We must find ways to feed a growing human population while maintaining the natural life support system provided by the Earth's ecosystems; to make built environments more efficient as urban areas continue to grow dramatically in size; and to meet the challenges posed by rising sea-level and increasing global temperatures. 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 at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES) offers two undergraduate degrees: an A.B. in Environmental Studies and a Sc.B. in Environmental Science. The two 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 five tracks of study. Concentrators might also consider pursuing the Engaged Scholars Program, which allows them to connect theory and practice and gain hands-on experience working with community partners.

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.

If you have administrative questions regarding theses concentrations or wish to be added to the email directory listing upcoming events, then please contact Jeanne Loewenstein, the academic program manager.

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


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

Department Undergraduate Group (DUG)

Student Leaders: Tara Pelton, Elizabeth Rolfes, Kobi Weinberg 

Graduating Class

Class Year Total Students Capstones Completed Honors Graduates
2014 52  52 
2015 40  40 
2016 32  32 
2017 28  28 
2018 29  39 
2019 18 18 3

Alumni Pathways

The majority of graduates with an Sc.B. or A.B. in Environmental Studies and Sciences 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 website for more information.

What are Environmental Studies concentrators doing...


Director of Undergraduate Studies: Dawn King