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The Certificate Program in Environmental Studies (ENV Certificate) is designed for Princeton undergraduates who are interested in the scientific, political, humanistic, and/or technological dimensions of environmental problems and who wish to demonstrate proficiency in Environmental Studies. Students from all academic disciplines are eligible  to participate.

Students in the ENV Certificate Program are required to satisfy the course and research criteria below. Requirements and course offerings also are published annually in the Princeton Undergraduate Announcement.

  • Complete five (5) courses: Two (2) foundational courses and three (3) electives. At least two (2) courses must be in Humanities, and/or Social Sciences and two (2) must be in Natural Sciences and/or Engineering. Click here for more information on academic Areas of Study at Princeton (use the dropdown menu to view disciplines under specific areas).
    • Students are encouraged to take the foundational courses as early as their first year at Princeton. A maximum of one (1) foundational course may be at the 200 level. A foundation course may not count toward the student’s departmental concentration or another certificate.
    • Only one (1) elective course may be at the 200 level. No more than one (1) elective course may count toward the student’s departmental concentration or another certificate.
    • Students who enrolled in the ENV Certificate program before fall 2022 can count courses completed under the previous course requirements toward their certificate. In addition, these students are able to pursue foundational and/or elective ENV Certificate courses introduced for the 2022-23 the academic year to satisfy any outstanding requirements.
    • All courses must be taken on a fully graded basis (i.e., no PDF) and graded as C or higher. Note: On account of COVID-19, ENV courses taken on a PDF basis in spring ’20, fall ’20 and/or spring ’21, and receiving a grade of P, will count toward ENV Certificate requirements.
    • In all cases, students are encouraged to meet with the Director of the Program in Environmental Studies or Undergraduate Program Manager in order to choose an appropriate sequence of courses.
  • Senior thesis or independent investigative work: Students in the Certificate Program are expected to examine an environmental issue as a component of their senior thesis or independent investigative work. The topic must be approved by the ENV Program Director and the director of undergraduate studies in the student’s concentration. Click here for an archive of ENV senior theses organized by year.
    • The environmental content of the student’s senior thesis will be reviewed early in their senior year. Students who find it difficult to incorporate an environmental topic into their departmental senior thesis should meet with the ENV Program Director to find a suitable alternative before the end of their junior year.
    • Students are required to participate in HMEI’s annual Discovery Day poster show in the spring of their senior year, in which they present the methodologies and final results of their senior-thesis research with fellow students, faculty and staff.