Initial Publication Date: May 1, 2012

Environmental Studies at Emory University

Information for this profile was provided by Anne Larson Hall, Environmental Studies, Emory University. Information is also available on the program website. Students in this program are pursuing a bachelors degree.

Program Design & Assessment


Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary department with focus areas in Natural Science, Social Science and Policy, and Ecology and Conservation. A B.S., B.A. and minor are offered. There is also a strong focus on disease ecology and public health with a 5-year B.S./M.P.H. degree offered.


Two existing smaller programs were combined, the Geoscience Program and the Human and Natural Ecology Program. The new Environmental Studies department was designed to offer an interdisciplinary and integrative curriculum to prepare students to address complex environmental challenges.

Program Goals

Goal 1: Students will develop an understanding of theories and concepts of environmental studies, including the relevant disciplinary contributions from ecological, earth and social science, as well as integrative concepts. Students will be able to synthesize literature and data from the diverse disciplines that comprise Environmental Studies.
Goal 2: Students will develop knowledge of research skills relevant to the study of the environment. Students will acquire knowledge of quantitative and qualitative methods of inquiry.
Goal 3: Students will experience independent work in the field of environmental studies. This work may be academic (in the form of research or readings) or career-oriented (in the form of service learning or internship), and can include independent field-oriented projects.
Goal 4: Students will develop the ability to think critically about environmental problems, and to apply environmental studies problem solving skills to diverse problems with ethical solutions in mind.
Goal 5: Students will develop their individual creative capacity, the ability to generate novel ideas, methods and solutions to environmental issues.

Alumni Careers

The ENVS major prepares students to continue in professional schools such as Law or Public Health, graduate programs in such fields as entomology, biology, geology, wildlife management and conservation, or urban and regional planning. Some students pursue teaching or work with non-governmental organizations, governmental agencies such as the U.S.G.S., or find work opportunities related to sustainability or environmental health and safety within business or industry. Our students are able to continue in a wide range of career paths due to their broad interdisciplinary training, through coursework, research, outreach and internships that provide the skill sets needed for our students to pursue their field of interest.

Program Assessment

We assess our goals annually with evaluation of our independent courses and student surveys.

Courses and Sequencing

Entry into the program

ENVS 131: Introduction to Environmental Studies with Lab
BIOL OX 111: Environmental Science with Lab

Core courses

260. Quantitative Methods in Environmental Studies
390. Environmental Studies Seminar
One is required from Earth Science:
222. Evolution of the Earth with Lab
230. Fundamentals of Geology with Lab
235. Environmental Geology
241/242. Modern and Ancient Tropical Environments
One is required from Social Science and Policy:
225. Institutions and the Environment
227WR. Environmental Policy
215. Human Ecology
One is required from Ecology and Conservation:
240. Ecosystem Ecology with Lab
ENVS 247/BIOL247. Ecology with Lab
One Field Course:
241/242. Modern and Ancient Tropical Environments
371/372. Ecology of the Tropics
442. Ecology of Emory with Lab
444. Ecosystems of the SE US with Lab
446. Field Studies: Southern Africa
One Independent Study Course:
491. Service Learning in Environmental Studies
495. Honors Research
497. Undergraduate Internship
498. Individual Directed reading
499. Individual Research


Students are required to take 4 courses (12-16 credit hours) of electives, chosen from the following list:

250. Fundamentals of Cartography
275. Nature and Culture in Japan
299. Fundamentals of Environmental Studies Research
318. Natural Science Illustration
320. Environmental Assessment and Management
321. Geology and Human Health
324. Ecological Economics
325. Energy and Climate Change
329. Religion and Ecology
330. Climatology (129)
331. Earth System Science
339. Politics and the Environment
340. Wetland Ecology
342. Barrier Islands
344. American Environmental History
345. Conservation Biology
346. Geologic Origins of the Landscape
348. Sustainable Water Resources
349. Ecology of Invasions
350. Environmental Thought
359. Ecology and Evolution of Disease
361. Ecosystems Through Time
370a Community Building and Social Change I
370b Planning Community Initiatives
371/372. Ecology of the Tropics
377. International Environmental Policy
410. Extinctions
420. Law and Biodiversity
442: Ecology of Emory with Lab (240)
444. Ecosystems of the SE US with Lab
446. Field Studies: Southern Africa
458. Fishers and Fisheries
483. Spatial Analysis in Disease Ecology (250)

Supporting Materials