The Generalist Track is designed for students who want a broad-based introduction to environmental issues and who wish to study a wide range of topics in environmental studies from a variety of perspectives (social, political, scientific, etc.).
The following requirements for the Generalist Track are in addition to those of a student's academic major. Program requirements also are published in the Princeton Undergraduate Announcement. By appropriate choice of courses, several of these requirements may satisfy the Program's and the University's distribution requirements. All courses to fulfill ENV Certificate Program requirements must be taken on a fully graded basis (no pass/fail) and graded as C or higher. Students interested in pursuing the Generalist Track are should complete the ENV Student Enrollment Form and schedule a meeting with the ENV Program Director or Program Manager as early as possible in their academic career.
Students in the Generalist Track must take one foundation course - 200A-F: "The Environmental Nexus." Students in ENV 200 will enroll in one section of the course, based on the distribution requirement they would like to fulfill: Ethical and Moral Thought (EM), Literature and the Arts (LA), Quantitative Reasoning (QR), Social Analysis (SA), Science and Technology with Lab (STL), or Science and Technology without Lab (STN). Students are encouraged to take ENV 200 as early as possible in their academic careers. Please note the laboratory option is not required for the Generalist Track.
Students pursuing the Generalist Track are required to take four ENV electives. Two of these electives must be chosen from different academic divisions, such as engineering, the humanities, the natural sciences, or the social sciences. Three of the four ENV electives must be at the 300-level or higher. Only one elective from the student’s major may count towards the Generalist Track requirements.
To review approved electives for the Generalist Track, please, see the Environmental Course Offerings. Students may petition the ENV Program Director to have additional courses approved to fulfill elective requirements. To be considered for elective designation, courses must include a significant environmental component. Students are encouraged to discuss course choices with the program director or undergraduate administrator early in their planning process.
Students in the Generalist Track may choose to concentrate their coursework in the Environmental Humanities, Food and the Environment, Environmental Sustainability or the Environmental Social Sciences. A description of each focus area is outlined below.
The Environmental Humanities focus is designed for students fascinated by the deep call of environmental stories as expressed in art, literature, film, and digital media. An extensive range of environmental humanities electives are offered across diverse cultures and historical periods. Two foundation courses should be taken. The first is ENV 200, which covers four broad environmental topics– climate change, food, water, and biodiversity. For the second course, students may choose to take either ENV 369/ENG 383: "Environmental Imaginings and Global Change," or HIS 394/ENV 394: "The History of Ecology and Environmentalism. Students are encouraged to create a program of study suited to their specific interests.
A suggested sequence of courses and Environmental Humanities electives can be found below.
The Environmental Social Sciences focus is intended for students who wish to expand their understanding of pressing environmental issues and their policy solutions. Students will address the economic, political, and social aspects of the environment through courses offered across all four divisions of the university – humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Two foundation courses should be taken. The first is ENV 200, which covers four broad environmental topics-climate change, food, water, and biodiversity. The second foundation course, WWS 350: "The Environment Science and Policy", introduces students to science-policy interactions through domestic and international case studies. An extensive range of electives gives students the freedom to create a program of study in the Environmental Social Sciences that is suited to their specific interests.
A suggested sequence of courses and Environmental Social Science electives can be found below.
Students interested in the broad range of topics associated with food and its environmental impacts can tailor their Environmental Studies certificate to focus on Food and the Environment. Courses of interest are offered across all four divisions of the university – humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Two foundation courses should be of special interest. The first is ENV 200, which covers four broad environmental topics – including food. The second course is ENV 303, a course devoted entirely to food systems and the many dimensions of food production, including its environmental impacts. A wide range of elective courses, each covering some distinctive aspect of food systems, allows students to create a program of study tailored to their specific interests.
A suggested sequence of courses and Food and the Environment electives can be found below.
Students interested in the broad range of topics associated with environmental sustainability and sustainable development may concentrate their ENV coursework in Environmental Sustainability. Courses of interest are offered across all four divisions of the university – humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Two foundation courses should be taken. The first is ENV 200, which covers four broad environmental topics – climate change, food, water, and biodiversity – all of which are central to understanding sustainable development. The second course is ENV 327 – “Investigating an Ethos of Sustainability at Princeton." Students will apply critical thinking to a number of sustainable challenges at home, here at Princeton, and around the world. A wide range of elective courses, each covering some distinctive aspect of environmental sustainability, allows students to create a program of study suited to their specific interests.
A suggested sequence of courses and Environmental Sustainability electives can be found below.
All students seeking to earn a Certificate in Environmental Studies are required to include an environmental dimension within their departmental independent work. The environmental topic must be approved by both the ENV Program Director and the undergraduate representative of the student's department of concentration. The environmental content of the senior thesis will be reviewed as part of the ENV Senior Colloquium. Students may consult the archive of ENV Senior Thesis Titles for a comprehensive list of previous topics.
The ENV Senior Colloquium is required for seniors pursuing the ENV Certificate. The colloquium is noncredit and supplements input that students receive from their departmental advisers with perspectives of students and faculty from other academic disciplines. In the fall and spring terms, students introduce their thesis topics in weekly group meetings. Students will also participate in PEI's annual Discovery Day poster show. Discovery Day is an opportunity for participating seniors to share outcomes of their senior thesis research with members of the University community.
Students who have met the requirements of the Generalist Track in the Environmental Studies Program and of their department will receive a certificate of proficiency in environmental studies upon graduation.