Environmental Studies

Director: J. Isacoff


The Environmental Studies major invites students to link together courses from different disciplines in order to understand the scientific, ethical, social, and political aspects of the environment. 

Based on the view that the natural world is crucial to human life, the Environmental Studies major seeks to foster an awareness of human interactions with the environment.  The Environmental Studies major offers a diverse, integrated curriculum based in the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities, and complimented by an interdisciplinary introductory course and capstone seminar.  With Gonzaga's proximity to more than a dozen National Parks and National Forests, Gonzaga is a special place to pursue Environmental Studies, where both the intellectual and "hands-on" aspects of learning are realized.  Students pursuing the Environmental Studies major have opportunities to Study Abroad in various countries, including Benin, Zambia, Costa Rica, and Australia, among others; undertake Service Learning in the outdoors; work with Environmental Community Partners; and collaborate with GU's on-campus environmental organizations such as the Gonzaga Environment Organization (GEO) and the Advisory Council on Stewardship and Sustainability (ACSS).

The 36-credit ENVS Major has two main components: a 6 course Core of non-substitutable foundational courses that all students take at Gonzaga, and a minimum of 5 additional courses drawn from various disciplines around the University.

Major in Environmental Studies: 36 credits
Environmental Studies Core: 21 credits
ENVS 101 Introduction to Environmental Studies 3 credits

One of the following:
   BIOL 206 Ecology and Lab
      (BIOL Double-Majors and BIOL Minors ONLY take this course)
   ENVS 103/BIOL 123 Human Ecology and Lab
   ENVS 199/BIOL 199 Conservation Biology and Lab

4 credits
ENVS 104/CHEM 123 4 credits
ENVS 200 Case Studies in Environmental Science 4 credits
ENVS 358 Environmental Ethics 3 credits
ENVS 499 Symposium in Environmental Studies 3 credits
Environmental Studies Distribution and Electives: 15 credits
ENVS 320-ENVS 339 Social Sciences 6 credits
ENVS 160 or ENVS 340-379 Humanities 6 credits
ENVS 110 or ENVS 111 or 300-399 Electives 3 credits
Minor in Environmental Studies: 20 credits
Lower Division
ENVS 101 Introduction to Environmental Studies 3 credits
One of the following:
   BIOL 206 Ecology and Lab - BIOL Majors Only
   ENVS 103/BIOL 123 Human Ecology and Lab
   ENVS 104/CHEM 123 Environmental Chemistry and Lab
   ENVS 199 Conservation Biology and Lab
4 credits
ENVS 200 Case Studies in Environmental Science 4 credits
Upper Division
ENVS Environmental Ethics 3 credits
ENVS 320-339 Social Sciences 3 credits
ENVS 340-379 Humanities 3 credits

The core curriculum or common body of knowledge of the College of Arts and Sciences consists of 59 to 62 credits which are common to and required of all degree programs in the College: the first 31 credits (of which there is a more complete description in the General Degree Requirements and Procedures section of this catalogue) form the University Core, while the remaining 28 to 31 credits are common to all Arts and Sciences degrees.
Students should attempt to spread the core curriculum over their entire fours years at Gonzaga.

  1. Thought and Expression (7 credits): ENGL 101, SPCO 101, and PHIL 101 (preferably in the same semester).
  2. Philosophy (9 credits): PHIL 201, PHIL 301, and  PHIL  400 level elective.
  3. Religious Studies (9 credits): RELI 100, 200, and 300 levels: one course from each level.
  4. Mathematics (3 credits): one MATH (not CPSC) course on the 100 level or above; NURS 320 is substituted for a MATH course for BSN students; MATH 203 fulfills this requirement only for students who graduate with certification in Elementary Education.
  5. English Literature (3 credits): ENGL 102 or 103H or 105 or 106.
  6. History (6 credits): HIST 101 and either HIST 102 or HIST 112 in their first year. If they are unable to complete all six 100-level HIST credits in their first year, HIST 201 or 202 may be substituted for one 100-level course after the first year.
  7. Fine Arts (3 credits): one course in either VART, MUSC, or THEA from courses approved by Dean of Arts and Sciences.
  8. Laboratory Science (4 credits): one course with laboratory in either BIOL, CHEM, or PHYS.
  9. Mathematics or Natural Science (3 credits): one course in either MATH, CPSC, BIOL, CHEM, PHYS, or ITEC.
  10. Literature (3 credits): one British or American literature course (ENGL 201 - 285).
  11. Social Science (6 credits): CRIM 101, ECON, SOCI, POLS, or PSYC: two courses from these departments.
  12. Foreign Language or Culture (3 credits): one course in any foreign language (classical or modern) or one (foreign culture) course approved by the Dean of Arts and Sciences.  Foreign-language speaking students from foreign cultures who have completed the nine English core credits at Gonzaga prior to their fourth year (last thirty credits) may petition the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences for a waiver of the foreign language or Culture requirement..
  13. Social Justice (3 credits): One course on Social Justice issues related to experiences of difference (like race, class, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation), from courses approved by the Dean of Arts & Sciences; (may be combined with other core or major requirements).