Building on the unusual strength and breadth of Rensselaer’s synthesis of engineering, science, and the humanities and social sciences, the Environmental Studies Program offers students a unique educational opportunity to develop a truly multidisciplinary approach to environmental studies.
Students who enter Rensselaer in the Environmental Studies Program will take a broad range of basic courses in their first two years. They then choose one of five majors: economics (with an ecological economics focus), environmental engineering, environmental science (with a concentration in a specific area of science), hydrogeology, or science, technology, and society (with an environmental focus). To complement their major programs, students may earn a wide variety of minors. All the majors in the School of Architecture offer special environmental courses.
Intensive Environmental Experience
In consultation with the adviser and with the approval of the director of the Environmental Science Program, students must select and engage in an intensive activity related to the environment. They may do so either directly (as in “natural world” experience) or indirectly through temporary employment (e.g., as a co-op or intern) or through participation in an environmental research monitoring or assessment program. The environmental experience, envisioned typically as a summer activity occurring after the sophomore or junior year, must last at least a month and, in some cases, may be associated with earning academic credit. To successfully fulfill this requirement, students must document the experience and obtain approval for it from the Environmental Science Faculty Director.