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Undergraduate Environmental Courses

The Program in Environmental Studies (ENV) offers undergraduate and graduate level courses that explore environmental issues through the lenses of the natural sciences, engineering, humanities, and social sciences.

The Environmental (ENV) Studies Program at PEI is responsive to the growing demand for environmentally focused undergraduate and graduate level courses at Princeton. The Program offers a range of courses focused on emerging themes in environmental research.

Examples of topical areas include climate change; environmental policy and technology; environmental management; earth systems; environment and water; environmental justice; literature and the arts; environmental communications; global health; development; and sustainability.

Freshman Opportunities

Princeton undergraduates may pursue their academic interests in environmental studies starting in their freshman year on campus. The program offers three introductory survey courses, ENV 200A/B, ENV 201A/B and ENV 302 that present the fundamentals of environmental studies. Any of these three courses may serve toward the completion of the Generalist Track within the ENV Certificate.

When taken with the lab option, ENV 200B and ENV 201B  satisfy the undergraduate Science and Technology  with lab (STL) distribution requirement. The lab component incorporates inquiry-based field study with lab exercises as a complement to course lecture material. Each year, multiple Freshman Seminar courses feature environmental themes.

Environmental Studies Approved Course Offerings

To assist students in course selection, the Environmental Studies Program publishes a list of approved course offerings for each of the six (6) tracks within the Certificate Program in both the fall and spring terms. These lists include electives offered by other departments that fulfill requirements for the ENV Certificate Program.

Students with specific interests in climate and energy, sustainable development, and infectious diseases and global health may find Grand Challenges topics course compilations useful in charting their academic course of study.

Student-Initiated Courses

PEI supports students' interest in emerging topics in environmental studies. In the past, PEI has facilitated the development of several student-initiated courses including: "Towards an Ethical CO2 Emissions Trajectory for Princeton," "Environmental Entrepreneurship," "Environmental Communications," "Farm to Fork: The State of America’s Food System Today", Investigating an Ethical Approach to Sustainability at Princeton", and "Science, Society, and Dinner".

Rebecca Lowy

"Each and every ENV course I have taken has challenged me to apply the content learned in the classroom to real life environmental problems. From modeling the flow of contaminants in groundwater to questioning the roles various groups of people play when dealing with natural disasters, ENV classes have given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the environment and the tools to understand the underlying issues."

Rebecca Lowy, 2016
Geosciences Major

"The courses I have taken through PEI have been a crucial part of my academic experience at Princeton. From working with climate change forecasting models to analyzing the economic feasibility of China's solar thermal industry, I have been able to explore pressing environmental issues."

Vijay Chetty, 2012
Economics Major