Undergraduate Minor

Increasingly, consideration of the impact of decisions on the external physical environment is an important factor for businesses and other organizations. The decisions involved may concern such issues as the placement and structure of facilities, use of chemicals in the workplace and agriculture, production of environmentally safe products, usage of energy materials and supplies, and disposal of waste products.

Recognizing the growing importance of the environment as a factor in organizational decision-making and business strategy, the University offers a Minor in Sustainability and Environmental Management, which allows students to understand both the nature of environmental constraints facing organizations and individuals in the modern world and how these constraints can be effectively considered as part of the decision-making process in for-profit and nonprofit organizations. This program is designed to give students broad exposure to an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the environment in the hope that students will use it as a take-off point for understanding the role of the environment in the disciplinary studies they pursue for their concentrations.


Six Course Units (cu)

This is a 6 cu University Interschool Minor. As a University Interschool Minor, each student should be advised by the designated advisor in his/her home school. This is a six-credit minor open to any student enrolled in one of the university’s four undergraduate schools. Each student should be advised by the designated advisor in his/her home school. The minor includes courses from the Wharton School, the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), and the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), as detailed below. Four of the six courses for the minor must be taken outside of the student’s concentration or major. All students must take at least two Wharton courses as part of fulfilling the requirements for the minor. Wharton students concentrating in Environmental Policy and Management may not also take this University minor. Wharton students that have AP Environmental Science credits will have to meet with the professor teaching the ENVS 200 course to see if they can place out of it. If they can, they will still need to take another course in ENVS.

Note: Acronyms on the following list of courses refer to the following departments:Business Economics and Public Policy (BEPP), Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE), Engineering and Applied Science (EAS), Environmental Studies (ENVS), Electrical and Systems Engineering (ESE), Health Care Management (HCMG), Legal Studies (LGST), Marketing (MKTG), Management (MGMT), Operations, Information and Decisions Department (OIDD).

Core Courses:

The required coursework for the minor includes 4 course units from the following:

ENVS 200 – Introduction to Environmental Analysis
Students are recommended to take this course during sophomore or junior year.

Choose one course:
EAS 401 – Energy and its Impacts: Technology, Ecology, Economics and Sustainability
EAS 402 – Renewable Energy and its Impact

Choose two courses:
LGST 215/815 – Environmental Management Law and Policy
OIDD/BEPP 261/SYS 567 – Risk Analysis and Environmental Management
BEPP/OIDD 263 – Environmental & Energy Economics and Policy

Elective Courses:

The remaining two courses should be chosen from the following electives:*

  • LGST 215 – Environmental Law and Business
  • OIDD /BEPP 261/SYS 567 – Risk Analysis and Environmental Management
  • BEPP/OIDD 263 – Environmental & Energy Economics and Policy (any of the three above may be used as an elective if not used as a required course)
  • BIOL 140 – Humans and the Environment
  • BIOL 240 – Ecology and Population Biology
  • BIOL 456 – Issues in Conservation
  • CBE 375 – Responding to Environmental Challenges
  • CBE 375 – Engineering and the Environment (cross-listed with ESE 360)
  • ESE 360/566 – Introduction to Environmental Systems
  • ENVS 204 – Global Climate Change
  • ENVS 301 – Case Studies in the Environment
  • ENVS 312 – Ocean-Atmosphere Dynamics and Implications for Future Climate Change
  • ENVS 400 – Cancer Toxicology
  • ENVS 400 – Maintenance of Wetlands Environments (alternate term)
  • ENVS 401 – Water Resources in the Middle East
  • ENVS 402 – Environmental Chemistry
  • ENVS 403 – Case Studies in Ecology
  • ENVS 404 – The Urban Environment
  • MKTG 733 – Social Impact of Marketing

Courses are subject to change. Always confirm credit for elective courses with your advisor.
For individual course descriptions, please reference the University Course Register.


Students interested in this minor should contact the adviser for their school listed below:
School of Arts and Science: Maria Antonia Andrews
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences: Dr. John Keenan
Wharton: Joanne Spigonardo


Governance of the minor, including decisions about changes in coursework and other structural matters, will be the province of a faculty committee selected from among faculty who created the minor or others designated by the relevant departments. It will be the responsibility of this multi-School committee, in collaboration with the offices of the Vice Deans and Associate Deans of the Schools involved, to: a) maintain the list of approved courses for the minor; b) ensure that students in all three undergraduate Schools know that the minor is a curricular option for them; and c) to provide advising as necessary to prospective students and to those enrolled in the minor.