Note: The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. Details on ETP may be found at

Requirements for the Major

The Environmental Thought and Practice interdisciplinary major requires five core classes and six electives. At least 12 credits (or 4 courses of at least 3 credits) must be at the 3000 level or higher.

Core courses

The following core courses are required of all majors.

A shared introductory course

EVSC 2030/ETP 2030/PLAP 2030 Politics, Science, and Values: Introduction to Environmental Policy

I. Values, Culture, and History (one class)

Either RELG 2210 (Religion, Ethics, & Global Environment), HIST 2150 (Global Environmental History) or ANTH 2260 (Culture and the Environment)

II. Policy, Planning, and Society (one class)

Either ECON 2010 Microeconomics, ETP/PLAP 4800 (Politics of the Environment) or GSVS 2150 (Global Sustainability)

III. Natural Science (one class)

Either EVSC 1010 (Introduction to Environmental Science), EVSC 1450 (Climate, You and CO2), EVSC 2200 (Plants, People and Culture) or EVSC 2220 (Conservation Ecology: Biodiversity and Beyond)

A shared final course

ETP 4010 Environmental decisions (majors only, taken in spring of 4th year) (spring only)


Each student must also choose six (6) classes distributed across three areas.  At least one (1) class must be taken in Values, Culture, and History and at least one (1) class must be taken in Policy, Planning and Society. At least two (2) classes must be taken in Natural Sciences. We recommend checking SIS frequently for environmentally-themed courses, as courses often come and go. Students who wish to have classes not specified here counted against their ETP elective requirements must submit their request plus the full course syllabus to Professor Lawrence by email.  ETP elective courses must be upper-level or graduate three- or four-credit classes and they must have environmental concerns as the central focus. Requests to count courses that do not meet these basic requirements will not be considered.

I. Values, Culture, and History

Students may fulfill their one-class requirement for this track by taking any one of the following specific 3-credit classes. If approved by the ETP Director, students may count one related 3-credit 3000-, 4000-, or 5000-level class in History, Anthropology, Philosophy, English, Religious Studies, Landscape Architecture, or Science, Technology, and Society to meet the overall six-course elective requirement, but not to meet the basic one-class requirement for this area. The College allows students to count 18 credits of classes in other schools toward the 120-credit graduation requirement.

AAS 3250 - MotherLands: Landscapes of Hunger, Futures of Plenty

AMST 2711 - American Environmental History

ANTH 3100 - Indigenous Landscapes

ANTH 2850 - American Material Culture 

ANTH 2890 - Unearthing the Past

ANTH 3130 - Disease, Epidemics and Society

ANTH 3240 - The Anthropology of Food

ANTH 3340 - Ecology and Society: An Introduction to the New Ecological Anthropology 

ANTH 3580 - Science and Culture

ANTH 3685 - Austronesia: World of Islands

ANTH 3870 - Archaeology of Virginia 

ANTH 3880 - African Archaeology

ANTH 3885 - Archaeology of Europe

ANTH 3890 - Archaeology of the American Southwest

ANTH 4060 - People, Culture and Environment of Southern Africa

ANTH 5590 - The Nature of Nature

ENAM 3160 - Realism and Naturalism in America

ENAM 4500 - American Natures 

ENMC 3500 - Jungle Stories 

ENSP 3559 - Plants and Empire

ENSP 3500 - Climate Fiction

ETP 2020 - Global Sustainability

ETP 3220 - Uranium and the American West

ETP 3870 - Framing the Environment: Literary, Critical, and Philosophical Responses to Nature

ETP 4810 - Class Race & the Environment

HIAF 3112 - African Environmental History

HILA 4511 - Environmental History of Latin America

HIST 2210 or GSGS 2210 - Epidemics, Pandemics, and History 

HIUS 2711 - American Environmental History

HIST 3112 - Ecology and Globalization in the Age of European Expansion 

HIST 4501 - Modern Environmental History

HIST 4501 - Water, Development, Global History

MDST 3584 - Screening Nature

MDST 4210 - Global Environmental Media

MESA 3110 - Sustainable Environments Middle East and South Asia (Spring 19) Farmer

MUSI 3400 - Eco-Acoustics 

PHIL 2500 - Environmental Ethics

PHIL 2500 - Animal Minds

PHIL 3652 - Animals and Ethics

PHYS 1090 - Galileo and Einstein

RELC 3795 - Theology, Spirituality and Ethics of Sustainability

RELG 3820 - Global Ethics & Climate Change

II. Policy, Planning, and Society

Students may fulfill their one-class requirement for this track by taking any one of the following specific 3-credit classes. If approved by the ETP Director, students may take one related 3-credit 3000-, 4000-, or 5000-level course in Economics, Politics, Sociology, Statistics, McIntire School of Commerce, Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, Engineering, the Law School, Darden, or Urban and Environmental Planning to meet the overall six-course elective requirement, but not to meet the basic one-class requirement for this area.

ECON 4430 - Environmental Economics 

ECON 3559 - Economics of Sustainability and the Environment 

ETP 3220 or CHEM 3220 - Uranium and the American West 

ETP 3860 - The Business of Saving Nature

ETP 4810 or PLAP 4810 - Class, Race, and the Environment 

EVSC 4030 - Environmental Policymaking in the United States 

EVSC 4040 - Climate Change: Science, Markets & Policy

EVSC 3020 - GIS Methods

EVSC 4070 - Advanced GIS

PLAD 2500 - Politics, Poverty and Health 

PLAP 3160 - Politics of Food 

PLAP 4500 - GIS in the Social Sciences 

PLCP 4500 - Politics of Air Pollution 

PLCP 3500 - Environmental Politics in China 

SOC 2630 - Environment & Society 

III. Natural Science

Two 3000-, 4000- or 5000-level 3-credit courses in Environmental Sciences or one 3-credit course at the 3000- 4000- or 5000-level in Environmental Sciences plus a second course from the following list. If approved by the ETP Director, students may take one related 3000-, 4000-, or 5000-level class in Biology, Chemistry, or Environmental Engineering to meet the overall six-class elective requirement, but not to meet the basic two-class requirement for this area. (Note: upper-level Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences and Environmental Engineering classes can have several prerequisites.)

BIOL 3450 - Biodiversity and Conservation 

BIOL 3020 - Evolution and Ecology

BIOL 4090 - Environmental Public Health

BIOL 3660 - Marine Biology and Coral Reef Ecology in San Salvador 

EVSC 2800 - Fundamentals of Geology 

Credit/No Credit Grades

Please note that the ETP program adheres strictly to the College of Arts and Science’s policy regarding classes taken for CR (credit) or NC (no credit). Courses counting towards the ETP area requirements and core courses may NOT be taken on a CR/NC basis. The College does not permit students to take courses on a CR/NC basis in interdisciplinary programs, nor does it permit students to count courses taken on a CR/NC basis towards a major, minor, or College area requirements.

Distinguished Majors Project (DMP)

Majors with a minimum 3.6 GPA in the major (and 3.4 GPA overall) are eligible for a distinguished majors program (DMP) in their fourth year. DMPs take a semester-long independent study with a faculty advisor, with the goal of producing a thesis. To participate in the ETP distinguished majors program, set up an appointment with Professor Lawrence during the spring semester of your third year.

Study Abroad

The ETP program does not have any official positions on overseas programs. We also recommend that ETP students interested in studying abroad go to other universities’ websites for ETP-like majors and see if there are recommended programs through those universities. In the course approval process, students must go to the UVa departments for which they seek credit. For example, if you would like credit for a civil engineering class taken abroad, you must go to the Engineering Department to file for this credit. Unless it is an ETP course, we cannot approve it for credit.

For more information contact:

Deborah Lawrence, Clark Hall, P.O. Box 400123, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4123