Interdisciplinary Programs & Minors

Environment and Society Minor

Environment and Society is an interdisciplinary minor that provides students with analytical and communication skills, as well as the scientific foundation needed to succeed in environmental planning, environmental policy, environmental philosophy, sustainable development, environmental education, and other fields. Topics explored include climate change, sustainability, resource rights, law and regulation, environmental ethics, and the role of environmental issues in domestic and international conflicts.

Students are encouraged to participate in collaborative environmental research and service projects with government agencies, non-profit organizations, local businesses and other environmental actors such as state and national park systems.

A minor in Environment and Society requires completion of a minimum of 18 credits of coursework distributed as follows:

REQUIREMENTS:  One foundation course and one capstone

Foundation course (one social science)

  • Social Science Foundation Course (required)
    46.175 Introduction to Environmental Politics  (Political Science)
    (NB: Formerly “Introduction to Environmental Studies.” We have requested the name change to eliminate confusion between Environment and Society and the Environmental Studies Program housed in EEAS (Environmental, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences).

1 Capstone course (choose 1 of following)

  • 81.416 Climate Change: Science, Communication, and Solutions
  • 59.497 Directed Study in Environmental Policy


In addition to three semesters of Gen Ed science, students are strongly urged to take a fourth science foundation course, such as 

  • 85.141 Weather and Climate
  • 81.315 Principles of Ecology (with permission from instructor)
  • 81.317 Principles of Ecology Laboratory

ELECTIVE COURSES: 3—4 courses selected from this list or by permission

Depending on whether student has elected the highly recommended 4th science course, student must select 3 or 4 courses from these regularly offered courses:

  • 31.313 Principles of Environmental Health 
  • 41.367 Environmental Law
  • 43.316 American Environmental History
  • 45.327 Environmental Philosophy
  • 46.357 Thoreau in Our Time
  • 46.358 Global Environmental Policy
  • 48.236 Environmental Sociology
  • 48.330 Fast Food, Hot Planet: Sociological Approaches to Climate Change, Food Justice, and Community Sustainability
  • 49.315 Intro to Environmental Economics
  • 57.211 Sustainable Development
  • 57.518 Comparative Environmental Studies
  • 57.539 Justice and Trade in the Global Economy


The Environment and Society minor is housed in the Sociology Department, and coordinated with the Political Science Department. The Environment and Society minor works in tandem with the Environmental Health minor (School of Health Sciences) and the Climate Change/Sustainability minor (Environmental, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences) to ensure the best programmatic fit for each student.

The Environment and Society minor collaborates with the Climate Change Initiative to advance UML’s Climate Action Plan, and to serve the region, the state, and beyond.


Charlotte Ryan, Sociology Dept.

Susan Gallagher, Political Sciences Dept.