Minors in Environmental Studies, Environmental Humanities, and Food Studies


The Environmental Studies Program offers two undergraduate majors (Environmental Studies and Environmental Science), three undergraduate minors (Environmental Studies,Environmental Humanities, and Food Studies), Master’s and Doctoral degrees. It also houses several high-profile interdisciplinary centers, programs and initiatives including the Center for Environmental Futures, Tribal Climate Change Project, Environmental Leadership Program, Just Futures Institute for Racial and Climate Justice, and Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples Initiative.

Environmental Studies Minor

The interdisciplinary minor in environmental studies includes three lower-division courses and five upper-division elective courses for a minimum of 32 credits. Courses applied to the minor must be taken for letter grades and passed with grades of C– or better. At least 16 of the 32 credits must be taken at the University of Oregon. No more than 8 upper-division credits from the major may be applied to minor requirements. With the advisor’s consent, an environmental issues course and a practical learning experience may be substituted for one of the elective courses. Students may also submit a petition to their advisor to substitute one upper-division course for one of the required lower-division courses.

Required Courses
ENVS 201Introduction to Environmental Studies: Social Sciences4
ENVS 202Introduction to Environmental Studies: Natural Sciences4
ENVS 203Introduction to Environmental Studies: Humanities4
Advanced Course Requirements
One upper-division natural science course from the major requirements sheet4
Four electives from areas of social science, policy, humanities, or design16
Total Credits32

The Environmental Humanities Minor helps students to understand the environment and the human condition through interdisciplinary scholarship in the humanities and allied disciplines—history, literature, philosophy, art and architecture and their histories, anthropology, sociology, and historical and cultural geography—in conversation with the natural sciences. Through interpretation, argumentation, storytelling, and the arts, Environmental Humanities students reflect on the interactions between humans and their environments over time and among different cultures, grapple with complex moral and ethical issues, think critically about the world around us, and help to transform our environmental futures through imaginative and creative projects. This minor differs from the Environmental Studies minor in its primary focus on how humanities disciplines and the arts can contribute to understandings of environmental change; environmental ethics and politics; environmental justice; climate justice; and equitable, sustainable futures. At the UO, the Environmental Humanities are also concerned with the long histories of colonialism and racism.

Minor in Environmental Humanities

ENVS 203Introduction to Environmental Studies: Humanities4
Electives 1
Lower Division Electives:4
Introduction to Environmental Literature
Food in World History
Introduction to Environmental History
Global Environmental Issues and Alternatives
Introduction to Environmental Law and Policy
Upper Division Electives:16
Experimental Course: [Topic]
Special Studies: [Topic]
Literature of the Northwest
Literature and the Environment: [Topic]
Environmental Ethics
Environmental Leadership: [Topic]
Environmental Justice
Native Americans and the Environment
Environmental Racism
Society, Culture, and Place
Experimental Course: [Topic]
Environmental Alteration
Nature, Culture, and the Environment
American Environmental History to 1890
The American West
The Pacific Northwest
American Environmental History: [Topic]
Introduction to Philosophy of Science
Environmental Philosophy
Science, Technology, and Gender
Gender, Environment, and Development
Total Credits24

All upper-division courses for the minor must be taken in residency at UO. Up to 4 lower-division credits may be taken elsewhere, with the approval of academic and career advisors in Tykeson Hall.

Minor in Food Studies

Foundational Courses12
ENVS 225Introduction to Food Studies4
ANTH 220Introduction to Nutritional Anthropology4
or ANTH 248 Archaeology of Wild Foods
or HPHY 105 Principles of Nutrition
HIST 215Food in World History4
or HUM 245 Food, Art, and Literature
or PHIL 220 Food Ethics
Elective Courses 18
Capstone Seminar 24
Total Credits36
  • The minor requires 24 graded credits (6 courses) from approved courses, at least twelve of which must be upper-division courses.
  • Letter grades of C- or better must be earned in all courses applied to the minor.
  • Students can count up to two upper division courses from their major department.
  • Students are required to take at least one 400-level course or capstone seminar.
  • Some “special topics” courses that focus on food may count toward the minor. Check with the advisors if you have one in mind.
  • All upper-division courses for the Food Studies minor must be taken in residency at the University of Oregon. (“In residency” includes UO study abroad courses.)
  • No more than three courses with the same subject heading will count for the minor (including ENVS).