Environmental Studies Concentration

The Environmental Studies Concentration draws upon the disciplinary strengths of a traditional major and a set of courses focused on the environment. Students may utilize environmental studies-related upper-level courses within their own discipline to complete requirements of the concentration if the courses have a significant component that addresses environmental concerns.

  2. COURSES REPRESENTING ENVST TRACKS (one from each track – Natural Science, Social Science and Arts & Humanities)
  3. ELECTIVES (two additional courses)

Students will choose two additional environmental studies courses from among those listed in the major. This may include (but need not) the senior seminar. Elective courses must have a significant component that addresses environmental concerns, but they need not have environmental issues as their exclusive focus.


Click the List of Courses that count toward the concentration.

All students concentrating in Environmental Studies will participate in an experience which applies basic knowledge in a setting beyond the classroom. This may be one of the many off-campus environmental studies courses listed in the catalog, or an internship or research project approved by the Chair. Guidelines and a planning document are available from the chair.

Together the Environmental Studies Department and The Harry C. Piper Center for Vocation and Career has created a handout/timeline describing ways you can integrate experiential learning opportunities throughout your work at St. Olaf. The Piper Center also maintains a database of past internship sites for ES students as well as the resource, Ole Career Central.

The Environmental Studies Faculty awards Distinction at graduation to senior majors and concentrators who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship and creativity in ES courses during their years at St. Olaf and who have participated in a significant project outside the required curriculum.  A description of the college’s understanding of distinction can be found in the college catalog.

As criteria for Distinction, the EnvSt faculty will consider a student’s record of academic achievement from courses within the program together with work from a significant project done beyond the required curriculum. The latter may take a variety of forms from a scientific research project to a work of art. The project should demonstrate both excellence and creativity and will involve public presentation or publication. Because scholarship is also a primary criterion, students seeking Distinction are advised not to take any of their EnvSt coursework pass no-credit (S/U). Those who wish to be considered for Distinction by the
Department should consult with any member of the EnvSt faculty early in their senior year and notify the EnvSt Chair by mid-February of their Senior Year.


Click on the department’s intended learning outcomes for ES concentrators to discover more about them.