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Certificate Program in Environmental Studies

Educating a New Generation of Environmental Leaders

Download ES Brochure 2013

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 in educating a new generation of environmental leaders at Princeton. Over 600 undergraduates have graduated with an Environmental Studies Certificate and have gone on to pursue careers or graduate level education with an environmental focus. Since 2000, the program has grown by more than 19% annually, and currently serves students from humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering disciplines.

Program of Study

Through the Certificate Program, students majoring in any discipline may choose to pursue either a general course of study encompassing a broad array of environmental topics, or a more in-depth exploration of a single environmental theme.

Students in the Generalist Track select from a wide-range 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 others.

Students interested in focusing their coursework in a specific area of the environment may select from one of several Specialist Tracks, including:

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 independant work. Funding for domestic and international internships with an environmental focus is also 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 Administrator to discuss their course of study in greater detail. Students enrolled in one of the Specialized Tracks must complete two foundation courses by the end of their sophomore year.


"The Environmental Studies Program has not only given me the opportunity to examine environmental issues from a variety of different perspectives, but has also allowed me to interact and discuss these issues with students and professors of all disciplines."

— Michelle Lau, 2012
CEE Major


Michelangelo Ball Van Zee, 2015

"The ENV program is chock-full of exciting classes that teach you how to think about environmental issues in a variety of ways: economically, scientifically, and politically."

- Michelangelo Ball Van Zee, 2015
EEB Major


“The ENV Certificate is one of the most accommodating and flexible programs on campus. It allows - and even encourages - humanities students like myself to receive a comprehensive environmental education from top quality professors."

— Ben Barron, 2013
Comparative Literature Major