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ENV Certificate Requirements: Generalist Track

The following requirements for the Generalist Track are in addition to those of a student's academic major. Program requirements are also published in the Princeton Undergraduate Announcement. By appropriate choice of courses, several of these requirements may satisfy the Program and the University distribution requirements. All courses to fulfill ENV Certificate Program requirements must be taken on a fully graded basis (no p/f) 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 Undergraduate Administrator as early as possible in their academic career.


One (1) Environmental Studies Foundation Course (ENV 201A/B or ENV 302)

Students enrolled in the Generalist Track must take one foundational course, either ENV 201A/B or ENV 302 as early in their course of study as possible. Under exceptional circumstances, substitutes may be allowed, but only with prior approval by the ENV Director. When taken with the laboratory option, ENV 201B fulfills the University's distribution requirement for Science and Technology with lab (STL). This option, although not required for the Generalist Track, is recommended for students with limited background in the sciences. For students interested in a more advanced use of quantitative analysis, ENV 302 is recommended.

Four (4) Environmental Studies Electives

Students pursuing the Generalist Track are required to take four ENV electives. These electives must be chosen from different academic divisions (i.e., engineering, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences). Note: Only one elective from the students major may count towards the Generalist Track requirements.  In addition to courses offered through the Environmental Studies Program, electives have been identified in other academic departments. Eligible electives are designated in the course listings, including:

  • Humanities Electives: Courses cross-listed or offered by humanities departments, including Art and Archaeology, English, and Philosophy, as well as the School of Architecture.
  • Social Science Electives: Courses cross-listed or offered by social science departments, including Anthropology, Economics, History, Politics, and the Woodrow Wilson School.
  • Natural Science Electives:  Courses cross-listed or offered by natural science departments, including Chemistry, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Geosciences, Physics, and Molecular Biology.
  • Engineering Electives: Courses cross-listed or offered by engineering departments, including Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chemical & Biological Engineering, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

The choice of fourth elective may be any ENV course (including 200-level courses) or any amoung the designated elective courses (normally at the 300 level). 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 the cognate requirements. To be considered for cognate designation, courses must include a significant environmental component . Students are encouraged to discuss cognate choices with the Program Director or Undergraduate Administrator early in their planning process.

Senior Thesis

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.

ENV Senior Colloquium

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 term, students introduce their thesis topics in weekly group meetings. While there are no formal colloquium meetings during the spring term, seniors will participate in the Discovery Day poster session, the culminating event for all ENV students. Discovery Day is an opportunity for participating seniors to share outcomes of their senior thesis research with members of the University community.

Certificate of Proficiency

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.