A birds-eye view illustration of 3-D trees, roads, waterfalls, houses, grass and other tiny environmental features.

Courses for the Ideas about the Environment Focus Area

This specialization engages the philosophical and political challenges underpinning concerns of modern environmentalism. People have always contemplated the meaning of the world around them and the ways in which their reality is shaped by the environment. The meaning and value of the “environment” therefore depends on a person’s range of understanding, ideas, and representations of the physical world. To operate effectively, civil society must be based on open discussions including environmental concerns, and this requires basic levels of ecological literacy.


Step 2: Choose courses for the Ideas About the Environment cluster

Choose nine credits from the courses below. Course substitutions are possible; please contact faculty-in-charge.

AG 160 Introduction to Ethics and Issues in Agriculture
BIOL 419 Ecological and Environmental Problem Solving 
BIOL 438 Theoretical Population Ecology
BIOL 461 Contemporary Issues in Science and Medicine
CED 450 International Development, Renewable Resources and the Environment
ECON 428 Environmental Economics
EM SC 150 Out of the Fiery Furnace
ENVE 460 Environmental Law
GEOG 123 Geography of the Developing World
GEOG 434 Politics of the Environment
HIST 109 Introduction to US Environmental History
HIST 110 Nature and History
HIST 428 The Darwinian Revolution
HIST 453 American Environmental history
LARCH 60 History of Landscape Architecture 
NUTR 497G Community Food Security
PHIL 403 Environmental Ethics 
SOC 449 Environmental Movements
SOC 450 Justice and the Environment
SOILS 71 Environmental Sustainability

Note: Individual courses are linked to Penn State's Bulletin. For the most recent course description and to schedule, visit LionPATH.psu.edu.