Environmental Analysis Major

Program Requirements

  • Total units required: 49

The environmental analysis major is a flexible, 49-credit program that focuses on developing critical skills and competencies in interdisciplinary environmental problem-solving. It is ideal for students seeking interdisciplinary training focused on the environment and sustainability, and it is designed to stand alone or to complement another major.

Required Courses

Students must complete a total of 28 units of required courses as described below:

  • Choose three of the following (9 units):
Biol 2950Introduction to Environmental Biology3
EnSt 101Earth's Future: Causes and Consequences of Global Climate Change (I60 course) *3
EnSt 102To Sustainability and Beyond: People, Planet, Prosperity *3
EnSt 111Environmental Racism and the Health of Everyone *3
EnSt 215Introduction to Environmental Humanities3
EnSt 250One Health: Linking the Health of Humans, Animals, and the Environment3
EnSt 251Metropolitan Environment3
EnSt 252Sustainability in Business3
EEPS 202Introduction to Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science3
Pol Sci 2010Introduction to Environmental Policy3

These Beyond Boundaries courses, open to first-year students only, may apply to this section; students may count up to two toward the major.

  • Required core courses in analysis and communication; choose four of the following (12 units):
Drama 214Public Speaking: Embodied Communication3
Drama 4081Theater for Social Change3
EnSt 315Fallout: Analyzing Texts and Narratives of the Nuclear Era3
EnSt 316Beyond the Evidence3
EnSt 350WWriting Skills for Environmental Professionals3
EnSt 357Multiparty Environmental Decision Making3
EnSt 364Field Methods for Environmental Science3
EnSt 380Applications in GIS3
EnSt 415WWriting Home: Creating Cultural Guides for Environmental Site Workers3
EnSt 481Advanced GIS3
EnSt 4995Foundations of Research: Building a literature review3
IPH 3123Introduction to Digital Humanities3
SDS 2200Elementary Probability and Statistics3
or SDS 3200 Elementary to Intermediate Statistics and Data Analysis
or SDS 3211 Statistics for Data Science I

Note: Students may count a fifth analysis and communication course toward the depth electives.

  • Required course in social identity and environment; choose one of the following (3 units):
AFAS 1130Introduction to Race3
AAS 2010The Roots of Ferguson: Understanding Racial Inequality in the Contemporary U.S.3
EnSt 111Environmental Racism and the Health of Everyone3
GeSt 232Intergroup Dialogue: Race/Ethnicity3
JIMES 2910Racism and Antiracism3
SOC 2110Social Inequality in America3
SOC 2520Inequality By Design: Understanding Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities3
SOC 3212The Social Construction of Race3
SOC 3910Economic Realities of the American Dream3
SOC 4289Neighborhoods, Schools, and Social Inequality3
SOC 4810Global Structures and Problems3
SOC 4830Global Racial Systems3
  • Required interdisciplinary environmental capstone course; choose one of the following (3 units):
EnSt 405Sustainability Exchange: Community and University Practicums3
EnSt 407RESET - Renewable Energy Policy, Engineering and Business3
EnSt 452International Climate Negotiation Seminarvar.; max. 6
EnSt 498Senior Honors Research3
EnSt 539Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinicvar.; max. 6

Note: Due to the intensity of these project-based courses, students may only take one per semester. Students may count a second capstone course toward the depth electives.

  • Fourth-year reflection seminar (1 unit):
EnSt 492Environmental Studies Fourth-Year Reflection Seminar1

Note: The purpose of this seminar is to create a written narrative portfolio that synthesizes, integrates, and reflects on the student's learning across the courses and experiences of the major. Reflection will occur through personal writing and discussion with peers in the course.

Elective Courses

Students will choose 21 units of depth and breadth elective courses from the three categories below: Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, and Natural Science. Students must choose seven elective courses, with at least four courses from one category and at least one course in each of the other two categories. This requirement means that students can choose a 5/1/1 combination or a 4/2/1 combination from the elective categories.

The following flexibility is allowed regarding substitutions:

  • Students may count a fifth analysis and communication course toward the depth electives.
  • Students may count a second capstone course toward the depth electives.
  • Students may request one course substitution outside of the electives listed below to take advantage of unique one-time or rarely-offered courses.

Students must complete no fewer than 18 units of courses numbered 300 or above within the major with a grade of C- or better. There is no double counting of advanced (300- and 400-level) courses between two majors or between a major and a minor. This "no double-counting rule" also applies to students who are double majoring across schools.

  • Social sciences electives:
AMCS 227Topics in Native American Culture3
AMCS 299The Study of Cities and Metropolitan America3
Anthro 3102Topics in Anthropology: Sustainability in Extractive Communities3
Anthro 3215Food, Culture, and Power3
Anthro 3472Global Energy and the American Dream3
Anthro 3602Environmental Inequality: Toxicity, Health, and Justice3
Anthro 361Culture and Environment3
Anthro 374Social Landscapes in Global View3
Anthro 379Meltdown: The Archaeology of Climate Change3
Anthro 4281Ecological Anthropology3
Econ 451Environmental Policy3
EnSt 255Systems Thinking3
EnSt 3060Community Based Conservation: Madagascar Sustainability Initiative3
EnSt 310Ecological Economics3
EnSt 316Beyond the Evidence3
EnSt 346Environmental Justice3
EnSt 347Sustainable Cities3
EnSt 4527IPCC: Governance, Policy and Science3
EnSt 461Intro to Environmental Law3
EnSt 481Advanced GIS3
EnSt 482Applications in Geospatial Intelligence3
EnSt 4995Foundations of Research: Building a literature review3
MGT 450RBusiness & Government: Understanding and Influencing the Regulatory Environment3
MGT 460LIntroduction to Social Entrepreneurship3
MPH 5002Epidemiology *3
MPH 5323TPS: Climate Change and Public Health *3
Pol Sci 332BEnergy Politics3
Pol Sci 3760Globalization, Urbanization, and the Environment3
Pol Sci 363Quantitative Political Methodology3
Pol Sci 389APower, Justice, and the City3
Pol Sci 4043Public Policy Analysis, Assessment and Practical Wisdom3
Pol Sci 495Research Design and Methods3
SOC 3350Poverty and the New American City3
SOC 4810Global Structures and Problems3

Students should request permission from the instructor to enroll in this course.

  • Environmental humanities and arts electives:
AFAS 3075Recipes for Respect: Black Foodways in the United States3
ARCH 209Design Process3
ART 318PPhotography: Art Practice (Art, Environment, Culture & Image) *3
Art-Arch 3961Art & Ecology3
Comp Lit 4111Pastoral Literature3
Drama 351Intro to Playwriting3
Drama 4081Theater for Social Change3
EnSt 315Fallout: Analyzing Texts and Narratives of the Nuclear Era3
EnSt 3410Native American Storytelling - Healthy Land Practice3
EnSt 415WWriting Home: Creating Cultural Guides for Environmental Site Workers3
History 2561Urban America3
History 3194Environment and Empire3
IPH 312Introduction to Digital Humanities3
IPH 431Statistics for Humanities Scholars: Data Science for the Humanities3
LAND 530FFoodscapes: Art Food Space Activism3
LAND 553ASeeds3
Phil 235FIntroduction to Environmental Ethics3
Writing 309Writing the Natural World3

This course has a prerequisite.

  • Natural science electives:
Anthro 3053Nomadic Strategies and Extreme Ecologies3
Anthro 3660Primate Ecology, Biology, and Behavior3
Anthro 3662Writing for Primate Conservation Biology3
Anthro 4285Environmental Archaeology3
Anthro 4803Advanced GIS Modeling and Landscape Analysis3
Biol 3171Biology for Climate Change Solutions3
Biol 3220Woody Plants of Missouri3
Biol 3221Research and Public Education in the Arboretum3
Biol 343APlants, Environment and Civilization3
Biol 3494Microbes and the Environment4
Biol 370Animal Behavior3
Biol 373WLaboratory on the Evolution of Animal Behavior (Writing Intensive)3
Biol 381Introduction to Ecology3
Biol 3900Science for Agriculture and Environmental Policy3
Biol 419Community Ecology3
Biol 4193Experimental Ecology Laboratory4
Biol 4195Disease Ecology4
EEPS 317Soil Science3
EEPS 323Biogeochemistry3
EEPS 340Minerals, Rocks, Resources and the Environment4
EEPS 342Environmental Systems3
EEPS 385Earth History3
EEPS 386The Earth's Climate System3
EEPS 387Geospatial Science4
EEPS 407Remote Sensing3
EEPS 409Surface Processes3
EEPS 428Hydrology3
EEPS 442Aqueous Geochemistry3
EEPS 454Exploration and Environmental Geophysics4
EEPS 468Geospatial Field Methods3
EEPS 486Paleoclimatology3
EnSt 3630Arctic Climate System3
EnSt 364Field Methods for Environmental Science3
EnSt 365Applied Conservation Biology3
EnSt 375Urban Ecology3
EnSt 481Advanced GIS3
EnSt 483Introduction to Spatial Epidemiology3
LAND 551ALandscape Ecology3

Additional Information

Grades and Credits

The program has set the following policy concerning the minimum acceptable grade performance. A grade of C- is the minimum acceptable performance for each unit of credit for all course work for the major. Courses with grades of D may fulfill the College’s requirement for 120 total units of credit, but they do not meet the program requirements. A grade of C- is also the minimum acceptable performance for each unit of credit for any course required as a prerequisite to enrolling in advanced or sequential courses. Please visit the Academic Regulations page of the College of Arts & Sciences Bulletin for more information. Note: Students must make sure that, while completing the major, they complete a minimum of 18 units of upper-level course work (300 level or above). At least half of the units (i.e., 25 units) for the major must be completed in residence.

Substitutions and Transfer Credit

Requests for substitutions for courses from other institutions (transfer credit) need approval by the College Office.  Please visit the Policies and Procedures for more information.

For Majors requesting a course substitution, please complete the Course Petition Form.

Study Abroad

To study abroad, students must be in their junior or senior year and have at least a 3.0 grade point average. Students must understand the language of the country in which they plan to study. Grades do not transfer back to Washington University. Credits can be applied toward the 120 credits needed to graduate, and courses taken abroad can substitute for courses for the environmental major and minors. These substitutions should be worked out before leaving for Study Abroad. Final decisions for course credit will be made once the student has returned and the courses and grades are reported back to Washington University. The minimum grade for study abroad coursework to apply to major/minor credit is C-.

Environmental Studies will accept up to 4 courses (12-16 units) from a study abroad program toward the Environmental Analysis Major. This can include courses in the social identity and environment and breadth and depth elective sections of the major, as well as a research methods courses taken on a field-based program, but not other sections of the major. Requests for substitutions should be submitted to the director and study abroad coordinator for Environmental Studies, Dr. Jeff Catalano.


  • Participating in a Washington University program allows financial assistance, and students may earn full academic credit for study abroad if they participate in Washington University programs.
  • Students wishing to participate in non-Washington University programs must petition for credit before participating in the program. 
  • Students must communicate regularly with their advisors while abroad and report to them upon return.
  • Each student must contact the Overseas Office to arrange for the transfer of credit.
  • For details, contact the Overseas Office. 

Contact Info