Published by The College of Liberal and Professional Studies
Green Your Major
From sustainable buildings to sustainable landscaping and beyond, the campus of the University of Pennsylvania has gone green. President Amy Gutmann was the first Ivy League President to sign the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), leading the way in addressing the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase research and education at places of higher learning in order to curb rapid changes in the earth’s climate.
It is no surprise, then, that one of the most popular majors among LPS students is Environmental Studies, one of the concentrations available in Penn’s Department of Earth and Environmental Studies. This 15-course major involves 8 required courses and an additional 7 course units in a concentration chosen with the help of major advisors. To maintain the essential interdisciplinary nature of this field, students who choose to double major in another natural science will be directed toward concentrations that stress coursework in policy and application, while those with backgrounds in the arts and social sciences will concentrate on coursework in the natural sciences.
Required courses within the Environmental Studies major include an Introduction to Environmental Analysis, Global Climate Change, Environmental Case Studies, and Global Water Issues, the latter taught by award-winning faculty member and environmental professional Stan Laskowski. Every year, a certain number of students majoring in Environmental Studies apply for sub-matriculation in Penn’s Master of Environmental Studies program. Once accepted for sub-matriculation, the student can take a number of graduate-level courses and count this advanced work toward both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees, thereby condensing the time normally required to complete both degrees.
For more information on the Environmental Studies major—including courses of study, faculty profiles, information on some of the cool field trips students enjoy, and the kind of research that students conduct on the undergraduate level—click here.