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Certificate Program in Environmental Studies

Educating a New Generation of Environmental Leaders

The Certificate Program in Environmental Studies (ENV) is designed for Princeton undergraduates who have an interest in the scientific, political, humanistic, and/or technological dimensions of environmental problems.

Since 1993, the Certificate Program has been central to educating a new generation of environmental leaders at Princeton. More than 800 undergraduates have graduated with an Environmental Studies Certificate and have gone on to pursue careers or graduate-level education with an environmental focus.

Program of Study

Students in the Generalist Track select from a variety of environmental courses that include topics in climate change; energy security; policy; technology; environmental science; conservation; ecology; art; literature; economics; engineering; ethics; history; mitigation; global health; development; and sustainability among areas.

Through the Generalist Track, students interested in completing their coursework in a specific area of environmental studies, may choose a focus in environmental humanities, food and the environment, environmental social sciences, or environmental sustainability.

Starting in October 2017, students interested in a more in-depth exploration of environmental science will enroll in the Environmental Science and Engineering Track. This track replaces the four science specialist tracks that were previously offered.

Students can elect to stay in one of the specialist tracks below if they have registered for the certificate prior to October 2017, or they can switch to either the Generalist Track or the new Environmental Science and Engineering Track. Students should contact the Environmental Studies Program Manager to review their courses.

  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Climate and Energy
  • Earth Systems
  • Environmental Policy
  • Environment and Water

Undergraduates pursuing the ENV Certificate are required to participate in the Senior Colloquium in their final year of academic study to share the research and results of their senior theses with Princeton faculty and other students enrolled in the program.

Senior thesis funding is available to students who elect to engage in field research as a component of their independent work. Funding for domestic and international internships with an environmental focus also are available for students in the summer following their freshman, sophomore, and junior years.

Enrolling in the Program

The Program in Environmental Studies is open to all A.B. and B.S.E. students. Students interested in the certificate program are encouraged to complete the ENV Program Enrollment Form as early as their freshman year, and meet with the ENV Program Director or Undergraduate Program Manager to discuss their course of study in greater detail.

Noam Altman-Kurosaki

— Noam Altman-Kurosaki, 2016


Michelangelo Ball Van Zee

— Michelangelo Ball Van Zee, 2015


Ben Barron

— Ben Barron, 2013
​Comparative Literature Major