Bachelor of Liberal Arts

The Concentration in Environment and Society

The concentration in Environment and Society allows students who have an interest in environmental issues to explore the ways that these issues can be addressed through a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including political science, history, sociology, legal studies, English, art history, and philosophy.

Courses in these disciplinary areas invite students to consider how attitudes toward nature and the built environment have changed over time; how public policies affect the relationship that people have with the environment and may influence choices about preservation of open space and natural resources;  how writers and artists have interpreted and represented the natural world and the built environment, including the tensions that exist between the two; how issues such as health, sustainable development, the history of industrialization, and the expansion of technologies are related to and/or affect the environment.


Complete a minimum 24 and a maximum of 30 credits, 12 of which must be at the 300-level or above, distributed as described below.

As the core of the concentration, students must take three of the following courses:

46.175   Intro to Environmental Studies (Political Science)
48.236   Sociological Approaches to the Environment (Sociology)
31.313   Principles of Environmental Health (Community Health and Sustainability)
41.367   Environmental Law (Legal Studies)
43.316   American Environmental History (History)
46.357   Environmental History and Policy (Political Science)

They may then choose additional 100 and 200 level courses from the following list (usually 4 courses are taken at this level, but students may choose to do more upper level courses in this concentration):

40/42/59.248   Values in American Culture (American Studies/English)
42/59.249   Literature of Technology and Human Values (English)
46.175   Intro to Environmental Studies (Political Science)
47.255   Community Psychology (Psychology)
48.236   Sociological Approaches to the Environment (Sociology)
57.211   Sustainable Development (ESDR)
57.220   Designing the Future World (ESDR)
58.211   Nineteenth Century Art (Cultural Studies – Art History)
59.115   Lowell as Text (Intercollegiate Arts & Sci)

Students are required to take at least 12 credits at the 300 level or above.  Depending on which courses students have selected from the required core, they may select additional courses from among the following:

31.313   Principles of Environmental Health (Community Health and Sustainability)
41.367   Environmental Law (Legal Studies)
42.324   Writing About Place (English)
42.355   Literature of the Romantic Period (English)
43.316   American Environmental History (History)
43.328   Global Environmental History (History)
43.379   US Industry 20th Century (History)
43.381   US in the 1960s (History)
43.382   American West (History)
45.327   Environmental Philosophy (Philosophy)
45.337   Science and the Meaning of Nature (Philosophy)
46.331   Animal Rights and Animal Welfare (Political Science)
46.353   Public Policy and Administration (Political Science)
46.357   Environmental History and Policy (Political Science)
48.345   Urban Sociology
49.315   Intro to Environmental Economics  (Economics)
58.313   American Art  (Cultural Studies – Art History)
58.314   American Architecture (Cultural Studies - Art History)
59.303   Society and Technology
59.396   Environmental Studies Practicum (Intercollegiate Arts & Sci)
59.497   Directed Studies:   Environment and Society (Intercollegiate Arts & Sci)