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Where to Start with ENSP

The Environment & Sustainability major is a secondary major. Therefore, all our majors are double-majors. Fitting the requirements for two majors into 4 years can be a challenge if you don't start early.

We recommend that you take 2-3 of the following courses in your first year at William & Mary. These courses will help you become familiar with the ENSP program while also leaving your options open. Some of them may also fulfill other degree requirements. 

  • Take Introduction to Environment & Sustainability (ENSP 101) in the Fall of your first year if you can. This class is a pre-requisite for several other courses and will introduce you to many environmental issues that face our planet. Even if you don't continue with ENSP as a degree, everyone can benefit from this course.
    Although we hold slots open for incoming Freshmen, this class can fill up quickly. Don't worry: you will still be on track to graduate on time if you take this class as a Sophomore. There are other classes you can take before you have ENSP 101 under your belt.
  • Take a one-credit Seminar (ENSP 250) in the Spring of your first year. These classes are small to facilitate debate and conversation, and can be a lot of fun. This seminar will introduce you to the work of global experts and let you get to know one of your professors in some depth.
  • Consider an introductory Geology (GEOL 101 or 110 or 250) and/or an introductory Biology course (BIOL 204) in one of your first semesters. If you decide on the Science track, both of these are required. Only one (biology or geology) is required for the Policy track. The associated labs (BIOL 204L, GEOL 160 or 250) are also pre-requisites for upper-level field lab courses, one of which you will need to take later. 
  • CHEM 103 is another good class to take in your first or second year- it satisfies the Foundations in Chemistry requirement for the Policy track and is a pre-requisite for CHEM 206 (Organic Chemistry) which is required for the Science track.
  • Take an environmental ethics or environmental justice class that can fill the ENSP ethics requirement. Issues in Environmental Ethics (ENSP 303/PHIL 308), Art & Environmental Justice (ENSP 303/ARTH 430), and Environmental Justice (ENSP 440/CONS 440) do not have pre-requisites. All are popular choices among Environmental Science and Policy students. There are other ethics options too - see the Undergraduate Catalog.
  • Consider Microeconomics (ECON 101). ECON 101 is a pre-requisite for Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (ECON 322). ECON 322 is a requirement for our Policy track and is a popular elective course for many Science track students. It is also fulfills a COLL 200 requirement.

There are many ways to get going with the ENSP major. These are just a few suggestions. Review the major requirements to find other courses that might better match your individual situation. You can also contact the Program Director for general advice and questions.