Minors, Double Majors

Minors, Double Majors

While a minor Environmental Science and Policy is not available, non-ENSP students may be interested in the Sustainability Studies Minor, which is closely related to but not the same as "science" or "policy."  The Sustainability Studies Minor is co-sponsored by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the School of Public Policy.  

If you are interested in declaring a minor then you should contact the appropriate advisor in the department in which the minor is housed.  For example, if you wish to declare a minor in Spanish, you should reach out to the Spanish department’s advising office.   If you wish to declare a minor in Math, contact that Math department.   ENSP cannot add minors to your record, nor to I oversee the requirements for them; again, the Minor department will handle those tasks.

To prepare, you should take your ENSP graduation plan and incorporate the courses required for the minor into it.  Keep in mind you can overlap two courses (6 credits) between a major and a minor.  Work with both your major and minor advisors to make sure you’re not overlapping too much!

We welcome students with multiple academic interests!

Before deciding to declare ENSP as a second major, please confirm the depth of your interest by completing the following courses: ENSP101 or ENSP102; MATH 120, 140, or 130; and one of the ENSP Core Lab Sciences. BSCI160/161 and GEOG201/211 have the widest application; however, you can check your intended concentration(s) to see if you would rather choose CHEM131/132 or one of the other Earth Sciences, e.g., AOSC200/201; GEOL120/110; or ENST200, instead.

If you are still interested in declaring ENSP, please proceed with the major change instructions listed on our website.  When creating your graduation plan, include requirements for both of your majors.

You can always take required ENSP courses without having to actually declare the major (most courses in our curriculum are open to all students).  It takes many approaches from all subject areas to solve environmental problems; the ENSP major is only one of them!

NOTE:  Due to a large number of overlapping courses, it is ENSP Policy that students cannot double major in ENSP, and another major that is similar to their intended concentration.  Due to the multidisciplinary structure of our program, this could be considered double majoring in the same major!

  • For example: students cannot pursue both the ENSP Biodiversity and Conservation Biology (BSCI) major, and the Ecology and Evolution (BSCI) major; or the ENSP Politics and Policy (GVPT) major and the Government and Politics (GVPT) major. 
  • The purpose of a double major is to gain upper-level depth of knowledge in two disciplines.  There isn't much educational benefit in pursuing two closely-related majors.


Any major can prepare you for an environment- or sustainability-related career, with appropriate supporting courses and practical experience (internships): 

Your Major + (Supporting Courses or Minor) + Internships/experience = An Environmental Career

To prepare for an environment- or sustainability-oriented career:

1. Develop your knowledge base.

  • Take every opportunity to write papers about environment- or sustainability-related topics -- Here, you are "self-teaching," which is what most of us do all the time in "The Real World."
  • Consider registering for minors that relate to your interests or that may not be offered through your primary major.  It would not be in your best interest just to declare a minor because it's "convenient" or "basically already built into my major".  A minor should be declared to supplement and further your knowledge base in a subject other than your major.  Note that only 6 credits may overlap between a major and minor; and if you choose two minors, there can be no overlap at all between them.

2.  Choose "supporting courses," including 15+ credits of meaningfully-related courses, including 9 upper-level courses that support your interests.

  • You can list supporting courses under your degree information as "Supporting courses include: (course titles here)."  Be sure you can talk in detail about what you learned in job interviews!

3. Acquire experience.

  • Practical experience is much more important to your career than your major, per se.  Take any and all opportunities to participate in related campus clubs, accumulate volunteer experience and complete internships.
  • Most students are better served by adding internships and experience than by adding a second major, since completing a second major often limits the time needed for experience and taking supporting courses.