With three track options (Geography, Political Science or Economics) the Environmental Studies Major will prepare you to contribute to numerous environmental fields.

Course Requirements 2016-2017

Students are strongly urged to do an internship as part of their major. Otherwise, any course substitutions must be approved by the environmental studies program advisor.

Stay on track with our Environmental Studies program checklist.

Required courses for all tracks

(35 semester hours)

  • BIOL-16 Ecological and Evolutionary Systems
  • ECON-232 Environmental and Resource Economics
  • ENST-210 Human Impacts on the Environment
  • ENST-302 Environment and Society
  • ENST-395 History and Philosophy of Environmental Thought (Capstone)
  • Choose one from:
  • GEOG-252 Geomorphology
  • GEOG-261 Cartography and GIS
  • POLS-212 American Public Policy
  • Cognate: MATH-143 Introduction to Probability & Statistics
    • Depending on other majors or minors, some students may substitute MATH-243 Statistics, or PSYC-255 Statistics and Research Design.

Required courses for disciplinary tracks

(15-19 semester hours)

Students must take five additional offerings—semester courses, interim courses, off-campus programs, or internships—which are from the list below or have been approved by the student’s advisor in Geography, Political Science or Economics. Students may also choose to focus their studies in another discipline if approved by the Environmental Studies program director and an advisor in that discipline. Students must complete 50-54 total semester hours in the major.

Geography (Human)

Geography (Physical)

Political Science

  • Choose one from:
    • POLS-101 Ideas and Institutions American Politics
    • POLS-110 Persons in Political Community
  • POLS-202 State Politics and American Federalism
  • POLS-207 Introduction to International Politics
  • Choose one from:
    • POLS-209 Public and Non-Profit Administration
    • POLS-234 The President and Congress
  • POLS-251 Foundations of Political Science Research
  • POLS-276 Latin American Politics or 279 - African Politics
  • POLS-308 International Organizations and Law
  • POLS-380 Internship in State or Local Politics


  • ECON-221 Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON-222 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECON-325 Managerial Economics/Intermediate Microeconomics
  • ECON-326 Business Cycles and Forecasting/Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • ECON-330 Urban Growth and Development
  • ECON-339 Government Finance and Public Policy
  • ECON-343 Research Methods in Economics
  • BUS-359 Internship in Business

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Understand the relations among God, humanity, and the nonhuman creation as revealed in the scriptures, in theology in general, and Reformed theology in particular
  • Differentiate various schools of environmental philosophy and ethics and articulate a differentiated Christian environmental ethic
  • Understand the interdependent structure and functioning of physical-ecological systems at a variety of scales and their dynamic character even apart from human influence
  • Understand the interdependence and interconnectedness of environmental and societal change as well as the history of domestic and international responses to environmental degradation
  • Know the interplay of factors that result in human-induced environmental change, including human population, poverty, affluence, and resource consumption
  • Understand the spatial patterns of human-environmental interactions
  • Know the basic structures of environmental policy and law that pertain to specific environmental issues (water quality, climate change, biodiversity protection, etc.)
  • Be able to prioritize environmental issues in terms of their threats/impacts on social and environmental sustainability.

Dr. Jamie Skillen (jrs39@calvin.edu) is the program advisor and will be responsible for the student’s overall academic progress, with particular attention to core requirements and various electives.

Majors will also have an advisor from the department of the chosen discipline. The disciplinary advisor will be responsible for work that the student does in their disciplinary track.


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