New Minor in Environmental Humanities

Over 30 faculty at the University of Pennsylvania teach courses in the environmental humanities. Now, Penn undergraduates can declare a minor in this growing field! 

The environmental humanities minor in the School of Arts & Sciences gives Penn students the opportunity to work across disciplines and explore how knowledge systems represent and respond to past and present environments, ecologies, places and worlds at a variety of scales. The minor emphasizes change and transformation, rather than stable states and received disciplinary borders. Students enroll in one transdisciplinary touchstone course co-taught by at least two faculty working individually in distinct disciplinary traditions and together to model cross-disciplinary knowledge-making. In the Fall of 2020, this course was taught by anthropologist Dr. Kristina Lyons and toxicologist Dr. Marilyn Howarth. Check out this video about this course:


Students will also choose at least one course from pre-approved course lists in the environmental sciences and social sciences as well as two courses in humanistic approaches to environmental inquiry. The EH minor emphasizes arts-driven inquiry into place and world-making and, with a public engagement requirement, also insists on the importance of various methods of public research and outcomes--from field work to community-based participatory research, to art and science exhibits and evidence-driven advocacy. This requirement may be fulfilled by enrolling in one of a pre-approved list of courses that include rigorous public engagement or with independent community-based research projects. Finally, all EH minors will participate in a collaboratory capstone on public environmental humanities.


Requirements: (6-7CUs)

  • 2 Courses in Arts & Humanities Approaches to Environmental Inquiry

  • 1 Course in Social Science Approaches to Environmental Inquiry

  • 1 Course in Natural Science Approaches to Environmental Inquiry

  • Transdisciplinary Environmental Humanities "Touchstone" Course

  • Public Engagement Requirement (Choose a pre-approved course, or fulfill with independent study, credit-bearing summer project or other course with significant community-based research or service component, with approval)

  • Capstone Course (an EH collaboratory for public research)


Questions? Write to PPEH Faculty Director Bethany Wiggin (

Current Course Offerings Here