Majors and Courses

Environmental Analysis (PITZER)

Environmental Analysis is an interdisciplinary major focusing on the interaction between human and non-human components of the biosphere.  The major applies approaches in the social sciences, arts and humanities, and natural sciences to understanding and solving environmental problems.  Environmental Analysis offers an integrated, unifying perspective on life, as well as a program for affecting positive change.  The major prepares students for graduate work and careers in teaching, public policy and administration, law, environmental sciences, international affairs, environmental design, and the non-profit sector.  Developing sustainable ways of living is one of the greatest challenges of our time.  The Environmental Analysis Program combines the strengths of the five Claremont Colleges to provide robust interdisciplinary training for students interested in environmental issues.  Resources for field research include the Pitzer in Costa Rica Program, the John R. Rodman Arboretum, the Bernard Biological Field Station, and numerous local partnerships.

The Environmental Analysis Program regards external study as a valuable, though not required, part of the curriculum, enabling students to secure deeper appreciation of the global dimensions of environmental challenges. Additionally, the Program encourages students to engage in internships and fieldwork that move them beyond the classroom and library to engage in research and action. 


Environmental analysis majors must choose one track (or “specialized field”) from among four in which to develop their course plan. These tracks include:
1. Environment and Society
2. Environmental Policy
3. Sustainability and the Built Environment
4. Environmental Science.

Requirements for the EA Environmental Science track are summarized below. Environmental Analysis students or prospective majors interested in the non-science tracks should consult with their home institution’s Academic Catalog .
Learning outcomes for the Environmental Science Track

1. Use foundational principles to analyze problems in nature
2. Develop hypotheses and test them using quantitative techniques
3. Articulate applications of science in the modern world
4. Effectively communicate scientific concepts both orally and in writing

An Environmental Analysis Major should be able to:

    • Understand and describe the complex social, scientific and humanistic aspects of environmental issues.
    • Understand and apply both disciplinary and interdisciplinary analysis to environmental issues.
    • Critically analyze, evaluate, and interpret scholarly arguments and popular discourse and be able to communicate this analysis to a variety of communities.
    • Develop well-reasoned solutions to environmental predicaments, testing them against relevant criteria and standards.
    • Be able to craft well-researched, informative and effective scholarly presentations.
    • Contribute knowledge and action regarding environmental issues to the public through service learning, internships, community-based-research, and other activities.

Students considering the science track should discuss the eligibility of specific courses with their faculty advisor and with KSD EA science faculty.

Requirements for the Environmental Science Track
A. Five Core courses:
• EA 010 PZ -Introduction to Environmental Analysis
• EA 020 PO -Nature, Culture and Society, EA 086 PZ -Environmental Justice , POLI 136 PO -Politics of Environmental Justice
• One environmental policy course from the list of approved courses under ‘Sustainability and the Built Environment’ track in the Pitzer College Catalog
• Senior thesis/Capstone (2 courses) to include one of the following options:
o A one-semester thesis, EA 191 KS plus EA 150 PZ or Environmental Analysis Senior Seminar (PO EA 190) (Spring)
o A two-semester thesis, EA188L KS and 190L KS and 190L KS (Fall and Spring) or 189L - 190L (Summer and Fall)
B. Track Requirements
• Introductory Biology: BIOL 043L KS, BIOL 044L KS, or BIOL 040L KS and BIOL 044L KS [The requirement for Introductory Biology may be met by completion of both semesters of the Accelerated Integrated Science Sequence (AISS) ]
• Introductory Chemistry: CHEM 014L KS, CHEM 015L KS (or CHEM 029L KS), or CHEM 040L KS and CHEM 015L KS
[The requirement for Introductory Biology and Introductory Chemistry may be met by completion of both semesters of the Accelerated Integrated Science Sequence (AISS)]
• At least one introductory Earth Science course (e.g.,EA 055L KS or GEOL 020C PO or approved alternate)
• Six upper-division EA-approved science courses selected in consultation with KSD Environmental Science Faculty, including one or more in Ecology ( e.g. BIOL 135L KS , BIOL 138L KS /BIOL 139 KS , BIOL 146L KS , BIOL 169L KS and others) and one or more that emphasizes Earth Science (e.g., EA 100L KS , EA 103 KS , EA 104 KS, and others). Three of the courses must have a laboratory requirement. These six courses may be cross-listed but normally may not double -count for another science major.
• Students must take at least one class in statistics or the application of quantitative methods to environmental problems. This requirement may be satisfied by taking an approved class with a quantitative focus as one of the six upper-division EA science courses. Alternatively, students may take an approved non-science course in statistics in addition to the other major requirements.
• An environmentally focused study abroad semester is strongly recommended.