Environmental systems, and our understanding of the problems and issues associated with them, are ever changing. The faculty members of our program change over time as well, in terms of their research interests and expertise. This affects what classes are offered, especially at the 300-500 level, which is the level at which you need to choose your electives for the major.
It is important to develop some level of specialization in interdisciplinary programs like ours, and that’s what your electives are for. Some programs require you to choose among a list of tracks in which you are forced to take a particular set of classes. We feel this does not allow enough exploration of emerging areas of environmental studies at KU. Students still need guidance, though, to find those areas and related classes, which is why we developed pathways in our major.
Pathways are thematic areas of environmental expertise of our faculty at KU, with a list of accompanying courses. If that area of environmental research sounds interesting to you, then look at the faculty associated with the pathway and arrange to meet them in their office hours to:
- Talk about the courses that are listed in the pathway, when they are offered, in what sequence you should take them, what prerequisites you may need.
- Talk about research opportunities for undergraduates in that pathway. If you have some aptitude for research, consider discussing with the faculty member applying for an undergraduate research scholarship, completing independent study, or completing honors in the major by doing a senior thesis.
- Talk about potential career opportunities and internship possibilities the faculty member might know.