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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?
Students graduating on/before 2021 can use Environmental Science AP credit instead of taking Bio 007 if they have a score of 4 or 5. Students graduating on/after 2022 must have an AP score of 5 in order to count their Environmental Science AP credit to replace Bio 007. Students who take Biology 007 will not be awarded advanced placement credit.

How many credits can I count toward both my majors?
Student may double count courses up to 3 courses if they are doing the co-major and 5 courses in their are doing the stand-alone major. For more information consult ENVS Academic Policies.

When do I need to declare my track?
While students don't officially declare their track, it is advised that they know which track they are interested in before declaring the major so they can select an advisor for that 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 co-majors can transfer up to 2 courses taken from an accredited institution other than Tufts. Applied Environmental Studies majors can transfer up to 4. More 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 or 4 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 environmentalstudies@tufts.edu. For complete information see ENVS Academic Policies

What would qualify as an internship and what is the best way to go about getting one?
Internships 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 need to be pre-approved by the Program Assistant Director. ENVS students have interned at many organizations (see examples.) Declared Environmental Studies students have full access to our extensive Internship database containing previous experiences by ENVS students. We also post opportunities weekly through our newsletter ENVS Weekly.

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

  • ENVS career-building awards
  • Norton Nickerson Endowed Internship Grant
  • 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?
ENVS majors completing the Environmental Science track can receive a BS. Environmental Studies completing the Environmental Humanities track can only receive a BA. Students in all other tracks can receive a BS only if at least 50% of the classes in the major fulfill a math or natural science requirement. Please note that if you are co-majoring, whether you receive a BA or a BS will be ultimately dictated by the major you declare first.