Minor in Environmental Studies (ENVST)

Academic Plans

Program Coordinator


Sean Fettrow, '16

Environmental Studies major
Harrisburg, PA
President, Eco-action Club

"The Environmental Studies program is as good as it gets! I’m interested in mitigating the environmental effects of natural disasters, but there are so many options to explore. I’m also involved in research with the faculty. This has been everything you would expect from a college environment!"

Minor Highlights

The interdisciplinary minor in Environmental Studies at Penn State Altoona gives students a broad-based introduction to the natural environment and human interactions with it. Students gain awareness and understanding of environmental issues from the perspectives of several disciplines in relevant natural sciences (ecology, biology, geology, and/or environmental chemistry, for instance), the social sciences (environmental economics and/or public policy), and the arts and humanities (environmental history, ethics, and/or literature). Core courses in environmental studies, emphasizing applied and experiential learning, serve to integrate and synthesize knowledge from the natural sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities. The goal of the program is “ecological literacy.” Students completing the minor gain sufficient awareness and understanding of environmental issues to put environmental problems in a variety of contexts and to apply pertinent skills and knowledge (from studies in both their major and the minor) in addressing those problems. The minor helps prepare students for employment in the private sector or with government agencies and environmental advocacy groups, or for postgraduate study in environmental science, public policy, the humanities, or law.

A minimum of 18 credits is required for the minor in Environmental Studies.

Recommended Academic Plan for the Environmental Studies Minor

ENVST 100(3) in Semester 1-2

Either ENVST 200(3) or ENVST 400W(3) in Semester 3-8

Select 12 credits from the following. At least 6 credits must be at the 400-level and at least 3 credits each must be from from Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities.

Natural Sciences

  • BIOL 110 GN(4)
  • BIOL 220W GN(4)
  • BIOL 417(3)
  • BIOL 427(3)
  • BIOL 435(3)
  • BIOL 450W(3-5)
  • CHEM 020(3)
  • CHEM 021(1)
  • GEOG 115 GN(3)
  • GEOSC 001 GN(3)
  • STAT 250 GQ(3)

Social Sciences

  • ANTH 152(3)
  • ECON 428(3)
  • GEOG 160(3)
  • PLSC 135(3)


  • ENGL 180 GH(3)
  • ENGL/ENVST 424(3)
  • HIST 453(3)
  • PHIL 403(3)

Other courses may be substituted with program approval.
A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor.

Last reviewed 7/25/2012