Environmental Studies


The Center for Environmental Studies offers an A.B. and an Sc.B. in Environmental Studies. Both degrees are directed toward students who intend to work toward improving the quality of the environment. The A.B. degree is appropriate for students interested in social science or policy approaches to environmental problem-solving and who want to pursue post-graduate or professional experience in various fields of environmental management or education. Fluency in some basic sciences is essential to this degree. The ScB degree is appropriate for students who are interested in post-graduate or professional experience in the natural sciences as a way of understanding environmental processes. All concentrators are strongly encouraged to perform some environmentally-related public service during their time at Brown. Service may include work as a teaching assistant in a relevant course, volunteer work with an environmental non-profit group or an environmental agency, or significant work with a student environmental group. Students interested in the AB should consult with the primary concentration advisor, Prof. Kurt Teichert, while students with an interest in the ScB should consult with Prof. Dov Sax.

Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Understand environmental issues through a variety of disciplines, including the biological and geological sciences, economics, public policy, and education
  • Acquire critical skills in statistical, qualitative, and quantitative research methods
  • Develop fluency in speaking and writing about the environment
  • Design a focus area around a critical environmental issue or scientific problem
  • Complete an integrative senior project


Click here for a list of the Environmental Studies concentration requirements. For more information about this concentration, please visit the department's website.

Honors and Capstones

View Honors website

All concentrators, whether completing an AB or an ScB, must undertake a Senior Capstone, which consists of a two-semester Senior Thesis, a one-semester research experience, or an Honors Thesis. At the conclusion of the sixth semester, students who have a grade point average of at least 3.3 in the concentration may apply for Honors. Applications should be made before the end of the seventh semester. To be approved for Honors a student must identify two thesis readers in addition to the student’s primary faculty advisor.  Please see program's website for a complete description of admission procedures and program requirements.


  • Air, Climate & Energy
  • Conservation Science & Policy
  • Land, Water & Food Security
  • Sustainability in Development

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Expand your reading skills
  • Collaborate fully
  • Engage with your community
  • Experience scientific inquiry
  • Evaluate human behavior
  • Work on your speaking and writing

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors
201019 19 
201132 32 11 
201226 26 
201342 42 

Alumni Pathways

The majority of graduates with an Sc.B. or A.B. in Environmental Studies are now active in environmental professions or are furthering their studies of environmental fields. Many have pursued graduate degrees in law, public policy, business administration, education, and public health, as well as doctoral degrees in fields ranging from economics to oceanography and pathology. Visit the Environmental Studies website for more information.

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact focal_point@brown.edu, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.