Undergraduate Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum of the Rubenstein School is carefully designed to cultivate the skills and knowledge that our faculty believe are central to the study of natural resources and the environment. The Core Curriculum's eight required courses (23 total credits) are taken sequentially and cut across all academic programs within the School, integrating the natural and social sciences in an effort to foster a deeper understanding of complex environmental issues.

Goal Statement

By offering a scaffolded set of required core courses grounded in environmental and natural resource content, we prepare our students to successfully integrate and apply knowledge across disciplinary boundaries in their personal and professional lives.

Specifically, the Core Curriculum will:

- Adopted by the Rubenstein School Faculty, December 2015

Core Competencies and Knowledge Areas

[+] View Core Competencies and Knowledge Areas


CLO1 Communication: Students will be able to employ effective speaking, writing, listening, and digital communication techniques.

CLO2 Teamwork: Students will be able to contribute to collaborative efforts, facilitate contributions of others, and address conflict directly and constructively.

CLO3 Working across Difference: Students will be able to critically examine dimensions of difference and apply a nuanced understanding of power and privilege through effective communication.

CLO4 Problem Solving: Students will be able to design, evaluate, and employ appropriate frameworks in order to effect change and generate collaborative solutions to complex problems.

CLO5 Inquiry & Analysis: Students will be able to apply critical thinking skills and employ qualitative and quantitative methodologies in order to formulate questions and evaluate core knowledge areas.

CLO6 Integrative Learning: Students will be able to synthesize and transfer learning to complex situations across disciplinary boundaries through the application of critical reflection skills.

Knowledge Areas

CLO7 Ecological Processes & Systems: Students will be able to identify and describe basic ecological processes and systems.

CLO8 Social Processes & Systems: Students will be able to identify, interpret, and analyze cultural, economic, historical, and political dynamics of environmental issues,

CLO9 Planning & Management: Students will be able to describe effective strategies in ecological planning, management, stewardship, and conservation of natural resources.

CLO10 Sustainability: Students will be able to discuss social, economic, and ecological principles of sustainability.

Download diagram of Core Competencies (pdf)

Download diagram of Knowledge Areas (pdf)

Core Course Descriptions