Economics/Environmental Studies Major

Economic Study of Environmental & Natural Resources

A combined major in economics and environmental studies is available to students having a strong interest in the economic aspects of environmental studies and natural resources. The curriculum has been developed to provide a broad area of study in the economic choices involved in how we interact with natural systems.

Detailed Program of Study

Students watching as a professor writes population dynamics equations on a whiteboard

Why Economics and Environmental Studies?

Jointly offered by the Department of Economics, College of Business and Economics, and the Department of Environmental Studies, College of the Environment, this major is tailored for those who wish to apply the optimal resource allocation principle to environmental applications by building a strong foundation in both economics and environmental studies.

Questions examined in environmental economics include efficient resource use, preservation of wilderness and biological diversity, local and regional air pollution, global climate change, and treatment of toxic substances. You will learn how to use economic principles to understand the causes of environmental problems and identify potential remedies.

Environmental studies draws on basic knowledge of how natural systems work and works towards solving problems created largely by human activities. In addition to the study of the natural environment, a study of laws and policy related to the environment provides a foundation for solving environmental problems.

Career Outlook

An increasingly dynamic career area for economists has been in environmental business and management, sometimes referred to as sustainability, in which economists are involved in planning and forecasting, production and market analysis, pricing, and government policy analysis. 

For more information please see a video made by the American Economics Association:  "A Career in's Much More Than You Think" 

Declaring This Combined Major

Students declare using the CBE application.

Students are eligible to declare the Environmental Studies portion of the major once they have completed the two foundation courses. ENVS 203 and MATH 114 or 156. Once those two courses are completed the Economics Department will forward the application to the Environmental Studies Department for their approval.