Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary major, including courses in the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences. While majors in Environmental Studies choose between a B.A. track and a B.S. track depending on their interests, the program is designed to provide all majors with the broad knowledge base and analytical skills needed to understand the many facets of environmental issues. Students in Environmental Studies are advised by faculty in the program on the most appropriate electives to select as well as suitable double-majors and minors to pursue in other disciplines, based on their career goals. Likewise, a minor in Environmental Studies would be of great benefit to students planning a career in business, politics, law, economics, journalism, or education.
The introductory courses taken by Environmental Studies majors in their first two years provide students with a solid grounding in a variety of disciplines. This is fundamental to understanding how the environment functions and the myriad ways in which humans relate to the environment (e.g. politically, economically, spiritually, medically, etc.). The more advanced courses taken in the third and fourth years are designed to develop students’ oral, written, and critical thinking skills which are vital to addressing complex environmental problems. The colloquium series provides students with the opportunity to integrate and apply their interdisciplinary training to the in-depth exploration of specific environmental matters, as well as engage in professional development.
There is a strong emphasis on experiential learning in the Environmental Studies Program. Students take field trips to local wildlife sanctuaries and conservation centers, public health facilities, a vector ecology lab, attend conferences, and hear presentations by scientists at world-renowned research institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Academy of Sciences, the New York Botanical Gardens and the Bronx Zoo. Likewise, students are required to participate in internships in their area of interest. These may include governmental agencies, environmental organizations, private companies, research labs, or educational institutions. Internships are intended to provide students with “real life” work experience and enhance students’ employment opportunities upon graduation. Students in Environmental Studies work closely with the faculty to identify and pursue such internship opportunities. Faculty also help students research and apply for jobs, or if additional training is necessary for a student’s career goals, graduate programs and professional schools. The Environmental Studies Program subscribes to Environmental Career Opportunities, a bi-monthly newsletter with over 500 listings, to help students find out about internships, jobs, and graduate programs in all areas of the environmental field.