The Environmental and Energy Politics option in Political Science will provide students with the opportunity to focus their undergraduate studies on topics involving:

  • Historical and contemporary environmental problems
  • Governmental and non-governmental efforts to address problems on local, state, federal and international levels
  • Interactions between key actors and institutions involved in environmental policymaking in the United States and internationally

A specialization in Environmental and Energy Politics can prove very valuable on today’s job market as non-profit, corporate and government employers are all involved in making important decisions that affect our natural and urban environments. Environmental specializations are also increasingly popular offerings in postgraduate study.



Note: Major options are not available for Ecampus students.


I. Foundation Courses: (12 credits)

Students must take at least 3 of the introductory courses (12 credits)

  1. PS 201. Introduction to United States Government and Politics (4), AND
  2. PS 205. Introduction to International Relations (4), AND
  3. EITHER PS 204. Introduction to Comparative Politics (4) OR PS 206. Introduction to Political Thought (4)


II. Methods/WIC (4 credits)

PS 300. Research Methods (4)


III. Upper Division Option Courses (24 credits)

Select 24 credits from the list below.  Up to 8 upper division credits can come from classes listed below in the programs of Economics and Sociology. Other courses as approved by the department.

PS 314. Interest Group Politics (4)
331. State and Local Politics (4)
PS 371. Public Policy Problems (4)
PS 372. Public Administration (4)
PS 374. Sustainable Living: Practices and Policies (4)
PS 455. The Politics of Climate Change (4)
PS 461. Environmental Political Theory (4)
PS 470. Global Food Politics and Policy (4)
PS 473. US Energy Policy (4)

PS 474. International Energy Politics and Policy (4)
PS 475. Environmental Politics and Policy (4)
PS 476. Science and Politics (4)
PS 477. International Environmental Politics and Policy (4)
PS 478. Renewable Energy Policy (4)

ECON 466. Energy Economics (4)
SOC 381. Social Dimensions of Sustainability (4)
SOC 456. Science and Technology in Social Context (4)
SOC 475. Rural Sociology (4)
SOC 480. Environmental Sociology (4)
SOC 481. Society and Natural Resources (4)


IV. Political Science Electives (12 credits)

Any political science courses may be taken to reach the minimum of 52 total credits in the major with at least 36 of these at the upper-division level.


V. Learning Outside the Classroom

Political science majors are strongly encouraged to pursue educational opportunities outside of the classroom, and these experiences can fulfill some political science graduation requirements.  Such experiences can include research, thesis writing, projects or internships.  Credits will be placed in the appropriate PS 401 - 410 designator.  A maximum of 8 credits from any combination of PS 401 - 410 may be applied to the major, although additional credits from courses in this range may be applied to general graduation requirements.  Additional experiential learning opportunities include "field schools" and study abroad.  Students can discuss all of these opportunities with the political science undergraduate advisor.