Important: The requirements below are only for students admitted before Fall 2016.

(If you were admitted after Fall 2016, please view different requirements.)

Meet Your Major

To satisfy the requirements for the degree in environmental studies and sustainability, you must complete a minimum of 40 credits in the major. The curriculum is designed to be rigorous yet flexible. 

Requirements (24 credits)

ESS 1050  Environmental Studies Gateway (required introductory course) 
BUS 1100 Introduction to Business
ESS/MGT 3350 Sustainable Business Practices
PHL 2070  Environmental Ethics
ESS 4850 Community Internship
ESS 4820  Senior Seminar/Project I
ESS 4920 Senior Seminar/Project II 

In addition to these required core courses, you may select approved courses in liberal arts, science and engineering and business. 

Science and Engineering Courses
(minimum of 8 credits)

BIO 2009 Environmental Science
BIO 2010 Ecology
BIO 3009 Ecology, Environment and Society
BIO 3064 Marine Biology
BIO 3071 Conservation and Restoration Biology
BIO 3090 Global Field Studies
EEN/ESS 1177  Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
HSC 3103 Global Public Health
MTH 1111  Basic Statistics

Liberal Arts Courses 
(minimum of 4 credits)

ENG 3745 Environmental Film
HIS 3335 World Environmental History 
HIS 3380 Science, Technology and Society
HIS 3525  Environmental History of North America
PHL 2110 Environmental Philosophy
PHL 2120 Ethics, Ecology, and the Beauty of Nature
PHL 3050 Philosophy of Science
RTS 3030 Humans, the Earth, and the Sacred
SOC 3600 Sociology of Health

Economics and Business Courses 
(minimum of 4 credits)

ECO 1201  An Introduction to Economics
ECO 1202 Topics in Introductory Economics
ECO 3305 Ecological Economics
ESS 3450 Sustainable Energy
ESS 3550 Environmental Policy


By choosing a track, you’ll be able to deepen your study in a particular area—one you may wish to study after college or in which you’ll pursue a career. Each track combines a rigorous and diverse set of courses from the natural and social sciences, humanities and business. You’ll develop the knowledge and problem-solving skills needed to address global issues, which by nature are complex and interdisciplinary.

Our four tracks include:

  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Policy
  • Environmental Justice
  • Environmental Business. 

All tracks combine a rigorous and diverse set of courses from the social sciences, humanities, business and the natural sciences to help students develop conceptual and problem solving skills to address global issues that are by nature complex and interdisciplinary.

Environmental Science Track

This track is for you if you are interested in the pure or applied sciences—biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, health science, mathematics and physics.  You’ll explore the intersection of human society and the natural world—how the human-constructed systems of our global technological society interact with and depend upon natural ecosystems. You’ll learn the ways in which human environmental problems are inherently interdisciplinary and can only be solved using skills from the natural and applied sciences, economics, social sciences and the humanities.

Environmental Policy Track

In this track, you’ll examine environmental problems from a policy perspective. You’ll focus on domestic and global environmental issues with an emphasis on both federal and local environmental policy.  You’ll explore how social, political and economic values influence environmental policy, and how federal and local policies (including regulations, taxes, laws, and incentives) influence values. You’ll learn what constitutes effective environmental policy and how to achieve it to protect the environment and ourselves.

Environmental Justice Track 

Degradation of the natural environment contributes to numerous social ills, including adverse health from pollution and disease, famine and hunger. Increased competition for diminishing natural resources harms the world’s poor especially. The principles of environmental justice take into account all people, regardless of race, nationality, income or gender, in decision making about environmental laws, regulations and policies. In this track, you’ll study the economic, ethical, historical and political dimensions of the interaction between nature and society. You’ll come to understand how environmental problems arise from power relations and unequal control over natural resources, and appreciate our duty to develop strategies and policies for responsible action. You’ll apply justice-based principles to a variety of environmental controversies, including climate change, fossil fuel dependency, agribusiness, biodiversity conservation and pollution and health.

Business and Economics Track 

In this track, you’ll study basic environmental science, energy management, social science and business concepts related to sustainable development. You’ll learn to develop and apply social and environmental models, tools, best practices and frameworks to daily operations of businesses. You’ll recognize the challenges of sustainable development, as well as the opportunities and limits of the private sector to meet those challenges.

Double Major and Minor Option

We strongly encourage you to at least minor in another degree program at Merrimack College or pursue a double major. This avoids the long-noted trap found in many undergraduate environmental studies programs of losing balance and providing too much breadth and/or lack of curricular cohesion at the expense of depth. In addition, there is flexibility in the exact sequence and semester offerings of many courses. This flexibility gives you opportunities to not only minor or major in another discipline, but also in scheduling your community internship and senior seminar/project or study abroad program.