Environmental Studies

Our planet is being challenged in many unprecedented ways, presenting an array of environmental problems to address including pollution, biodiversity loss, energy and wastes, food and water, health, and climate change. At the same time awareness of these issues is expanding, and an emerging set of potential solutions is being sought across multiple fields of inquiry.

Minor in Environmental Studies

Georgetown College’s minor in environmental studies seeks to inform students about the many facets of our environment, focusing on both problems and solutions. The minor is composed of seven courses: three required courses and four elective environmental courses (one of which constitutes a student’s capstone experience). In addition to students’ academic and intellectual development, the minor seeks to educate students to be stewards and sustainers of the environment through personal engagement, civic participation, and environmental leadership. The minor seeks to help prepare students for careers in a wide range of environmental fields.

The minor integrates numerous areas of knowledge, fostering interdisciplinary thinking and creative problem solving. Students draw from spheres such as conservation and resource management, ecology, economics, ethics, humanities, technology, law and policy, science, and more. The result is rich interdisciplinary exposure to the field of Environmental Studies.

All minors must take the following three courses (or approved substitutions). Please discuss substitutions with the minor co-director, Professor Randall Amster. 

1.  BIOL-104 Foundations in Biology II (ecology, evolution, and behavior) (spring and summer semesters at GU)

2.  GOVT-354 Environmental Politics (or similar course with permission).

3.  STIA-227, Environmental Geoscience (or similar course with permission).  Minors may use Biol-104 as a prerequisite for STIA-227.  

Minors must also take four environmental electives, approved by the program. These courses will be cross-listed in the schedule of classes; the list will change each semester as new courses are offered. One of these electives, taken in senior year and approved by the program, will constitute the student’s Capstone. Alternatively, a student may complete the Capstone by way of an independent tutorial, to be approved by the program with an extensive library-research project or a hands-on experience culminating in a written report, mentored by a faculty member willing to work with the student through that experience.

Students completing the Core Pathways program focused on climate change may count 2 modules (1.5 credits each) as 1 elective toward the Environmental Studies minor. The full year program (4 modules) will count as 2 electives in the minor.

Courses that count toward the environmental studies minor can be found by searching the Schedule of Classes using the X-List: ENST attribute.