First-Year Students

Students interested in environmental issues should begin their studies with Introduction to Environmental Studies (ENVST 100), which provides a broad overview of the field. ENVST 100 is a requirement for both the major and the minor.  Other recommended introductory courses include Introductory Biology (BIOL 145), General Chemistry I (CHEM 101), World Regional Geography (GEOG 105), Introduction to the Physical Environment (GEOG 107/108), Physical Geology (GEOL 100), Environmental Geology (GEOL 101/107), Oceanography (GEOL 103), Foundations of Physics (PHYS 100), Renewable Energy (PHYS 104), Force, Motion, and Energy (PHYS 110), and Introduction to the Ideas and Applications of Statistics (STAT 140).

All students must take a 100-level lab science (required for 200-level lab science courses in environmental studies) and a course in statistics.

Intermediate and Advanced Courses

The program offers intermediate-level courses on such topics as political ecology, environmental change, and reading/writing about nature. Advanced courses (300 level) include conference courses on issues such as sustainable agriculture, ecosystem science, environmental history, conservation, and the capstone course for the major, Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies (ENVST 390).

Majors and minors also take courses in other departments at Mount Holyoke and, through the Five College Consortium, at Amherst, Hampshire, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts. A list of approved courses is available below (Major and Minor Checklist and Concentration Checklists) and in the department office.

  • Environmental Studies Independent Research/Thesis Guidelines 2013-2014
  • Environmental Studies Independent Research/Thesis Guidelines 2014-2015

Learn More

Major and Minor Checklist

  • Introductory and Intermediate Courses

Concentration Checklists

  • Conservation
  • Ecosystem Science
  • Environment and Development 
  • Environmental Politics, Policy, and Economics
  • Geoscience
  • Natural History
  • Nature/Culture/History