Environmental Science and Policy (ENSP)College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
0220 Symons Hall, 301-405-8571
Director: W. Whittemore (Associate Director)
Lecturers: J. Goger (Lecturer), J. Murrow (Lecturer), G. Schnaar (Lecturer)
Environmental Science and Policy is a broadly multi-disciplinary, undergraduate major, drawing courses and faculty from 11 departments and three Colleges (the Colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Behavioral and Social Sciences; Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences).
The curriculum of Environmental Science and Policy comprises a core of courses at the introductory level in environmental science, environmental policy, biology, chemistry, earth sciences, geography, economics, calculus, statistics, and government and politics. This is followed by in-depth and focused training in one of eleven areas of concentration in biological resources, earth systems, or the human dimensions of the field. The educational philosophy of the program is to train students broadly using a multi-disciplinary approach at the introductory level so that they are exposed to the myriad ways there are to learn about environmental systems and to address human-environment issues. This introductory approach precedes the concentration in which the students are prepared for post-graduate study or work in a discipline-based field. The combination of the lower-level core courses and upper-level depth in a concentration prepares graduates to work and study independently or as members of teams in which they will be asked to be experts in one area, while understanding and using effectively other natural and social science knowledge and investigative approaches.
Admission to the Major
Incoming students who wish to enter ENSP may do so by selecting ENSP-Undeclared (Science) or ENSP-Undeclared (Policy) on their application for admission. On-campus students may declare ENSP during a meeting with the Associate Director. Please review the ENSP website at www.ensp.umd.edu to learn about the program and its requirements prior to your first advising meeting.
Requirements for the Major
Biodiversity and Conservation Biology; Environment and Agriculture; Environmental Economics; Environmental Geosciences and Restoration; Environmental Politics and Policy; Global Environmental Change; Land Use; Marine and Coastal Management; Society and Environmental Issues; Soil, Water, and Land Resources; Wildlife Ecology and Management. Changes may occur in concentrations. Students should consult the program office or visit the ENSP web site ( www.ensp.umd.edu ) for updated information.
Advising is mandatory for all ENSP students in all areas of concentration, regardless of GPA, concentration, or credit level. We want to help you meet program requirements while achieving your academic and career goals. Refer to the ENSP webpage at www.ensp.umd.edu to find advisor assignments.
Undergraduate Research Experiences
We encourage all interested students to gain research experience. Many beginning ENSP students gain their first research experience by participating in the Maryland Student Researchers Program, which is coordinated by the Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research. More advanced students gain research experience working with their faculty members; in a field assistantship at the USDA - Beltsville Agricultural Research Center or the US FWS - Patuxent Wildlife Research Refuge; or by participating in an NSF-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). Additionally, highly motivated and capable students are encouraged to enroll in Honors-in-ENSP to pursue a self-directed, individual project. Details about all of these opportunities are available on our website.
Practical experience is an important part of learning. Whether gained by volunteering, clubs, internships, and/or researching -- all experience contributes to students' professional development, helps determine what they enjoy doing, and makes classwork more meaningful. ENSP maintains an extensive list of internship opportunities on its website ( www.ensp.umd.edu ) and majors receive weekly listserv announcements. Approximately half of ENSP's concentrations require an internship; and virtually all ENSP students complete one or more such experiences. To earn credit for an internship, review program requirements on the program webpage and contact the Associate Director at (301)405-8571 regarding ENSP386 - Internship in Environmental Science and Policy.
The Honors Program in Environmental Science and Policy provides energetic and capable undergraduates the opportunity to engage in independent study. Interested students must have 45-75 credits at the time of application; a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher; and a 3.5 or higher in all courses required for ENSP. Transfer students with equivalent academic records are also encouraged to apply. All students who meet the application requirements are eligible to apply; they need not have been a member of University Honors. The research will be conducted under the supervision of a faculty mentor, usually in the student's area of concentration, and will result in an Honors thesis. More information about admission, program requirements, and academic resources is available on the website ( www.ensp.umd.edu ).
Scholarships and Financial Assistance
The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu