The Environmental Studies Minor prepares students to understand and respond to the critical environmental challenges of the twenty-first century. With only one earth, whose resources are rapidly being exhausted by an ever-increasing population’s consumption, the vocation of the “good man and good citizen” is to come to a critical understanding of the environmental issues involved and to envision strategic responses of sustainability and trusteeship. Consistent with the interdisciplinary character of Hampden-Sydney College’s liberal arts tradition, the minor draws perspectives on the environment from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The minor requires students to complete coursework in each division so that they can appreciate the multi-dimensional character of the environment as viewed through scientific, political and economic, literary, and ethical and religious lenses. The minor is coordinated by a steering committee from disciplines which mirror these diverse perspectives.

The requirements for the minor consist of six courses (18 credit-hours) selected from the following list:

  1. BIOL 108 (Environmental Biology), PHYS 107 (Energy and the Environment), or CHEM 108 (Chemistry of the Environment)
  2. one additional science course chosen from
    • PHYS 107 (Energy and the Environment), PHYS 108 (Meteorology and Climatology)
    • CHEM 105 (Toxic Chemicals in Society), CHEM 108 (Chemistry of the Environment), CHEM 110 (Chemical Concepts) or
    • BIOL 108 Biology of the Environment), BIOL 109 (Water Resources and Environmental Issues), BIOL 349 (Wildlife Biology)*
  3. one social science course chosen from
    • ECON 212 (Environmental Economics) or
    • GVFA 234 (Environmental Politics and Policy)
  4. one humanities course chosen from
    • ENGL 199 (American Nature Writing) or
    • RELI 103 (Introduction to World Religions), RELI 225 (Christian Ethics)
  5. one additional course, from a different department, selected from parts c) or d)* and
  6. ‚ÄčINDS 372 (Seminar in Environmental Studies)
    • INDS 372 is a capstone seminar requiring completion of an independent research project and paper.

No more than two (2) courses may be taken in the same division—Humanities, Math and Science, Social Sciences—for ES credit. Many ES courses fulfill Core Curriculum requirements.

*With prior approval of the Environmental Studies Steering Committee, students may fulfill part e) with History 299, Rhetoric 360, Rhetoric 370 provided that the section focuses on environmental issues. Special Topics (x85) courses centered on environmental issues may also be used to fulfill parts b) and e) with prior approval of the Steering Committee. 

ES minors are encouraged to participate in extracurricular campus and community groups focused on environmental and conservation issues. Internships are available.

For more information on the Environmental Studies minor:

Dr. Celia Carroll Jones
Morton Hall, 319
(434) 223-6243

updated 7/20/22