Environment and Sustainability



  1. Natural Science Foundation (4-5 courses*)
  2. Quantitative Assessment (2 courses)
  3. Decision-making Foundation (2 courses)
  4. Electives (3 courses, including 1 Natural Science and 1 Social Science)
  5. Junior Research (1 course)
  6. Senior Research/Thesis (2 courses)

For details, see Environmental and Sustainability Major Requirement Worksheet, Major Worksheet.


The Environment and Sustainability major was approved by the Faculty as of fall 2017 and any student may elect this major.  Note that the earlier Policy Major is only available to students in the Class of 2019 or earlier.

When completing the Natural Science Foundation portion of the Requirements, majors in Environment and Sustainability may choose between taking General Chemistry with Lab or substitute with Environmental Measurements plus an additional course* -- please see the Major Worksheet for specific options.

Students interested in majoring in Environment and Sustainability should contact one Martin Stute or Stephanie Pfirman to discuss the program and major requirements and current offerings.

Internships or some type of work or field experience are extremely valuable in preparing students for careers in Environmental Science. Go to Opportunities & Affiliations for listings. Studies have shown that students who have had related work experience are more attractive to both employers and graduate schools. Students might want to consider a semester or summer program offered through SEE-U, SEA Semester at Woods Hole, the School for Field Studies, the Organization for Tropical Studies, or some other field or internship program.  We recommend that those students planning to go abroad in the junior year elect to do so in the Fall Semester rather than the Spring Semester in order to take best advantage of senior seminar research planning and programming.

Students should check the catalogue and the department for additional information on the major and courses offered by Barnard and Columbia. Barnard policy is that classes with grades less than C- or taken pass/fail cannot be counted towards the major.

See the Senior Research Seminar for information on senior thesis requirements completed in Environmental Science Department.