Introduction

Frequently Asked Questions for new majors

If I plan to major in Environmental Studies or Environmental Science what is the first thing I should do?
Enroll in ENST 161.  This is the gateway course to both of our majors.  It is taught each Fall semester.  This course provides foundational material, introduces you to the department, and provides advising for new majors.  After your first semester you should declare your major and choose an advisor in the department.  Fill out the major declaration form and have it signed by your new advisor, your old advisor, and the department chair.  You may drop the form off in the department office and it will usually be signed within 24 hours.  Having an advisor in the department ensures that you get the best advising and email updates.  You may change your academic advisor at any time.

Do I need to take the two introductory courses – ENST 161, and 162, in sequential order?  
Yes. These courses form the core of your degree and they build upon one another to prepare you for upper level course work that you will take as a major. ENST 161 is offered each fall semester, followed by ENST 162 in the spring semester.  In the future ENST 252, a course exploring "methods" in Environmental Studies and Science will be taken in the next fall. However, ENST 252 is not required for students entering the college in 2015, 2016 and 2017.    

I have AP credit.  Can I skip one of the introductory courses?
No.  The introductory courses are designed to work together to prepare you for upper-level coursework in the major.  It is important that you take all three.  You can, however, receive general college credit for a suitable AP text score in environmental science.

Can I start the sequence as a sophomore?
Yes.  Just be sure to plan ahead to accommodate the remainder of your major requirements, especially if you want to study abroad.

Can I start the sequence as a junior?
Probably not.

I’m not a major, can I still take a course in environmental studies?
Yes!  Our non-majors course (with lab) ENST 121 is perfect for non-majors interested in environmental studies and environmental science.

What if I take ENST 121 and then decide to become a major?
You will need to start the core sequence, beginning with ENST 161 as soon as possible.  ENST 121 will not take the place of any other introductory courses for majors.

Can I minor in Environmental Studies?
No.  In 2016 the College discontinued the minor in Environmental Studies.  But there are other good options!  You may consider similar programs and certificates in Food Studies or Health Studies, or become involved with the Center for Sustainability Education, ALLARM, or the College Farm.

Can I double major in Environmental Studies and something else?
Probably.  It’s best to make the decision early in your academic career.  Double majors require extra effort, of course.  You may explore the possibilities – and predict what your future semesters might be like – using the “what if?”  function of the College’s online advising system DegreeWorks.  Once you declare your major you will have an academic advisor in the department who can help to advise you.  Be aware that our department can not guarantee that our courses and courses taught in other departments will not pose scheduling challenges for potential double majors.  We try.  It usually works out.  But good planning is a must.    

How should I find courses that will satisfy the degree requirements?
On the website or on Banner.  You need a number of courses in several categories.  The number and type of courses depend on your major, Environmental Studies or Environmental Science.  These categories are: Humanities, Arts, & Environment; Society and Environment; Foundations of Environmental Science; Applications of Environmental Science; Environmental Studies Specializations; and Disciplinary Specializations.  We try to keep updated lists of courses from each category on our website.  In addition, the online course registration systems highlights these courses – they have “tags” so that they are easily identified.  You can even search for them in the Banner system.     

Can I study abroad?
Of course!  Many of our majors do.  As you plan your study abroad experience please consult with your advisor.  Course credits transferred back to Dickinson may or may not satisfy specific major requirements.  It’s smart to check before you go abroad or while you are registering for these courses.  When you return you will need to submit the “courses from another institution” form to the department.

Am I required to do an internship or conduct research with a faculty member?
No.  You may want to though.  Both can be excellent experiences that add to your education.  They are not, however, required for either degree.


For students who entered the college before FA16, information about the old curriculum can be found at http://www.dickinson.edu/download/downloads/id/5023/bullentin_15-16.pdf

 

Courses appropriate for prospective majors

Environmental Studies / Environmental Science

A new student with a strong interest in the Environmental Studies or Environmental Science major should take:

  1. FY Seminar (already assigned)
  2. Language
  3. ENST 161 
    One additional course required for the Environmental Studies or Environmental Science degrees, selected from one of the five categories: Humanities/Arts & Environment, Society & Environment, Foundations of Environmental Science, Applications of Environmental Science, Environmental Studies Specialization, or Disciplinary Specializations.  Students who are especially interested in environmental science are urged to select a course designated Foundations of Environmental Science.

NOTE: non-majors should not enroll in ENST 161; they should enroll in ENST 121.

Category lists of courses satisfying these requirements are available on the Banner system, and on the department website.

For course descriptions and requirements for the major, refer to the Academic Bulletin: Environmental Studies and Environmental Science or the department web site.

Courses that fulfill distribution requirements

Environmental Studies Advising Guide, March 2016

*For students enrolled in the new curriculum (starting Fall 2016)

The Environmental Studies program offers two majors – B.A. Environmental Studies (13 courses) and B.S. Environmental Science (16 courses) – that provide students the opportunity to develop their own academic programs within a structure that provides breadth and depth. Students are expected to engage with their academic advisor as they define their interests and goals (an ongoing process), and then select relevant courses that will meet the major requirements.

Both majors share a core of 4 required courses: ENST 161, 162, 252, and 406 (ENST 252 is not required for students entering the college in 2015, 2016 and 2017.)

B.A. Environmental Studies majors must complete an additional 10 courses from the categories below. At least three courses must be ENST courses and at least three must be at the 300-level or above.

Humanities/Arts & Environment – at least 1
Society & Environment – at least 2
Foundations of Environmental Science – at least 1
Applications of Environmental Science – at least 1

Other courses may be taken from the Humanities/Arts & Environment, Society & Environment, Foundations of Environmental Science, Applications of Environmental Science, Environmental Studies Specialization, or Disciplinary Specialization lists.  No more than two Disciplinary Specialization courses can be applied to the degree.

NOTE:  No more than two may be numbered 550 or 560

B.S. Environmental Science majors must complete an additional 13 courses from the categories below.  At least three must be ENST courses and at least five of which must be at the 300-level or above.

Humanities/Arts & Environment – at least 1
Society & Environment – at least 1
Foundations of Environmental Science – at least 3
Applications of Environmental Science – at least 5

NOTE:  No more than two may be numbered 550 or 560

For both majors, note that a single course may satisfy more than one requirement. However, this does not reduce the total number of courses required for the majors.

Humanities, Arts, & Environment courses.  Humanities, Arts, & Environment courses explore humanity’s relation to the earth from perspectives offered by the arts, literature, philosophy, and religion. Such classes may include aesthetic, spiritual, and ethical principles employed to assess natural and social scientific ideas.

Courses that fullfill this requirement can be found at this link.

Society and Environment Courses.  These courses address the ways human societies are affected by the environment and also the ways that human actions alter that same environment. Courses focus on the roles of social, political, economic, and scientific processes in shaping various environmental challenges.

Courses that fullfill this requirement can be found at this link.

Foundations of Environmental Science.  These courses present students with disciplinary knowledge from the natural sciences foundational to environmental science.  They may or may not consider how this knowledge relates to environmental science and include courses at introductory through advanced levels.

Courses that fullfill this requirement can be found at this link.

Applications of Environmental Science.  These courses apply scientific tools and methods to address environmental challenges.  A substantial component of the course must consider interactions between humans and the environment.

Courses that fullfill this requirement can be found at this link.

Environmental Studies Specializations.  Interdisciplinary courses that study an aspect of human-environment interactions. Normally, courses would include one of the following: four weeks of environmental content or the application of a foundational concept or idea (e.g. inequality, sculpture, development, ethics, etc.) to an environmental issues for at least two weeks.

Courses that fullfill this requirement can be found at this link.

Disciplinary Specialization courses.  Disciplinary specialization courses provide students the opportunity to place their understanding of environmental studies within the broader context of traditional and emerging academic disciplines. Environmental studies is built upon and connects to most disciplines. In many cases, progress within environmental studies requires drawing on these disciplines and communicating with practitioners in these disciplines. Disciplinary specialization courses are entirely optional. Offering these courses and inviting students to consider including them in their major program is consistent with the liberal arts.

Courses that fullfill this requirement can be found at this link.

 

 

Honors

The distinction of Honors in Environmental Science and Environmental Studies is awarded by the Department to graduating seniors who have met the requisite academic standards. These include completion of a two-credit independent research project under faculty guidance and maintenance of a minimum GPA of 3.4 in all courses required or applied toward the major. The student's final GPA must be certified at the end of the Senior year just prior to graduation.

The honors project must have both oral and written components. The oral components consist of presentations at department seminars, a professional conference and before a faculty review committee consisting of selected Environmental Studies department faculty and the Faculty Research Advisor. The written component may be done with acknowledged assistance from the Faculty Research Advisor and must demonstrate deep understanding of the context and implications of the research.

Detailed guidelines for department honors are available on the department website and through the department chair.

Internships

Many majors are interested in an internship or research experience. There are many opportunities for such both on campus and in the Carlisle/Harrisburg community.  Students often complete this requirement during the summer break as well.  

Co-curricular activities/programs

The Environmental Studies department has numerous employment, internship, and research opportunities in our two major community outreach co-curricular programs: The Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) and the College Farm. Detailed information on these programs can be found on the department web site.

Students majoring in Environmental Studies or Environmental Science also often find employment, internship, and research opportunities with the Center for Sustainability Education.

Opportunities for off-campus study

Environmental Studies students are encouraged to participate in the following programs abroad: School for Field Studies, where students can participate in a field-based integrated environmental studies curriculum in one of five locations around the world; the Dickinson Science Program in Norwich, England, where environmental studies and science majors can take courses at an internationally-known environmental science center at the University of East Anglia; the Semester in Environmental Science at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, where students can participate in a rigorous field-based program in aquatic sciences; and the Dickinson Program in Queensland, Australia, which offers a wide variety of excellent Environmental Studies and Science courses. Information on many other opportunities for Environmental Studies students is available at the Center for Global Study and Engagement.