Concentration in Environmental Science and Public Policy

Harvard University Center for the Environment


The concentration in Environmental Science and Public Policy is designed to provide a multi-disciplinary introduction to current problems of the environment. It is founded on the premise that the ability to form rational judgments concerning many of the complex challenges confronting society today involving the environment requires both an understanding of the underlying scientific and technical issues and an appreciation for the relevant economic, political, legal, historical and ethical dimensions.

The concentration is overseen by a Standing Committee, which functions as a Board of Tutors, and includes faculty from other departments of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and from several Schools as appropriate to ensure the requisite breadth of the program.

While all students in the ESPP concentration take courses in biology, chemistry, earth and environmental sciences, economics, government, and mathematics, the concentration offers students an opportunity to specialize in a specific area of either natural or social science relating to the environment. The knowledge from these courses is applied during the junior year in seminars envisaged as a central integrating component of the concentration. Students wishing to graduate with honors are expected to write a thesis applying skills and knowledge gained from their course experience in the pursuit of research on a specific environmental issue.


  • Institution Name: Harvard University Center for the Environment
  • Address: 24 Oxford Street, 3rd Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138
  • Website: