Minor in Environmental Studies

Program Learning Outcomes for the Minor in Environmental Studies

Upon completing the minor in Environmental Studies, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the fundamental science that drives earth/natural systems, and that frames and makes comprehensible current environmental issues.
  2. Evaluate the nexus of human activity with environmental processes to examine and understand sustainable (or unsustainable) practices.
  3. Develop a cross-disciplinary perspective to better understand environmental issues and solutions through a focus within the natural sciences and/or engineering and a focus within the humanities, social sciences, and/or architecture.

Requirements for the Minor in Environmental Studies 

Students pursuing the minor in Environmental Studies must complete: 

  • A minimum of 6 courses (18 credit hours) to satisfy minor requirements.  
  • A minimum of 3 courses (9 credit hours) taken at the 300-level or above.  

The Environmental Studies minor was specifically created to provide undergraduates from a broad range of academic backgrounds with a cohesive program offering foundational literacy in the social, cultural, and scientific dimensions of environmental issues, and a cross-disciplinary holistic understanding of the challenges and solutions for creating a sustainable world. Students completing the minor will be able to synthesize frameworks, tools, and perspectives from multiple disciplines; master sustainability terminology; understand major environmental issues from multiple perspectives; develop and assess environmental solutions in an informed and logical manner; and convey knowledge and insights about environmental issues in multiple formats. 

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this minor. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the minor’s academic advisor, or where applicable, the Program Director. (Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the minor's Official Certifier). Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Minor in Environmental Studies 18

Minor Requirements

Core Requirements
Core Course
ENST 100 / ARCH 105ENVIRONMENT, CULTURE AND SOCIETY3
Introductory Course
Select 1 course from the following: 13
INTRODUCTION TO ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY
THE EARTH
THE SCIENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE
OCEANOGRAPHY
THE EARTH SYSTEM, ENVIRONMENT, AND SOCIETY
INHABITING PLANET EARTH
Elective Requirements 2
Schools of Architecture, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Select 2 courses from the following:6
CLIMATE CHANGE AND SOCIAL INEQUALITY
THE SOCIAL LIFE OF CLEAN ENERGY
ANTHROPOLOGIES OF NATURE
SPECULATIVE FUTURES
CASE STUDIES IN SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
CASE STUDIES IN SUSTAINABILITY: THE REGENERATIVE REPOSITIONING OF NEW OR EXISTING RICE CAMPUS BLDGS
ENERGY ECONOMICS
ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS
THE ECONOMICS OF SUSTAINABILITY, CONSERVATION, AND PANDEMICS
SCIENCE FICTION AND THE ENVIRONMENT
NONFICTION NATURE WRITING
CONSUMPTION AND CONSUMERISM
LITERATURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
STUDIES IN LITERATURE AND ECOLOGY
SUSTAINABLE FUTURES: AN EXPLORATION OF GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS
UNDERSTANDING ENERGY: ENERGY LITERACY AND CIVICS
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
TOPICS IN ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
CULTURES AND MEDIA OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
ENVIRONMENTAL FILM
SEMINAR IN URBAN SUSTAINABILITY AND LIVABILITY RESEARCH METHODS AND APPLICATIONS
LAB IN ENGAGED URBAN SUSTAINABILITY AND LIVABILITY RESEARCH
FROM THE SUBLIME TO THE SUSTAINABLE: ART, ARCHITECTURE AND NATURE
ENVIRONMENT, MEDICINE AND PUBLIC HEALTH IN LATIN AMERICA
US ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY
CULTURE, ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT: AN INTRODUCTION TO ENERGY HUMANITIES
GOVERNING THE ENVIRONMENTAL COMMONS
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES: RICE INTO THE FUTURE
LITERATURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT IN LATIN AMERICA
Schools of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Select 2 courses from the following:6
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: THE DESIGN & PRACTICE OF COMMUNITY AGRICULTURE
ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND REPORTING
TROPICAL FIELD BIOLOGY
ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF BRAZILIAN WETLANDS LABORATORY
CONSERVATION BIOLOGY LAB
BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
ECOLOGY 1
PLANT DIVERSITY
CORAL REEF ECOSYSTEMS
CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
SUSTAINABLE WATER PURIFICATION FOR THE DEVELOPING WORLD
INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY
ENGINEERING SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES
INNOVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY
VISUALIZING NATURE
EARTH AND PLANETARY SURFACE ENVIRONMENTS
OCEANS, ATMOSPHERES AND CLIMATE
GEOCHEMISTRY OF EARTH’S SURFACE
CLIMATE DYNAMICS
CLIMATE OF THE COMMON ERA
REMOTE SENSING
GIS FOR SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS
GEOPHYSICAL DATA ANALYSIS: DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING
EARTH SYSTEMS MODELING I: PHILOSOPHY AND FUNDAMENTALS
NANOMATERIALS FOR ENERGY
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC HEALTH
Total Credit Hours18

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Policies for the Minor in Environmental Studies

Program Restrictions and Exclusions

Students pursuing the minor in Environmental Studies should be aware of the following program restriction:

  • As noted in Majors, Minors, and Certificates, i.) students may declare their intent to pursue a minor only after they have first declared a major, and ii.) students may not major and minor in the same subject.

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: https://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Program Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the minor in Environmental Studies should be aware of the following program-specific transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis. 

Distribution Credit Information

The determination of distribution credit eligibility is done initially as part of the new course creation process. Additionally, as part of an annual roll call coordinated each Spring by the Office of the Registrar, course distribution credit eligibility is routinely reviewed and reaffirmed by the Dean’s Offices of each of the academic schools.  

Faculty and leadership in the academic schools are responsible for ensuring that the courses identified as distribution-credit-eligible meet the criteria as set in the General Announcements. Students are responsible for ensuring that they meet graduation requirements by completing coursework designated as distribution-credit-eligible at the time of course registration. 

Distribution courses from Environmental Studies (ENST) are broadly scoped and thematically diverse and prompt students to explore the cultural, social, and political dimensions of human-environmental relations and environmental systems. They present students with an interdisciplinary spectrum of relevant methods and skills and help students to develop analytical, expressive, and critical knowledge of the relationship of environment, culture, and society across the world. They are introductions to the study of human-environment relations and environmental systems.

Additional Information

For additional information, please see the Environmental Studies website: https://enst.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the Minor in Environmental Studies

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Additional Information

For additional information, please see the Environmental Studies website: https://enst.rice.edu/

See https://humanities.rice.edu/student-life for tables of fellowships, prizes, and internships/practica that may be relevant to this minor.