This program invites students to explore environmental issues through a wide range of perspectives in the social and natural sciences as well as the humanities and the arts. Students combine work in a particular field of their choice with multidisciplinary courses, often team-taught, in the program. The major involves field experience undertaken in regional settings (such as Vassar’s 416-acre ecological preserve and urban ecology projects in New York City) and through international programs. Introductory and senior seminars frame the major, which also includes a senior project or thesis of the student's own design.
See also, Environmental Studies Courses.
The following academic requirements are from the 2016/17 Vassar College Catalogue.
Requirements for the Major
15 units to be distributed as follows, with specific courses chosen in consultation with the director and the student's advisor, and with the approval of the steering committee. (1) ENST 124, ENST 125 and ENST 301, the senior seminar; (2) ENST 260 or ENST 270, and one course from within the program's own offerings at the 300-level; (3) the senior project/thesis, ENST 300 or ENST 303-ENST 304; (4) a sequence of five courses in one department (or a set of five courses with a common focus, such as law or environmental policy, from two or more departments), including at least one at the 300-level; (5) for students whose disciplinary concentration is in biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics three courses, no more than one at the 100-level relevant to the major in a department outside the natural sciences; for students whose disciplinary concentration is in a natural science other than biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics, a set of courses established in consultation with the director; for students whose disciplinary concentration is not in the natural sciences, three courses, at least one at the 200-level, relevant to the major from either biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics; (6) one half unit of field experience, which may come from field work, independent study, an internship, or selected course work taken during the Junior Year Study Away; and (7) ENST 291 (1/2 unit). Field experience is expected to be carried out before the senior thesis/project. The ½ unit of field experience is graded Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. The senior project/thesis is graded Distinction, Satisfactory, or Unsatisfactory. After declaration of the major, no required courses may be elected NRO.
Senior Year Requirement
ENST 300 or ENST 303-ENST 304 and ENST 301.