ENVS 400 Senior Seminar

Breadth Requirements

  • Two natural science breadth elective courses chosen from the list below. The courses must be taken from different departments.
  • Two social science breadth elective courses chosen from the list below. The courses must be taken from different departments.
  • Two arts and humanities breadth electives chosen from the list below. The courses must be taken from different departments.
  • These courses satisfy the GE requirements as noted below.
  • Breadth courses may also potentially be satisfied by transfer of equivalent courses, via a course substitution form.

Additional Requirements

  • One elective ENVS or ESS course chosen from the list below.
  • One quantitative course in math, computer science, or statistics, chosen from the list below.
  • The major also includes an advisory area of interest, designed by each student as part of ENVS 220, Environmental Analysis, to explore and build expertise in a focus area of their choice. All majors present an area of interest update before they design a related capstone in ENVS 400, Senior Seminar.

All Lewis & Clark courses intended to fulfill environmental studies major requirements must be taken for a letter grade.  Draft sample 3- and 4-year plans can be found here.  

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 25 semester credits (six courses), distributed as follows:

  • ENVS 160 Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • ENVS 220 Environmental Analysis
  • ENVS 295 Environmental Engagement
  • One social science breadth course chosen from the list below.
  • One natural science breadth elective chosen from the list below.
  • One arts and humanities breadth course chosen from the list below.

All Lewis & Clark courses intended to fulfill environmental studies minor requirements must be taken for a letter grade.

Natural Science Breadth Courses

BIO 201 Biological Core Concepts: Systems (prerequisite: BIO 110 Investigations in Biology)

CHEM 100 Perspectives in Environmental Chemistry

CHEM 110 General Chemistry I

ESS 150 Environmental Geology

ESS 170 Climate Science

Social Science Breadth Courses

ECON 260 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (prerequisite: ECON 100 Principles of Economics)

ENVS 460 Topics in Environmental Law and Policy

IA 257 Global Resource Dilemmas (prerequisite: IA 100 Introduction to International Relations; BRW)

IA 340 International Political Economy (prerequisite: IA 100 Introduction to International Relations; BRW)

POLS 346 State and Local Politics

SOAN 265 Critical Perspectives on Development(GP; prerequisite: SOAN 100 Introduction to Sociology or 110 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology; both CPI)

SOAN 305 Environmental Sociology (GP; prerequisite: SOAN 100 Introduction to Sociology or 110 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology; both CPI)

Arts and Humanities Breadth Courses

ENG 276 Animals and Animal Rights in Literature (BRW, CA)

HIST 239 Constructing the American Landscape (CPI)

HIST 261 Global Environmental History (CPI, GP, HP)

HIST 388 What’s for Dinner (CPI, GP)

PHIL 215 Philosophy and the Environment (CPI)

RELS 102 Food and Religion in America (HP)

RELS 105 Apocalyptic Imagination (HP)

ENVS or ESS Electives

ENVS 311 (Un)Natural Disasters

ENVS 350 Environmental Theory

ENVS 490 Topics in Environmental Studies

ESS 270 Issues in Oceanography

ESS 280 The Fundamentals of Hydrology

ESS 290 Topics in Earth System Science

ESS 340 Spatial Problems in Earth System Science

Quantitative Requirement Courses

MATH 131 Calculus*

MATH 123 Calculus & Statistics for Modeling the Life Sciences

CS 171 Computer Science I

DSCI 140 Introduction to Data Science

ECON 103 Statistics*

POLS 201 Research Methods in Political Science

PSY 200 Statistics I

*MATH 131 and ECON 103 will require a course substitution form for students who adopted the 2022-23 catalog.