Tufts University  |  School of Arts and Sciences  |  School of Engineering  |  Find People  | 


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have declared my first major to declare for Environmental Studies?
No, you can declare for ENVS once you have enrolled at Tufts. We believe that the sooner you find an ENVS advisor and begin consulting them, the more effective your progress through the program will be.

Can I apply advanced placement (AP) courses to the Environmental Studies Major?
An Environmental Science AP score of 5 or 4 exempts students from taking Biology 007 and gives a student a course credit that can count toward the major. Students who take Biology 007 will not be awarded advanced placement credit.

Why do I have to double major?
In our experience and research, we have found that a stand alone major in Environmental Studies is not comprehensive enough to prepare our students for future environmental careers or advanced degrees. A dual major provides more advanced learning through upper-level seminars specific to their interests and makes our students more competitive for a range of careers.

Can I be a combined-degree student in Environmental Studies?
Because students have a major at another undergraduate school (NEC, SMFA), it is okay for combined-degree students to major only in Environmental Studies or any of the other so-called secondary majors (e.g. Community Health).

How many credits can I count toward both my majors?
Student may double count courses, but no more than three courses can count for both their first and second majors.

When do I need to declare my track?
Students should declare their track by the end of their Sophomore year. Prior to this, they should have evaluated the ENVS advisor list in order to find an advisor for their specific track. A full list of advisors and the selection process are available here.

How do I do a self-designed track? I'm not sure how much freedom one has or how the process goes?
For more information on the requirements and the process, visit the Self-Design Track.

What is the latest I can change my track?
Students should consult their ENVS advisor if they are contemplating changing their track. Tracks have specific key requirements, some of which do not transfer into other tracks within the major.

How many transfer credits may be counted toward the major?
ENVS majors can transfer up to 2 courses taken from an accredited institution other than Tufts. More than 2 courses may be transferred if a course is transferred as an already existing course at Tufts. Courses taken at Tufts abroad programs are not considered transfer credits, therefore the 2 course limit does not apply to them. Please note that just because a course is approved by ENVS to be transferred to Tufts, it does not automatically count toward the ENVS major. Any course that is not listed in our website must be petitioned to count toward the major by submitting a course petition form along with the course syllabus to environmental.studies@tufts.edu.

What would qualify as an internship and what is the best way to go about getting one?
Internship require a minimum of 100 hours of service (paid or unpaid), in the summer or during the school year conducting environmentally-relevant work. All internships needs to be pre-approved by the Program Assistant Director. ENVS students have interned at many organizations (see examples). Please contact Environmental Studies to have full access to our extensive Internship Database containing previous experiences by ENVS students. We also post opportunities weekly through our newsletter ENVS Weekly. Job postings are also available through the Office of Sustainability Newsletter, Job X and Career Services.

Note: All students in the ENVS Program must complete an internship to graduate. Get information on how to plan and register for an ENV 99 Environmental Internship.

Are ENVS students eligible for any specific awards or prizes?
Environmental Studies students are eligible for these awards/prizes:

  • ENVS Career-building awards
  • The Nancy Anderson Prize
  • Anne E. Borghesani Memorial Prize
  • The Lily Glidden Award
  • Tisch Fund for Civic Engagement Prize

Learn more >

How does Honors work in Environmental Studies?
ENVS students are eligible for honors awards as follows. Nominations are voted upon by the Environmental Studies Executive Committee.

  • Honorable mention (cum laude) is conferred at commencement on students who achieved a record of five credits of A or A- in satisfying their concentration requirements � including related fields � and whose cumulative average for all Tufts courses is 3.50.
  • High distinction (magna cum laude) may be conferred at commencement on students who achieved a record of six credits of A or A- in satisfying their concentration requirements, including related fields, and whose cumulative average for all courses is 3.65 or better. Students must be recommended in writing by their departmental chairperson or advisory committee.
  • Highest distinction (summa cum laude) may be conferred at commencement on students who achieved a record of six credits of A or A- in satisfying their concentration requirements, and whose cumulative average for all courses is 3.80 or better. Such candidates shall achieve at least one credit of A or A- in four of the five areas of the distribution requirement (all of these A grades must be taken in a department or interdisciplinary program). It is important to emphasize that the numerical criteria for magna cum laude and summa cum laude determine only eligibility for consideration; actual award of these honors is contingent on departmental recommendation. A description of additional departmental criteria (such as independent research) for honors recommendations is available from each academic department. In addition, for students recommended for summa cum laude, the department will submit one letter supporting their recommendation. Finally, summa cum laude is awarded only by special vote of the entire faculty, recognizing extraordinary achievement in the breadth, as well as the depth, of the student's intellectual development. Students whose permanent record includes a serious disciplinary infraction will not normally be eligible for summa cum laude honors.

Is the Environmental Studies Major a BS or a BA?
In 2006-2007, the faculty passed an EPC resolution that updated and defined the list of majors that qualify for a B.S. degree. Starting 2007-08, students are allowed to receive an Bachelor of Science (BS) in Environmental Studies. They must request it on their degree sheet. In actuality, students can request either a BS or BA, but their 1st major may dictate which the students are allowed to request. Students should check with their other major to make sure that there are no restrictions. We recommend that students in the Environmental Science track, designate their degree as BS due to the heavy concentration in the sciences in that track.