Environmental Studies

Description

Many of the most pressing challenges of the 21st Century are environmental. These challenges are complex, multifaceted and can best be solved with expertise from multiple, relevant disciplines. To prepare students to meet these challenges, the Institute for the Study of Environment and Society (ISES) offers two undergraduate degrees: an A.B. in Environmental Studies and an Sc.B. in Environmental Science. The A.B. and Sc.B. degrees vary primarily in the number of course requirements; the Sc.B. is a more in-depth treatment of a single field. Both degrees provide interdisciplinary exposure to the natural and social sciences, as well as public policy. Both degrees also develop depth in a primary field by requiring students to select one of four tracks of study. Through a rigorous set of core courses, track requirements, and a course or project-based capstone experience, our students are primed to make meaningful contributions to environmental scholarship and outreach at local, national and global scales.

Students interested in the AB should consult with Prof. Kurt Teichert, while students with an interest in the ScB should consult with Prof. Dov Sax.

Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Understand environmental issues through a variety of disciplines, including the natural and social sciences, as well as public policy
  • Acquire critical skills in research and design analysis
  • Develop a focused area of environmental expertise
  • Complete an integrative senior project or capstone course

Requirements

Click here for a list of the Environmental Studies and Environmental Science concentration requirements. For more information about this concentration, please visit the department's website.

Honors and Capstones

View Honors website

All concentrators must complete a senior capstone experience. This requirement can be met in the following ways: 

  • completing a designated capstone course
  • conducting a one-semester independent project
  • conducting a one or two-semester environmental practicum
  • conducting a two-semester thesis
At the conclusion of the sixth semester, students who have a grade point average of at least 3.3 in the concentration may apply for Honors. Applications should be made before the end of the seventh semester. To be approved for Honors a student must identify two thesis readers in addition to the student’s primary faculty advisor and the thesis itself must be deemed to be of the highest quality. Please see the ISES website for a complete description of admission procedures and program requirements.

Tracks

  • Air, Climate & Energy
  • Conservation Science & Policy
  • Land, Water & Food Security
  • Sustainability in Development

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Expand your reading skills
  • Collaborate fully
  • Engage with your community
  • Experience scientific inquiry
  • Evaluate human behavior
  • Work on your speaking and writing

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Advisors

Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors
201019 19 
201132 32 11 
201226 26 
201342 42 
201452 52 

Alumni Pathways

The majority of graduates with an Sc.B. or A.B. in Environmental Studies are now active in environmental professions or are furthering their studies of environmental fields. Many have pursued graduate degrees in law, public policy, business administration, education, and public health, as well as doctoral degrees in fields ranging from economics to oceanography and pathology. Visit the Environmental Studies website for more information.

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

Dept. Undergraduate Group

Student Leaders:

  • Sophie Purdom

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact focal_point@brown.edu, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.