An interdisciplinary course minor in environmental studies is available to all students, consisting of an integrated program of five courses plus a capstone seminar, taken in addition to a regular major.
Minor Requirements (Classes of 2012–2014)
Students minoring in environmental studies must take five courses, including
- At least one course in environmental science/technology
- At least one course in environmental social science/humanities
- At least one more from either of these two groups for a minimum of three courses from the list designated environmental courses in specific disciplines
- Up to two of the five required courses may be chosen from the list designated cognate and interdisciplinary courses
At least three of the five selected courses must be outside the major and, if it exists, a second minor, so that when the capstone seminar is added, the College policy requiring at least four courses outside the major or any other minor will be satisfied.
Minor Requirements (Class of 2015, recommended for Class of 2014)
Students minoring in environmental studies must take six courses, including
- ENVS Foundations Course
- Two courses in environmental science/technology (one must be a lab science)
- Two courses in environmental social science/humanities
- With permission of the ENVS coordinator, up to two of the four required courses may be chosen from the list designated cognate and interdisciplinary courses
- ENVS Capstone Seminar
At least four of the six selected courses must be outside the major and, if it exists, a second minor, so the College policy requiring at least four courses outside the major or any other minor will be satisfied.
Students may also apply for the honors minor, which has similar requirements plus an external examination on an approved topic that links together two of the courses and a senior honors study paper that explores the connections between the two courses.
Students must submit their plan of study to the coordinator, usually when they apply for a major, and should inform the coordinator about any changes in their programs. Students may petition the Faculty Committee on Environmental Studies to have courses taken at other institutions fulfill some of these requirements. One of the courses may be independent work or a field study (in the United States or abroad) supervised by a member of the committee.
Beginning with the class of 2015, completion of the interdisciplinary foundations course, Case Studies in Environmental Issues (ENVS 001) will be required of all minors and should be taken prior to the senior year. Members of the class of 2014 are also strongly encouraged to take the foundations course. This course will be co-taught by one faculty member from a science or engineering field and by one faculty member from the social sciences or humanities. Focusing on one or two case studies, the interdisciplinary course will emphasize basic concepts in Environmental Studies and explore how environmental challenges in the modern world are best approached by drawing upon the contributions of more than one academic discipline. ENVS 001 will be first offered at Swarthmore in the spring of 2012; it is also offered as ENVS 101 at Bryn Mawr and Haverford in the fall of 2011.
In addition to the five courses, each minor will participate in the capstone seminar in environmental studies (ENVS 091) during the spring semester of the senior year. The capstone seminar will involve advanced interdisciplinary work on one or more issues or problems in environmental studies. Leadership of the capstone seminar rotates among the members of the Faculty Committee on Environmental Studies.
Any student may request credit [pdf] in environmental studies for interdisciplinary environmental courses taken at other institutions (domestic and foreign).