2019-2020 Pitzer Catalog 
    Jul 30, 2021  
2019-2020 Pitzer Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Analysis Major

Major Requirements

The Environmental Analysis major offers four Tracks:

  1. Environment and Society
  2. Environmental Policy
  3. Sustainability and the Built Environment
  4. Environmental Science.

In addition to the above listed Tracks, students have the ability to create a self-designed Track within the major that consists of a minimum of 11 courses.

All EA major Tracks consist of three sets of requirements:

  1. A Core set of Courses (EA 10, EA 86, EA 30, and an additional natural science course) and the Capstone Seminar (EA 150)
  2. A Track with Course Plan
  3. An Environmental Internship for the Environment and Society, Environmental Policy, and Sustainability and the Built Environment Tracks

A minimum of 11 courses is required for the Environment and Society and Environmental Policy tracks, and 12 courses for the Sustainability and Built Environment track. Students in the Environment and Society, Environmental Policy, and Sustainability and the Built Environment tracks will find that their major has considerable structure but also allows for flexibility in the selection of courses within the track. It is essential that majors and prospective majors proactively work with their advisers to select courses, both within the major and outside the major, that will help meet the student’s educational, personal and professional goals.

A senior thesis is not required for the Environment and Society, Environmental Policy, and Sustainability and the Built Environment tracks. Students who wish to write a senior thesis must enroll in an additional course, EA 197 PZ EA Senior Thesis Seminar. For those who choose to undertake a senior project, sometimes referred to as a “capstone” project, a senior project is a substantial work, such as an exhibition, website, blog, film/video, performance, curriculum, design project, or other hands-on or creative endeavor is required. The process and outcome of the project should be digitally documented in an appropriate format (audio, video, pdf, web url, and so forth). Normally students will write a 20-30 page paper that describes the work and that anchors it in scholarly literature in order to build a critical framework around the project. Projects are usually undertaken over the course of one semester and are assigned a course number (EA 199 or EA 999). Some can be undertaken as part of EA 197, the senior thesis class. All senior theses and senior projects require two readers with, at least, one reader from the Pitzer Environmental Analysis Field Group. Please consult with your adviser to see what is appropriate for you.

In order to be a candidate for Honors, students must meet the following criteria.  Students must

  1. have a minimum GPA of 3.6, and
  2. engage in a senior thesis or senior project, which receives a minimum grade of A-. The Field Group members will confer Honors to students who have met these two baseline requirements, and who
  3. have displayed (as determined by the members of the Pitzer EA Field Group) an exemplary commitment to Pitzer’s core values of environmental sustainability and social responsibility, as manifest through service, internships, and other relevant experience.

Environment and Society Track

Learning Outcomes for the Environment & Society Track

1. Understand and describe different cultural perspectives on the meaning and use of the “environment,” including those shaped by race, ethnicity and gender.
2. Understand, describe, and conduct research on where social justice and environmental issues intersect

Requirements for the Environment & Society Track

  1. Five Core Courses and One Internship:
  2. Track Requirements (Six Courses)
    • One environmental policy course

Course Plan of Five Environment and Society courses from the following options such as these.


Environmental Policy Track

Learning Outcomes for the Environmental Policy Track

  1. Acquire a working knowledge of the concepts, principles, and theories of environmental policy, law, and politics
  2. Develop a critical understanding and analysis of issues in the field of environmental policy and politics
  3. Be able to conduct policy related research on environmental issues and challenges

Requirements for the Environmental Policy Track

  1. Five Core Courses and One Internship
  2. Track Requirements (Six Courses)
    • One statistics course (e.g., MATH 052 PZ , Economics Statistics, Quantitative Methods in Sociology, or other appropriate statistics course as approved by student’s adviser)

Course Plan of Five Environmental Policy Courses from options such as: 


Sustainability and the Built Environment Track

Learning Outcomes for the Sustainability and the Built Environment Track

1. Understand and analyze sustainable design in a holistic manner
2. Develop conceptual frameworks for critical inquiry and environmental problem solving
3. Apply design concepts and skills for sustainability and resilience
4. Integrate scholarship and analyses to test spatial concepts

Requirements for the Sustainability and the Built Environment Track

  1. Seven Core Courses and One Internship
  2. Track Requirements (Five Track Courses)
    1. One course in Representation
    2. Four electives, generally no more than two from each group, from options such as:
      1. History, theory and ecology of the built environment
      2. Design  Policy/Planning

Environmental Science Track

Learning outcomes for the Environmental Science Track

1. Use foundational principles to analyze problems in nature
2. Develop hypotheses and test them using quantitative techniques
3. Articulate applications of science in the modern world
4. Effectively communicate scientific concepts both orally and in writing

Students considering the science track should discuss the eligibility of specific courses with their faculty advisor and with the Keck Science Department EA science faculty.

Requirements for the Environmental Science Track

  1. Five Core courses:
  2. Track Requirements
    • Introductory Biology: BIOL 043L KS BIOL 044L KS , or BIOL 040L KS  and BIOL 044L KS , or BIOL 042L KS   and BIOL 044L KS   [The requirement for Introductory Biology may be met by completion of both semesters of the Accelerated Integrated Science Sequence (AISS) ]
    • Introductory Chemistry: CHEM 014L KS CHEM 015L KS  (or CHEM 029L KS ), or CHEM 040L KS  and CHEM 015L KS , or CHEM 042L KS  
    • At least one introductory Earth Science course-(e.g.,EA 055L KS  or GEOL 020C PO  )
    • Six upper-division EA science courses selected in consultation with the Keck Science Department Environmental Science faculty, including one or more in Ecology (e.g., BIOL 135L KS  , BIOL 138L KS  /BIOL 138 KS  , BIOL 146L KS  , BIOL 169L KS  , and others) and one or more that emphasizes Earth Science (e.g., EA 100L KS  , EA 103 KS  , EA 104 KS  , and others).  Three of the courses must have a laboratory requirement.  These six courses may be cross-listed but normally may not double-count for another science major.
    • Students must take at least one class in statistics or the application of quantitative methods to environmental problems. This requirement may be satisfied by taking an approved class with a quantitative focus as one of the six upper-division EA science courses. Alternatively, students may take an approved non-science course in statistics in addition to the other major requirements.
    • An environmentally focused study abroad semester is strongly recommended.

Requirements for a Combined Major with Environmental Science (e.g., Environmental Analysis - Science Track)

Students pursuing a combined major with the science track of Environmental Analysis must complete all of the requirements for the EA-science track major with the following modifications: (1) BIOL 43L - Introductory Biology is not required of the combined major, (2) there is no Policy course requirement, (3) combined majors only need to complete four upper level environmental science elective courses instead of six, and (4) if a specific statistics course is required by the other discipline as part of the combined major (e.g., ECON 91 PZ - Economic Statistics), then BIOL 174L KS/BIOL 175 KS - Applied Biostatistics cannot be counted as one of the upper division science electives.

Upper-level courses should be selected to engage as much as possible with issues at the intersection of the two disciplines being combined, and must satisfy all of the laboratory, ecology, and earth science stipulations of the environmental analysis science track major. Subject to approval, the environmental science thesis may also be expanded to address a topic intersecting with the second discipline. Combined majors with Environmental Science must be approved by a Keck Science Department advisor.