Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Undergraduate Curriculum

Requirements

A.B. in Environmental Studies: 14 courses

Sc.B. in Environmental Science: 19 courses

Environmental Studies & Sciences Track Course Options Guide

Core

4 courses

The core provides students with the breadth needed to understand the multi-faceted nature of environmental challenges, as well as a common basis of understanding needed for collaboration across environmental fields.

  1. ECON 0110 - Introduction to Economics (prerequisite for many courses in certain tracks)
    or
    HIST 0150A - History of Capitalism
  2. ENVS 0490 - Environmental Science in a Changing World
  3. ENVS 0110 - Humans, Nature, and the Environment
  4. BIOL 0210 - Diversity of Life or GEOL 0240 - Earth: Evolution of a Habitable Planet

Tracks

A.B. in Environmental Studies: 5 courses

Sc.B. in Environmental Science: 10 courses

Students select one of five tracks. Each track provides students with the focused course of study needed to deeply engage within a discipline or area of study. Courses meeting the requirements are listed below.

Requirements for AB Degree

Foundational - Select Two

  • CHEM 0330 - Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure
  • ENGN 0030 - Introduction to Engineering
  • ENGN 0490 - Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering
  • EEPS 0220 - Physical Processes in Geology
  • PHYS 0050 - Foundations of Mechanics

Climate - Select One

  • ENGN 1931R - The Chemistry of Environmental Pollution
  • ENVS 1245 - Air Pollution & Chemistry
  • EEPS 0850 - Weather & Climate
  • EEPS 1430 - Principles of Planetary Climate
  • EEPS 1950P - Special Topics in Geological Sciences: The Arctic

Policy - Select One

  • ANTH 1553 - Energy and Power
  • ANTH 1601 - Reimagining Climate Change
  • ENVS 0710 - Powering the Past: The History of Energy
  • ENVS 1415 - Power, Justice, & Climate Change
  • ENVS 1615 - Making Connections: Env. Plcy Process
  • ENVS 1925 - Energy Policy and Politics
  • POLS 1435 - Politics of Climate Change
  • POLS 1822I - Geopolitics of Oil and Energy

Energy Technology - Select One

  • ENGN 0490 - Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering
  • ENGN 0720 - Thermodynamics
  • ENGN 1930U - Renewable Energy Technologies
  • ENGN 1931P - Fuels, Energy, and the Environment
  • ENVS 1400 - Sustainable Design in the Built Env.
  • ENVS 1580 - Stewardship and Resilience

Additional Requirements for ScB Degree

Math - Select One

  • MATH 0090 - Introductory Calculus, Part I

Policy - Pick One

  • ANTH 1553 - Energy and Power
  • DEVL 1801A - Infrastructure!
  • ECON 1340 - Economics of Global Warming
  • ECON 1350 - Environmental Economics and Policy
  • ENVS 1415 - Power, Justice, & Climate Change
  • ENVS 1574 - Engaged Climate Policy in the U.S.
  • ENVS 1615 - Making Connections: Env. Plcy Process
  • ENVS 1755 - Globalization and the Environment
  • ENVS 1925 - Energy Policy and Politics
  • POLS 1435 - Politics of Climate Change
  • POLS 1822I - Geopolitics of Oil and Energy

Tools - Select One

  • APMA 0340 - Methods of Applied Mathematics I, II 
  • APMA 0650 - Essential Statistics
  • ECON 1620 - Introduction to Econometrics
  • ENVS 1105 - Introduction to Environmental GIS
  • EEPS 1320 - Intro to GIS for Env. Applications
  • EEPS 1330 - Global Environmental Remote Sensing

Climate & Thermal/Chem - Select Two

  • ENGN 0720 - Thermodynamics
  • ENGN 1720 - Design of Thermal Engines
  • ENGN 1930M - Industrial Design
  • ENGN 1931R - The Chemistry of Environmental Pollution
  • ENVS 1245 - Air Pollution & Chemistry
  • EEPS 0230 - Earth and Planetary Materials and Processes
  • EEPS 1120 - Paleoceanography
  • EEPS 1370 - Environmental Geochemistry
  • EEPS 1510 - Intro to Atmospheric Dynamics

Requirements for AB Degree

Ecology - Select One

  • BIOL 0420 - Principles of Ecology

Conservation - Select One

  • BIOL 1470 - Conservation Biology

Ecology & Conservation Topics - Select One

  • BIOL 1155 - Hormones and Behavior
  • BIOL 1450 - Community Ecology
  • BIOL 1480 - Terrestrial Biogeochemistry
  • BIOL 1515 - Conservation in the Genomics Age

Policy - Select One

  • ANTH 1601 - Reimagining Climate Change
  • ENVS 1415 - Power, Justice, and Climate Change
  • ENVS 1555 - Urban Agriculture
  • ENVS 1574 - Engaged Climate Policy in the U.S.
  • ENVS 1615 - Making Connections: Env. Policy Process
  • ENVS 1755 - Globalization and the Environment
  • ENVS 1916 - Animals and Plants in Chinese History
  • ENVS 1925 - Energy Policy and Politics
  • POLS 1435 - Politics of Climate Change

Statistics - Select One

  • APMA 0650 - Essential Statistics
  • APMA 1650 - Statistical Inference I
  • BIOL 0495 - Statistical Analysis of Biological Data
  • CLPS 0900 - Statistical Methods
  • ECON 1620 - Introduction to Econometrics

Additional Requirements for ScB Degree

Math - Select One

  • MATH 0090 - Introductory Calculus, Part I

Evolution - Select One

  • BIOL 0480 - Evolutionary Biology

Organismal Diversity - Select One

  • BIOL 0410 - Invertebrate Zoology
  • BIOL 0430 - The Evolution of Plant Diversity
  • BIOL 0440 - Inquiry in Plant Biology
  • BIOL 1880 - Comparative Biology of the Vertebrates
  • CLPS 1195 - Life Under Water in the Anthropocene

Env. Econ - Select One

  • ECON 1340 - Economics of Global Warming
  • ECON 1350 - Environmental Economics and Policy
  • ECON 1355 - Env. Issues in Development Econ

Tools - Select One

  • ENVS 1105 - Introduction to Environmental GIS
  • EEPS 1320 - Intro to GIS for Environmental Applications
  • EEPS 1330 - Global Environmental Remote Sensing
  • SOC 1340 - Principles and Methods of GIS
  • SOC 2610 - Spatial Thinking in Social Science

Requirements for AB Degree

Required Course for ENI Track Concentrators

  • ENVS-0705 - Equity and the Environment: Movements, Scholarship, Solutions

Race, Class, and Gender Inequality - Select One

  • AFRI 0090 - An Introduction to Africana Studies
  • AFRI 0210 - Afro Latin Americans and Blackness in the Americas
  • AFRI 0830 - How Structural Racism Works
  • ECON 1370 - Race and Inequality in the United States
  • ETHN 1000 - Introduction to American/Ethnic Studies
  • HIST 0150D - Refugees: A Twentieth-Century History
  • HIST 0203 - Modern Africa: From Empire to Nation-State
  • HIST 1974J - Decolonizing Minds: A People's History of the World
  • SOC 0230 - Sex, Gender, and Society
  • SOC 1270 - Race, Class, and Ethnicity in the Modern World

Environment and Inequality - Select One

  • ANTH 0110 - Anthropology and Global Social Problems: Environment, Development, and Governance
  • ANTH 1553 - Energy and Power
  • ENVS 0710 - Powering the Past: The History of Energy
  • ENVS 1910 - The Anthropocene: The Past and Present of Environmental Change
  • HIST 0270A - From Fire Wielders to Empire Builders 
  • HIST 0270B - Modern Global Environmental History
  • PHP 1700 - Current Topics in Environmental Health

Tools - Select One

  • ANTH 1940 - Ethnographic Research Methods
  • APMA 1650 - Statistical Inference I
  • ECON 1620 - Intro to Econometrics
  • EDUC 1100 - Intro Qualitative Research Methods
  • ENVS 1105 - Introduction to Environmental GIS
  • EEPS 1320 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems for Environmental Applications
  • EEPS 1330 - Global Environmental Remote Sensing
  • SOC 1100 - Introductory Statistics for Social Research
  • SOC 1117 - Focus Groups for Market and Social Research
  • SOC 1340 - Principles and Methods of Geographic Information Systems
  • SOC 2610 - Spatial Thinking in Social Science

Policy - Select One

  • ANTH 1601 - Reimagining Climate Change
  • ENVS 0150 - Climate Futures and a Soc of Just Transitions
  • ENVS 1415 - Power, Justice, and Climate Change
  • ENVS 1555 - Urban Agriculture: The Importance of Localized Food Systems
  • ENVS 1574 - Engaged Climate Policy in the U.S.
  • ENVS 1615 - Making Connections: Env. Plcy Process
  • INTL 1700 - International Law
  • PLCY 0220 - City Politics
  • POLS 0400 - Introduction to International Politics
  • POLS 1435 - Politics of Climate Change
  • POLS 1730 - International Political Economy
  • URBN 1000 - Fieldwork in the Urban Community
  • URBN 1220 - Planning Sustainable Cities
  • URBN 1250 - The Political Foundations of the City
  • URBN 1270 - Urban Politics and Urban Public Policy

Additional Requirements for ScB Degree

Tools - Select One

  • ANTH 1940 - Ethnographic Research Methods
  • ECON 1620 - Introduction to Econometrics 
  • EDUC 1100 - Intro Qualitative Research Methods
  • ENVS 1105 - Introduction to Environmental GIS
  • EEPS 1320 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems for Environmental Applications
  • EEPS 1330 - Global Environmental Remote Sensing
  • SOC 1100 - Introductory Statistics for Social Research
  • SOC 1117 - Focus Groups for Market & Social Research
  • SOC 1340 - Principles and Methods of Geographic Information Systems
  • SOC 2610 - Spatial Thinking in Social Science

Race, Class and Gender Inequality - Select One

  • ECON 1370 - Race and Inequality in the United States
  • ETHN 1200I - History & Resistance in Representations of Native Peoples
  • SOC 1270 - Race, Class, and Ethnicity in the Modern World

Select a Focus Area (pick from a singular focus area)

Focus Area One - Environmental Inequality in Globalization and Development - Select Three

  • ANTH 0110 - Anthropology and Global Social Problems: Environment, Development, and Governance
  • DEVL 1803R - Caribbean and Pacific Small States: On the Margins of Development
  • ECON 1355 - Environmental Issues in Development Economics
  • ECON 1510 - Economic Development
  • ECON 1530 - Health, Hunger and the Household in Developing Countries
  • ENVS 1415 - Power, Justice, and Climate Change
  • ENVS 1916 - Animals and Plants in Chinese History
  • HIST 0150D - Refugees: A Twentieth-Century History
  • PHP 1070 - The Burden of Disease in Developing Countries
  • POLS 1440 - Security, Governance and Development in Africa
  • POLS 1730 - International Political Economy
  • SOC 0150 - Economic Development and Social Change

Focus Area Two - Environmental Health and Inequality - Select Three

  • AFRI 1060W - Policy, Culture and Discourse that Shape Health and Access to Healthcare
  • ANTH 1310 - International Health: Anthropological Perspectives
  • BIOL 1820 - Environmental Health and Disease
  • HIST 1960Q - Medicine and Public Health in Africa
  • PHP 0320 - Introduction to Public Health
  • PHP 1070 - The Burden of Disease in Developing Countries
  • PHP 1500 - Global Health Nutrition
  • PHP 1530 - Case Studies in Public Health
  • PHP 1700 - Current Topics in Environmental Health
  • PHP 1710 - Climate Change and Human Health
  • PHP 1920 - Social Determinants of Health

Focus Area Three - Environmental Inequalities in Food, Water, and Energy - Select Three

  • AMST 1906P - Food in American Society and Culture
  • DEVL 1803R - Bringing Small States in: How and Why They Matter
  • ENVS 0710 - Powering the Past: The History of Energy 
  • ENVS 1415 - Power, Justice, and Climate Change
  • ENVS 1555 - Urban Agriculture: The Importance of Localized Food Systems
  • ENVS 1580 - Environmental Stewardship and Resilience in Urban Systems
  • ENVS 1915 - Histories of Global Wetlands
  • ENVS 1925 - Energy Policy and Politics
  • ETHN 1750B - Treaty Rights and Food Fights: Eating Local in Indian Country
  • PHP 1500 - Global Health Nutrition

Requirements for AB Degree

Climate - Select One

  • EEPS 0850 - Weather & Climate
  • EEPS 1430 - Principles of Planetary Climate
  • EEPS 1950P - Special Topics in Geological Sciences: The Arctic
  • ENGN 1931R - The Chemistry of Environmental Pollution
  • ENVS 1245 - Air Pollution & Chemistry

Biology - Select One

  • BIOL 0160 - Plants, Food, and People
  • BIOL 0210 - Diversity of Life
  • BIOL 0420 - Principles of Ecology
  • BIOL 0430 - The Evolution of Plant Diversity
  • BIOL 0440 - Inquiry in Plant Biology

Env. History - Select One

  • ANTH 0680 - Anthropology of Food
  • ENVS 0710 - Powering the Past: The History of Energy
  • ENVS 1557 - Birding Communities
  • ENVS 1910 - The Anthropocene: The Past and Present of Env. Change
  • ENVS 1915 - Histories of Global Wetlands
  • ENVS 1916 - Animals and Plants in Chinese History
  • HIST 0150H - Foods and Drugs in History
  • HIST 0270A - From Fire Wielders to Empire Builders 
  • HIST 0270B - Modern Global Environmental History
  • HIST 1820B - Environmental History of East Asia
  • HIST 1976C - Environmental Histories of Non-Human Actors
  • HIST 1976I - Imperialism and Environmental Change

Policy - Select One

  • ENVS 1350 - Environmental Economics and Policy
  • ENVS 1555 - Urban Agriculture
  • ENVS 1574 - Engaged Climate Policy in the U.S.
  • ENVS 1615 - Making Connections: Env. Policy Process
  • ENVS 1925 - Energy Policy and Politics
  • POLS 1435 - Politics of Climate Change

Tools - Select One

  • APMA 1650 - Statistical Inference I
  • EEPS 1320 - Intro to GIS for Env. Applications
  • EEPS 1330 - Global Environmental Remote Sensing
  • ENVS 1105 - Introduction to Environmental GIS
  • SOC 1340 - Principles and Methods of GIS

Additional Requirements for ScB Degree

Math - Select One

  • MATH 0090 - Introductory Calculus, Part I

Chem - Select One

  • CHEM 0330 - Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure

Earth/Life systems - Select Three

  • BIOL 1470 - Conservation Biology
  • BIOL 1480 - Terrestrial Biogeochemistry
  • EEPS 0240 - Earth - Evolution of a Habitable Planet
  • EEPS 1120 - Paleoceanography
  • EEPS 1130 - Ocean Biogeochemical Cycles
  • EEPS 1310 - Global Water Cycle
  • EEPS 1370 - Environmental Geochemistry
  • EEPS 1510 - Introduction to Atmospheric Dynamics
  • ENGN 1340 - Water Supply and Treatment Systems

Requirements for AB Degree

Env. & Development - Select Two

  • ANTH 0110 - Anthropology and Global Social Problems
  • DEVL 1801A - Infrastructure!
  • ECON 1530 - Health, Hunger and the Household
  • ENVS 0150 - Climate Futures and a Soc of Just Transitions
  • ENVS 1415 - Power, Justice, and Climate Change
  • ENVS 1580 - Environmental Stewardship and Resilience
  • ENVS 1755 - Globalization and the Environment
  • SOC 0150 - Economic Development and Social Change

Policy - Select Two

  • ENVS 1350 - Environmental Economics and Policy
  • ENVS 1555 - Urban Agriculture
  • ENVS 1574 - Engaged Climate Policy in the U.S.
  • ENVS 1615 - Making Connections: Env. Policy Process
  • ENVS 1925 - Energy Policy and Politics
  • POLS 1435 - Politics of Climate Change
  • POLS 1822I - Geopolitics of Oil and Energy

Tools - Select One

  • ANTH 1940 - Ethnographic Research Methods
  • APMA 1650 - Statistical Inference I
  • ECON 1620 - Intro to Econometrics (req for ScB)
  • EDUC 1100 - Intro Qualitative Research Methods
  • EEPS 1320 - Intro to GIS for Env. Applications
  • EEPS 1330 - Global Env. Remote Sensing
  • ENVS 1105 - Introduction to Environmental GIS
  • SOC 1100 - Intro Statistics for Social Research
  • SOC 1117 - Focus Groups for Market and Social Research
  • SOC 1340 - Principles and Methods of GIS

Additional Requirements for ScB Degree

Sociology & Politics - Select One

  • ENVS 0150 - Climate Futures
  • ENVS 1755 - Globalization and the Environment
  • POLS 0400 - Intro to International Politics
  • SOC 0150 - Economic Development and Social Change
  • SOC 0250 - Env. Sociology for a Rapidly Warming World

Critical Perspectives - Select One

  • ANTH 0110 - Anthropology and Global Social Problems
  • DEVL 1000 - Sophomore Seminar in Development Studies
  • DEVL 1801A - Infrastructure!
  • ECON 1370 - Race and Inequality in the U.S.
  • POLS 1200 - Reimagining Capitalism
  • SOC 0150 - Economic Development and Social Change
  • SOC 1620 - Anthropology and Global Social Problems

Economic Perspectives - Select Two

  • ECON 1110 - Intermediate Microeconomics
  • ECON 1340 - Economics of Global Warming
  • ECON 1355 - Env. Issues in Development Economics
  • ECON 1510 - Economic Development
  • ECON 1530 - Health, Hunger and the Household
  • ECON 1560 - Economic Growth
  • IAPA 1700 - Economics for Public Policy

Climate - Select One

  • EEPS 0850 - Weather and Climate
  • ENVS 1245 - Air Pollution & Chemistry

Research Methods

1 course, ENVS 1920 (Methods for Interdisciplinary Environmental Research)

This course provides the skills needed to tease out specific questions from complex, multifaceted environmental problems and to develop independent research proposals that can meet these challenges. These skills are critical for success in academics, the non-profit sector, government and industry.

Environmental Electives

3 courses

These electives provide increased environmental expertise and further enhance a student’s ability to customize a course of study. Acceptable electives include any ENVS courses, classes with significant environmental content, and prerequisites for classes students take to fulfill requirements within their declared track.

Capstone Requirement

1 course minimum

The capstone is designed to provide an opportunity for students to integrate many aspects of their course of study, while introducing the opportunity to conduct independent or collaborative work oriented towards the discovery of new information and/or solving environmental challenges. This requirement can be met with a two-semester thesis (ENVS 1970 & ENVS 1971), one-semester research project (ENVS 1970 or ENVS 1971), or an approved capstone course. More information on each of these options is available on the Capstone Requirement web page.

Policies

AP Exams and Course Credit

Students can meet listed core or track requirements, as follows:

  • AP exam score of 4 or 5 in both Microeconomics and Macroeconomics in place of ECON 0110
  • AP exam score of 5 in Environmental Science in place of ENVS 0490
  • AP exam score of 4 or 5 on Calc AB in place of Math 0090; AP exam score of 4 or 5 on Calc BC in place of Math 0090 & 0100

However, AP exams cannot be used to meet any of the three electives required for the concentration.

Independent Study Courses

ENVS 1970 (Fall) and 1971 (Spring) are independent study courses designated for academic credit sponsored by IBES Faculty. One or both of these courses are often taken as part of the process of fulfilling the capstone requirement, but they need not be used exclusively for that purpose. Students taking these courses to meet capstone requirements should follow the process described for Capstones.

Students not taking these courses to meet the ENVS capstone requirement should complete the following steps:

  1. Meet with the faculty sponsor and agree on the project's design and scope
  2. Complete the Project Proposal Form
  3. Register for the course after receiving an override code from the faculty sponsor

It is the joint responsibility of the student-faculty pair to ensure that the student is intellectually involved in an original research project or course of study with expectations appropriate to their level of education and experience. Faculty should agree to be an independent study course sponsor if able to provide adequate mentoring and advising throughout the semester. ENVS 1970 and 1971 are formal courses, so students are expected to work a minimum of 180 hours on the project.