The environmental studies minor allows a student to obtain an environmental perspective which can meaningfully enhance his or her major in a specific discipline. Students of any major may elect to participate in the environmental studies minor, and those interested in this program should contact a member of the Environmental Studies Board as early as possible, preferably during the student's first year, for further information and to discuss a plan of study. Students who minor in environmental studies should begin by taking Humans and the Environment and other core and correlative requirements.
Department of Environmental Studies TREE House Project named winner of the Portage Park District Foundation’s 2015 Environmental Education Award.
Along with problem-solving skills, creativity, and versatility, systems-thinking is a trait widely sought by employers, and is an absolute necessity for responding to the complex problems of our time. Because “environmental issues” are always also social issues, understanding them requires knowledge of natural andhuman social systems, and how they interact. The Environmental Studies major and minor are specially designed to help students attain, integrate, and convey the diverse knowledge and skills needed to understand and address complex socio-environmental problems.
The foundation of the program includes training in natural systems, human social systems, means of effectively communicating about complex interdependent systems, and relevant practical skills. In addition, Environmental Studies majors identify one of three areas of emphasis—Natural Systems, Human Social Systems, or Communicating Complexity—that best matches their interests and personal and professional goals. With the help of an adviser, each student then crafts a personalized combination of elective courses within that area of emphasis.
For more information about current course offerings and specific major and minor requirements, please see “Courses and Requirements.
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Although minors are not required for graduation, many students choose one. A minor area of study consists of courses specified by each department. Typically, minors consist of five or six courses, over half of which must be taken at Hiram College.
Why pursue a minor?
Minors allow you to pursue areas of interest that your major alone won’t cover. They can help supplement your major-related coursework, help you become a more well-rounded and accomplished student, and communicate to potential employers that you have a diverse knowledge base and the drive to continue learning.