Environmental Studies Undergraduate Major

New York University

Year Founded: Sept. 1, 2007
Date Posted: March 18, 2021
Submitted by: Mari Roberts
Sustainability Topic: Curriculum
Content Type: Academic Programs
Program Type: Baccalaureate degree
Completion: 4 years
Distance: Local Only
Commitment: Both


The Department of Environmental Studies aims to provide students with the breadth of understanding and skills necessary for resolving environmental questions and creating a sustainable future on scales ranging from local to global. It does so through integrated, problem-oriented study and a broad range of courses across disciplines and schools. The major and minor draw on NYU’s strong faculty base in the College of Arts and Science (FAS), the Center for Atmosphere Ocean Science (CAOS, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences/FAS), the Center on Environmental and Land Use Law (School of Law), the M.A. Program in Bioethics: Life, Health, and Environment (Faculty of Health), and the Environmental Conservation Education program (Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development), as well as in the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the Stern School of Business, the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and the School of Medicine. The department offers opportunities to develop interests in a number of areas, including environmental science; environmental values, policy, and law; earth system science; public health; urban environmental problems; climate change; energy systems; environmental justice; and our complex relations with both domesticated and wild nature.

Learning Outcomes


The requirements of the ES major are as follows. Students should note that courses in other departments may carry prerequisites.

(1) THREE 4-POINT ES CORE COURSES (12 POINTS): Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100) Environment and Society (ENVST-UA 101) Environmental Studies Senior Seminar (ENVST-UA 900) (2) ONE "METHODS OF INQUIRY" COURSE (4 POINTS), CHOSEN FROM: Introduction to Environmental Modeling (ENVST-UA 305) Environmental Quantitative Methods (ENVST-UA 310) Energy and the Environment (ENVST-UA 350) Fundamental Dynamics of Earth's Atmosphere and Climate (ENVST-UA 360) Biostatistics (BIOL-UA 42) Quantitative Reasoning: Elementary Statistics (CORE-UA 105) Quantitative Reasoning: Problems, Statistics, and Decision-Making (CORE-UA 107) Quantitative Methods in Political Science (POL-UA 800) Statistical Reasoning for the Behavioral Sciences (PSYCH-UA 10) Research Methods in Sociology (SOC-UA 301) Quantitative Analysis for Public Policy (UPADM-GP 111)

(3) ONE "GOVERNANCE" COURSE (4 POINTS), CHOSEN FROM THESE CAS COURSES (OR FROM A FULLER LIST INCLUDING COURSES IN OTHER NYU SCHOOLS AND AT NYU STUDY AWAY SITES, AVAILABLE FROM THE DEPARTMENT): Introduction to Marine Ecology & Conservation (ENVST-UA 323) Science in Environmental Policy (ENVST-UA 422) History of United States Environmental Policy (ENVST-UA 423) Environmental Regulation (ENVST-UA 435) Global Environmental Politics (ENVST-UA 445) The Planet's Last Frontiers (ENVST-UA 455) Environmental Activism (ENVST-UA 485) History of American Environmental Policy (DC) (ENVST-UA 9423) Chinese Environmental Governance (Shanghai) (ENVST-UA 9450) European Environmental Policy (Berlin) (ENVST-UA 9460) Water Governance (CCOL-AD 30) Economics of Energy and the Environment (ECON-UA 326) Public Economics (ECON-UA 353) Public Policy (POL-UA 306) Controversies in Public Policy: Logic and Evidence (POL-UA 315) Private Influence in Public Policy (POL-UA 341) Bureaucracy and Public Policy Politics (POL-UA 350) International Politics (POL-UA 700) Diplomacy and Negotiation (POL-UA 720) International Organization (POL-UA 730) Political Engineering: The Design of Institutions (POL-UA 810) Politics of Protection and Global Governance (IDSEM-UG 1851) Environmental Health, Social Movements and Public Policy (PUHE-UE 1323) Food Legislation, Regulation and Enforcement (FOOD-GE 2100) International Food Regulation (FOOD-GE 2110) Advanced Topics in Food Systems: Agricultural Globalization (FOOD-GE 2283) Advanced Topics in Food Systems: Food Systems Planning (FOOD-GE 2284) The Politics of Public Policy (PADM-GP 101) The Economics of Public Policy (PADM-GP 140) Planning for Emergencies and Disasters (URPL-GP 2645) Global Environmental Politics (Shanghai) (SOCS-SHU 333)

(4) FOUR 4-POINT ELECTIVE COURSES (16 POINTS), CHOSEN IN CONSULTATION WITH A DEPARTMENTAL ADVISER. INTERNSHIP IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES (ENVST-UA 800) MAY COUNT AS ONE OF THE FOUR ELECTIVES. Please note that elective courses are not necessarily offered every year and may carry prerequisites (some ENVST-UA courses are cross-listed and originate in other departments). The below is a partial list of acceptable electives in CAS; for a full list that includes courses in the other divisions of NYU (both undergraduate and graduate), contact the department.

The categories below are designed to support concentrations that students may choose within the ES major. A concentration is optional and not required. (4A) ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES: Evolution of the Earth (ENVST-UA 210. Identical to BIOL-UA 2.) Climate Change (ENVST-UA 226)
Topics in Environmental Science (ENVST-UA 250. Varies.)
Metapatterns from Quarks (ENVST-UA 254. Identical to AHSEM-UA 154) Where the City Meets the Sea: Studies in Coastal Urban Environments (ENVST-UA 275. Identical to BIOL-UA 140, COREI-AD 16.) Advanced Topics in Environmental Science (ENVST-UA 300. Varies.) Introduction to Marine Ecology and Conservation (ENVST-UA 323) Fundamentals of Ecology (ENVST-UA 325. Identical to BIOL-UA 63) New York Underground (ENVST-UA 327)
Evidence Based Conservation (ENVST-UA 330) Food Production and Climate Change (ENVST-UA 331) Current Topics in Earth System Science: Mass Extinctions, Geologic Processes, and Evolution (ENVST-UA 332. Identical to BIOL-UA 332.) Limits of the Earth: Issues in Human Ecology (ENVST-UA 333)
Earth System Science (ENVST-UA 340) The Global Carbon Cycle (ENVST-UA 345)
Energy and the Environment (ENVST-UA 350) Fundamental Dynamics of Earth's Atmosphere and Climate (ENVST-UA 360) Biogeochemistry of Global Change (ENVST-UA 370. Identical to BIOL-UA 66.) At the Bench: Ecological Analysis with Geographic Information Systems (ENVST-UA 372. Identical to BIOL-UA 64.) Special Topics: Introduction to Fluid Dynamics (ENVST-UA 380. Identical to PHYS-UA 800.) Business and the Environment (ENVST-UA 465) The Literature of Environmental Justice (ENVST-UA 675) Field Laboratory in Ecology (BIOL-UA 16)
Introduction to Ecology (BIOL-UA 63) Natural Science I : Energy and the Environment (CORE-UA 203) Natural Science II: Lessons from the Biosphere (CORE-UA 311) Environmental Health (EHSC-GA 1004) Ecotoxicology: Hudson River Case (EHSC-GA 1005. Identical to BIOL-GA 1055.) Toxicology (EHSC-GA 1006 Identical to BIOL-GA 1006) Weather, Air Pollution, and Health (EHSC-GA 1010)
Global Issues in Environmental Health (EHSC-GA 1011) Aerosol Science (EHSC-GA 2033)
Radiological Health (EHSC-GA 2301) Global Environmental Health (GPH-GU 2153) State and Fate of the Earth (COREI-AD 11) State and Fate of the Earth (CCST-SHU 123)

(4B) ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES AND SOCIETY (ETHICS, HISTORY, POLITICS): Ethics and the Environment (ENVST-UA 400. Identical to PHIL-UA 53.) Climate Change and Environmental Justice (ENVST-UA 405. Identical to SCA-UA 632.) Economics and the Environment (ENVST-UA 410) Cooperation and the Commons (ENVST-UA 412) Environmental History of the Early Modern World (ENVST-UA 415. Identical to HIST-UA 115.) Environmental History of New York City (ENVST-UA 420. Identical to HIST-UA 275.) Science in Environmental Policy (ENVST-UA 422) History of Ecology and Environmentalism (ENVST-UA 425) Education and the Environment (ENVST-UA 430) Environmental Regulation (ENVST-UA 435) Food, Animals, and the Environment (ENVST-UA 440. Identical to ANST-UA 440.) Global Environmental Politics (ENVST-UA 445) Topics in Environmental Values and Society (ENVST-UA 450. Varies.) Water: Rights and Resources (CCOL-AD 30) Topics in Environmental Values and Society: Environmental Anthropology (ENVST-UA 450.001. Identical to ANTH-UA 321.002.) The Planet's Last Frontiers (ENVST-UA 455) European Environmental Policy (ENVST-UA 460) Business and the Environment (ENVST-UA 465) Climate and Society (ENVST-UA 470) Environmental Justice and Inequality (ENVST-UA 480) Environmental Activism (ENVST-UA 485) Urban Political Ecology (ENVST-UA 490)
Journalism and Society: Covering the Earth (ENVST-UA 503. Identical to JOUR-UA 503.) Readings in Contemporary Literary Theory: Eco Criticism (ENVST-UA 510. Identical to ENGL-UA 735.) Making Art in the Anthropocene: Project on Ecology, Species and Vibrant Matter (ENVST-UA 593. Identical to AHSEM-UA 193, ANST-UA 393, DRLIT-UA 971, THEA-UT 632.) Animals and Society (ENVST-UA 610. Identical to ANST-UA 200, SOC-UA 970.) Animals and Public Policy (ENVST-UA 630. Identical to ANST-UA 500.) The Literature of Environmental Justice (ENVST-UA 675) Economics of Energy (ECON-UA 326) Topics in Environmental History (HIST-UA 829) Environmental Health Policy (EHSC-GA 1013) Advanced Introduction to Environmental Ethics (GPH-GU 1006) Disease and Civilization (IDSEM-UG 1059) The Darwinian Revolution (IDSEM-UG 1156) A Sense of Place (IDSEM-UG 1181) Ecology and Environmental Thought (IDSEM-UG 1298) History of Environmental Science (IDSEM-UG 1566) Energy (IDSEM-UG 1575) Nature, Resource, and the Human Condition: Perspectives on Environmental History (IDSEM-UG 1602) Environmental Psychology: Place and Behavior (IDSEM-UG 1656) Introduction to Global Public Health (PUHE-UE 1310) International Environmental Governance: Education, Advocacy & NGOs (ENYC-GE 2015) Foundations of Environmental Thought (ENYC-GE 2019) Contemporary Debates in Environmental Ethics (ENYC-GE 2020) Environmental Politics (ENYC-GE 2021) Environmental Education: Theory and Practice (ENYC-GE 2022) Field Studies in Ecology at Black Rock Forest (ENYC-GE 2032) Environmental Education (ENYC-GE 2070) Topics in Visual Culture and Cultural Studies: Modernity and Climate Change (MCC-UE 2400) Business and the Environment (ECON-UB 225) Honors Seminar: Performing Beyond the Human: Ecology, Animality, and Performance (THEA-UT 801) Sustainability for Competitive Advantage (MULT-UB 68) Chinese Environmental Studies (Shanghai) (GCHN-SHU 432) Bridging Culture and Nature: An Introduction to Conservation Science (Tolisano) (IDSEM-UG 1740) Trash Matters (Fredericks, Rosalind) (IDSEM-UG 1786) Technology and Environment (Rachel Rothschild) (IDSEM-UG 1860) Designing for New Climates: Histories of Adaptation (Peder Anker & Mitch Joachim) (IDSEM-UG 1905) The Literature of Environmental Crisis (Greg Vargo) Nature (Jim Tolisano) (IDSEM-UG 1907) Food and Nature in Cities (Jacob Remes) (IDSEM-UG 1925) Conservation Biology in Practice: Solutions for People and Nature (Jim Tolisano) (PRACT-UG 1550)

(4C) PLANNING, CITIES, AND TRANSPORTATION: Urban Greening Lab: New York (ENVST-UA 495) Environmental Design: Issues and Method (ARTH-UA 672) Cities in a Global Context (SCA-UA 602)
Urban Environmentalism (SCA-UA 631)
Mapping as Spatial, Political and Environmental Practice (ARTS-UG 1603) Green Design (ARTS-UG 1616) The Urban Environment: Design, Planning, and Public Services (ARTS-UG 1620) Green Design and Planning (ARTS-UG 1623) Advanced Architectural Drawing and Design (ARTS-UG 1624) Good Design: Habitation (ARTS-UG 1627) Green History from Geddes to Gore (IDSEM-UG 1627) Think Big: Global Issues and Ecological Solutions (IDSEM-UG 1628) Ecological Transport, Infrastructure, and Building Design (IDSEM-UG 1633) Environment and Development in Africa (IDSEM-UG 1648) Psychology of Sustainability (PS-UY 3724) Research Project: Urban Sustainability & Planning (URB 4023) Urbanization in Developing Countries (INTL-GP 2237) Natural Resource Conflicts (INTRL-GA 1750) Ecoleadership: The Public Role of the Private Sector in Building Sustainable Societies (PADM-GP 2234) Environmental Policy, Sustainable Development, and the Economics of Climate Change (PADM-GP 2252 Taught in Capetown) Current Issues in Environmental Policy (PADM-GP 2466) Environmental Economics (PADM-GP 2472) Urban Planning, Development, and Decision Making (URPL-GP 1603) Land Use Law: Planning Perspective (URPL-GP 1605)
Risk Management in Environmental Health and Protection (URPL-GP 2126) Environmental Law (URPL-GP 2127) Transportation Policy (URPL-GP 2470) Environmental Impact Assessment (URPL-GP 2610) Adapting the Physical City (URPL-GP 2612)
Sustainable Cities in a Comparative Perspective (URPL-GP 2613) Environment and Urban Dynamics (URPL-GP 2615) Workshop in Environmental Planning-Urban Waterfront (URPL-GP 2625) Urban Transportation Planning (URPL-GP 2641) Planning for Emergencies & Disasters (URPL-GP 2645) Water Sourcing and Delivery in an Era of Climate Change (URPL-GP 2666) Environmental Design and Architecture (Anker, Nina Edwards) (ARTS-UG 1632) Honors: Students with a GPA over 3.65 in the major and overall who complete the Honors Seminar in their senior year are eligible for departmental honors.

Graduate course*

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