Requirements for Honors in Environmental Studies (B.A.)

Students with a minimum GPA in Environmental Studies and Sciences courses of 3.50 and an overall GPA of 3.30 may apply for honors in Environmental Studies. Before commencing an honors program in Environmental Studies, a candidate must have completed 20 credits of Environmental Studies and Sciences courses and have completed an ENVS Writing Intensive course or a Writing Intensive course approved by the project director.

Application: Application must be made by March 15 of junior year to the ENVS Curriculum Committee. The application must include:

  • an academic transcript, current GPAs (overall and in Environmental Studies and Sciences), and
  • a 300-500 word summary of the proposed research project using the on-line application at the bottom of this page.

The curriculum committee reviews the qualifications of the applicant, the suitability of the proposed research, and certifies that faculty sponsorship has been obtained.  The curriculum committee then approves/rejects the application. If the application is approved, the candidate begins work on the proposal, which must be submitted by September 19 of the senior year.

The candidate may receive a maximum of 6 credits of ENVS 490: Independent Study: Environmental Studies for the honors project. If at any point the faculty sponsor deems the work insufficient for honors, the student will receive a grade for any independent studies completed but will not be eligible to pursue department honors.

Forming a Committee: An honors committee is formed by May 1 of junior year, consisting of the department faculty sponsor and two other faculty members, one of whom must also be from the Environmental Studies and Sciences department.

Writing a Proposal: Proposals typically range from 1000-2500 words. Follow the deadlines listed in the table below.

The student designs the honors project in consultation with the faculty sponsor and writes a proposal describing the project. Proposals range from 1000 to 2500 words. The Honors committee and/or the sponsor/director reserve the right to reject the proposal. Rejected proposals can not be resubmitted after September 26 of the senior year. The proposal will be completely approved or rejected with no further appeal by September 30 of the senior year (unless granted a special exemption for extenuating circumstances.) Deadlines are listed below.

Writing the honors paper: We currently offer two approaches to honors in Studies.

  1. At the culmination of the research, the student will write a detailed scholarly article (25-40 pages) that demonstrates original analysis based on extensive research of secondary and primary sources.


  1. The actual project is a long researched narrative nonfiction piece (2000- 7000 words), e.g., a feature article incorporating science, an attempt at producing near-professional level nonfiction essay incorporating a particular concern of our field, a science policy research project with recommendations, a detailed communications plan for science outreach on a specific topic in the field or a creative inquiry project.

The final honors project (5000-word) must be submitted to the honors committee one week prior to the public presentation.

Oral presentation of project: Presentations will normally take place in mid-April of senior year.

Granting Honors:  Between April 15 to May 15, the student must meet with the honors committee to discuss his/her/their project in detail. Following this meeting and review of the project, the honors committee will make a decision on whether or not to grant Honors in Environmental Studies and Sciences to the student.

Deadlines for Honors in Environmental Studies:

Submission of application for Honors: junior year - March 15*
*Students that are summer scholars after their junior year have an extended deadline of August 15
Formation of Honors Committee: junior year - May 1*
*Students that are summer scholars after their junior year have an extended deadline of August 15
Submission of Honors Proposal: senior year - September 15
1st Honors committee meeting: senior year - September 30
2nd Honors committee meeting: senior year - February 1
Submission of Honors project one week prior to oral presentation
Oral presentation: senior year - mid-April
Final Honors committee meeting: senior year - between April 15 to May 15



  • Overall GPA 3.3
  • ENVS GPA: 3.50
  • ENVS Writing Intensive course or similar course approved by project sponsor/director
  • 20 credits in ENVS courses