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 ANTH 2160 Culture and the Environment, HIST 2150 Global Environmental History, or RELG 2210 Religion, Ethics, & Global Environment.

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

Either AAS 2559 Intro to Race, Class, Politics & the Environment, ECON 2010 Microeconomics, or GSVS 2150 Global Sustainability.

III. Natural Science (one class)

Either EVSC 1010 Introduction to Environmental Science, EVSC 1080 Resources and the Environment, 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 Freedman 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

AAS     3500    Black Environmental Thought

AMST  2711    AM Environmental History

ANTH 2850    American Material Culture

ANTH 2890    Unearthing the Past

ANTH 3100    Indigenous Landscapes

ANTH 3130    Disease, Epidemics and Society

ANTH 3240    The Anthropology of Food

ANTH 3340    Ecology and Society

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    Arch American Southwest

ANTH 4060    UVA in Southern Africa

ANTH 5590    The Nature of Nature

ENGL 3438    Realism & Naturalism in American Lit

ENGL 3560    Jungle Stories

ENSP  3500    Climate Fiction

ENSP  3559    Plants and Empire

HIAF   3112    African Environmental History

HILA   4511    Env Hist of Latin America

HIST   2210    Epidemics, Pandemics, and Hist

HIST   3112    Ecology and Globalization

HIST   3112    Ecology and Globalization

HIST   4501    Modern Environmental History

HIST   4501    Water, Development, Global History

HIUS   2711    American Environmental History

ITTR   4010    Narrating (Un-)sustainability

MDST 3584    Global Cinema: Screening Nature

MDST 4210    Global Environmental Media

MESA 3110    Sustainable Environments ME&SA

MUSI  3400    Ecoacoustics

PHIL   2500    Animal Minds

PHIL   2500    Environmental Ethics

PHIL   3652    Animals and Ethics

PHYS  1090    Galileo and Einstein

RELC  3795    Theology Spirituality Ethics

RELG 3820    Global Ethics & Climate Change

SPAN  4500    Latin Am Jungle Literature

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.

AAS     3500    Environ Justice Mid-Atlantic

AAS     3500    RaceClassPolitics&Environment

ECON 3430    Sustainability Economics

ECON 4430    Environmental Economics

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  3500    Environmental Pol. in China

PLCP  4500    Politics of Air Pollution

PLIR   3500    Global Environmental Politics

PPOL  3280    Urban Environmental Policy

SOC    2630    Environment & Society

SOC    3559    Environment, Global & Developm

Any statistics class at the 1000, 2000, or 3000 level

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   3020    Evolution and Ecology

BIOL   3450    Biodiversity and Conservation

BIOL   3660    Marine Bio/Coral Reef Ecology

BIOL   4100    Management of Forest Ecosystem

BIOL   4130    Population Ecol & Consv Biol

BIOL   4510    Stream Ecology

BIOL   4850    Envir & Conservation Biology

CHEM 3559    Anthrochemistry

EVSC  2800    Fundamentals of Geology

Any EVSC class at the 3000, 4000, or 5000 level

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 year-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 Freedman 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:

Paul Freedman, Director, Environmental Thought and Practice Program