The Environmental Sciences and Engineering Track is intended for students who want to delve into the scientific and technical dimensions of environmental challenges via upper-level science and engineering courses in their area of interest or expertise. Students in this track will gain an understanding of the human dimension of scientific decision-making and the functioning of institutions that will be key to designing successful innovations and environmental interventions for the future. Students can concentrate on topics such as conservation and biodiversity, climate change, food and agriculture and the global energy system.
Students must complete two foundation courses: one environmental science foundation course, and either an environmental humanities or environmental policy course, preferably during their sophomore or junior year. The course options for each foundation are below.
Environmental Science Foundation Courses
Humanities Foundation Courses
Policy Foundation Course
In addition, students must complete three elective courses. Two must be environmental science or engineering electives at the 300-level or above, one of which must be a laboratory course. Students also are required to take one policy or humanities elective at the 300-level or above.
Except with the approval of the program director or the undergraduate administrator, no more than one of the three elective courses may count toward the student’s departmental concentration or another certificate. In all cases, students are encouraged to meet with the program director or undergraduate administrator in order to choose an appropriate sequence of courses.
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 will discuss 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 Environmental Sciences and Engineering Track in the Environmental Studies Program and of their department will receive a certificate of proficiency in environmental studies upon graduation