Environmental Science and Public Policy

The secondary field in Environmental Science and Public Policy (ESPP) offers students in other concentrations in the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities an opportunity to complement their studies with courses that will provide an environmental science and policy perspective to their studies at Harvard College. The structure of this secondary field is, therefore, intended to offer a range of options that can provide some measure of breadth and depth across the perspectives of science and policy that relate to the environment that complements the primary concentration. ESPP offers two pathways for the secondary field:

Natural Science Concentrators

Requirements: 6 half-courses

  1. At least one half-course chosen from the following:

    • ESPP 10: Environmental Science for Public Policy

    • ESPP 78: Environmental Politics

  2. At least three half-courses chosen from the following:

    • ECON 1010a: Microeconomic Theory (ECON 1011a may be substituted)

    • ECON 1026: The Economics of Climate Change

    • ECON 1661: Environmental and Natural Resource Economics and Policy

    • ESPP 78: Environmental Politics (if ESPP 10 were taken to satisfy requirement 1 listed above)

    • GOV 1100: Political Economy of Development

    • HIST SCI 132: Environmental History

  3. Up to two half-courses chosen from the following:

    • OEB 55: Ecology: Populations, Communities and Ecosystems

    • OEB 157: Global Change Biology

    • EPS 5: Intro to Environmental Science: Atmosphere, Ocean & Biosphere

    • EPS 8: History of the Earth

    • EPS 109: Earth Resources and the Environment

    • ES 6: Environmental Science and Technology

    • ES 164: Aqueous and Environmental Chemistry

    • ES 167: Environmental Assessment

  4. Optional additional elective:

  5. With the permission of the instructor, one of the ESPP 90 junior seminars may be substituted for a course in requirement 2 or 3. Examples of current ESPP 90 topics include Conservation Biology, Climate Mitigation, Energy, and Environmental Justice.

Social Science or Humanities Concentrators

Requirements: 6 half-courses

  1. At least one half-course chosen from the following:

    • ESPP 10: Environmental Science for Public Policy

    • ESPP 78: Environmental Politics

  2. At least three half-courses chosen from the following:

    • OEB 55: Ecology: Populations, Communities and Ecosystems

    • OEB 157: Global Change Biology

    • EPS 5: Intro to Environmental Science: Atmosphere, Ocean & Biosphere

    • EPS 8: History of the Earth

    • EPS 109: Earth Resources and the Environment

    • ES 6: Environmental Science and Technology

    • ES 164: Aqueous and Environmental Chemistry

    • ES 167: Environmental Assessment

  3. Up to two half-courses chosen from the following:

    • ECON 1010a: Microeconomic Theory (ECON 1011a may be substituted)

    • ECON 1026: The Economics of Climate Change

    • ECON 1661: Environmental and Natural Resource Economics and Policy

    • ESPP 78: Environmental Politics (if ESPP 10 were taken to satisfy Requirement 1 listed above)

    • GOV 1100: Political Economy of Development

    • HIST SCI 132: Environmental History

  4. Optional additional elective:

  5. With the permission of the instructor, one of the ESPP 90 junior seminars may be substituted for a course in Requirement 2 or 3. Examples of current ESPP 90 topics include Conservation Biology, Climate Mitigation, Energy, and Environmental Justice.

Other Information

Substitutions with courses offered in Study Abroad programs, at the Harvard Summer School or any of Harvard's other schools may, with prior permission, count toward secondary field requirements. Freshmen Seminars do not count toward the secondary field. All courses counting towards the ESPP secondary field must be taken for a letter grade. A grade of C or better is required for secondary field credit.

ESPP junior seminars have limited enrollment and ESPP concentrators will be given preference. However, there should be room for some secondary field students in most junior seminars.

Advising Resources and Expectations

Students who wish to pursue a secondary field in ESPP are required to submit a registration form, which is available from the secondary field adviser. This form must be submitted no later than the study card submittal date of the penultimate term. However, students are encouraged to submit this form as early as possible following the submittal of a concentration Plan of Study. Once the form is received, the student will be assigned a faculty adviser. When the secondary field course requirements have been completed (or by the seventh Monday of the student's final semester if required courses are still in progress), students must complete the online web tool to confirm that secondary field requirements have been met.

For more information about the secondary field in ESPP, please contact the head tutor, Michael B. McElroy (mbm@seas.harvard.edu) or the undergraduate coordinator, Lorraine Maffeo (maffeo@fas.harvard.edu).