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Environmental Studies

Prospective Students

Welcome to environmental studies at Lewis & Clark College! We offer regional and international research opportunities, the latest scholarly ideas, and cutting-edge technical skills to prepare you for graduate school and professional excellence. If you’d like to learn more, please plan to visit Lewis & Clark soon, or feel free to contact the Environmental Studies Program to discuss your plans for college. Below is some special information for prospective new and transfer undergraduates.

New undergraduates

New undergrads typically have lots of questions: what courses should I take during my first year? what about ENVS courses? do I get credit for the AP courses I took? when should I plan to participate in an overseas program? what would an ENVS degree prepare me for after graduation? These are all great questions, and don’t worry: our Academic Advising faculty and staff will make sure that you have the answers you need to thrive at Lewis & Clark when you get here, and the ENVS Program ( can answer your more detailed questions about environmental studies.

Here’s one answer to a common question: as you’ll read in the Advanced Standing section of the college catalog, a score of 5 on your AP Environmental Science counts as credit for Bio 141, a popular natural science breadth course for ENVS majors. It doesn’t, however, count for ENVS 160, our highly challenging introductory course.

Transfer undergraduates

We recognize that transfer students are among our most mature and hardworking scholars, but sometimes face special challenges in applying courses they’ve already taken to our requirements at Lewis & Clark. In general, transfer credit is discussed as part of academic advising, and all acceptable courses will count toward your graduation credit requirement, but only certain ones will count toward the ENVS major or minor. Here are some general rules:

  • Transfer students interested in an ENVS minor should be able to complete it following regular requirements whether they arrive for their second or third year of college. Transfer students planning on majoring in ENVS, however, must carefully plan so as to graduate in four years total. Below are special rules for ENVS 160 and 220 applicable to transfer students who plan to major in ENVS.

  • ENVS 160 (Introduction to Environmental Studies, offered spring semester each year) is not a typical survey course, and as such is required of all transfer majors entering their second year of college, unless they have taken a course using the same text (Robbins et al., Environment and Society), in which case they may petition for credit. Transfers entering their third year of college will be evaluated on a case by case basis, but generally third-year transfers planning to major will take ENVS 220 during fall of their entering (junior) year at Lewis & Clark, with credit for ENVS 160 supplied via existing or new courses.

  • ENVS 220 (Environmental Analysis, offered fall semester each year) is optimally taken during the second year by ENVS majors, but may also be taken fall of the junior year by transfer majors. Since ENVS 160 is typically a prerequisite for ENVS 220, all incoming third-year transfer majors must complete a set of preparatory activities, generally at least a month prior to fall semester, to ensure that they have mastered the basic concepts and skills gained by other students via ENVS 160. If you are a third-year transfer, it is your responsibility to contact the Environmental Studies Program for further information.

Although transfer credit is rarely given for core ENVS courses (e.g., 160 and 220; see ENVS courses page for clarification), it can readily be given for ENVS breadth courses completed as part of the major or minor, and can also be given for up to one-half of the credits required for the ENVS concentration. Thus there are ways that you can apply at least some of your relevant coursework to date toward the ENVS major or minor at Lewis & Clark College.

Environmental Studies

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