Degree Requirements

Intertidal ZoneWe are at a critical moment in human history where we are confronted with the challenge of sustaining the biosphere’s structure and processes while at the same time providing for the well-being of its burgeoning human population. At MCLA we prepare students to tackle these issues by providing a rigorous, hands-on education in the interdisciplinary field of environmental studies. Students take courses in the environmental studies, as well as from related disciplines including biology, chemistry, earth science, economics, political science, philosophy, and sociology. Berkshire County, one of the most biodiverse regions of New England and home to an incredible variety of natural habitats, serves as our outdoor learning classroom. Partnerships with state and local organizations provide students with opportunities to apply their knowledge towards addressing pressing local environmental needs as early as their freshman year of college. Taking courses in MCLA’s Core Curriculum allows students to see the world from multiple perspectives and prepares graduates to successfully adapt to the evolving demands of careers in the environmental field.

Environmental Studies Major Course Requirements

ENVI 150-H Honors Environmental Systems: Science and Management (4cr)

ENVI 152-H Honors Environmental Resources: Science and Management (4cr)

ENVI 260 Green Living Seminar (2cr)

BIOL 150 Introduction to Biology I: Cells (4cr)

CHEM 150 Introduction to Chemistry (4cr)

CHEM 152 Introduction to Chemistry II (4cr)

ERTH 152 Introduction to Physical Geology or ERTH 151 Introduction to Physical Geography or ERTH 245 Natural Hazards (4cr)

ENVI 310 Politics and Environmental Policy (3cr)

ENVI 320 Methods in Environmental Research (4cr)

ENVI 340 Environmental Law (3cr)

ENVI 325 Geographic Information Systems (4cr)

ENVI 401 Independent Research or ENVI 540 Internship (3 cr)

Choose two courses from each of the following categories:

Biology 6-8 cr

BIOL 160 Introduction to Biology II: Organisms

BIOL 320 Microbiology

BIOL 341 Conservation Biology

BIOL/ENVI 351 Ornithology

BIOL 460 Ecology

BIOL 324 Marine Biology

BIOL 371 Forest Environment

ENVI 225 Nature of New England

ENVI 360: Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Science

ENVI 375 Aquatic Ecology

Physical Science 6-8 cr

ENVI 425 Adv Geographic Info Systems

CCST 230 Energy and the Environment

Any ERTH course other than 151, 152, or 245Vernal Pool

Society 6 cr

ENVI 315 Environmental Economics

HONR 301 Ethics and Animals

CCCA 202 The Good Earth: The Theme of Agrarianism

ENGL 371 The American Renaissance

ENVI 355: Everglades and South Florida

ENGL 374 Literature and the Environment

ENVI 350: Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Studies

PHIL 325 Environmental Ethics

BIOL 327 Plants and Society

Course Sequence

Students are encouraged to follow a course sequence similar to the below example in order to complete all graduation requirements including the core curriculum within four years.  

First Year FallFirst Year Spring
ENVI 150HIntro to Environmental Systems (4)ENVI 152HEnvi. Resources Sci & Mgmt (4)
ENGL 150College Writing IIENVI 152Intro to Physical Geology (4)
MATH 232StatisticsENVI 260Green Living Seminar (2)
CoreCore Creative ArtsCoreCore Human Heritage
CoreCore Self And SocietyElective Free Elective
Second Year FallSecond Year Spring
BIOL 150Intro to Biol: Cells (4)VariesSociety Category Elective
CHEM 150Intro to Chemistry  (4)CHEM 152Intro to Chemistry II (4)
ENVI 325Geographic Info Systems (4)MODL 102Elementary Language
ElectiveOr Elementary LanguageCoreCore Creative Arts
Third Year FallThird Year Spring
ENVI 320Methods in Envi Research (4)ENVI 310Politics and Environmental Policy
VariesLife Science Category Elective (4)Varies 3XXPhysical Science Category Elective
VariesPhysical Science ElectiveCoreCore Self and Society
CoreCore Human HeritageElectiveFree Elective (upper level)
PHED 1XXPhys Ed Activity Class (1)
Fourth Year FallFourth Year Spring
ENVI 340Environmental LawENVI 540Internship to ENVI 401
Varies 3XXSociety Category ElectiveCoreCore Tier II Capstone
Varies 3XXLife Science Category Elective (4)ElectiveFree Elective (upper level)
ElectiveFree Elective (upper level)ElectiveFree Elective
ElectiveFree Elective (upper level)PHED 1XXPhys Ed Activity Class (1)



Green Living Seminar Series

Every semester the Green Living Seminars center around a different topic, relevant to current sustainability issues. This seminar series is sponsored by the Berkshire Environmental Resource Center (BERC) and the Environmental Studies Program.




St. JohnStudents Snorkel for Research in the Caribbean

environmental studies