Environmental Studies B.A.

Program Learning Outcomes of the ENVS B.A.

Students graduating with a B.A. in Environmental Studies should be able to:

  1. Identify the societal (social, political, economic, cultural and ethical) agents and structures that contribute  to environmental change.  (Social Science Competency)
  2. Describe the structure and functioning of major physical and ecological components of the earth’s systems. (Natural Science Competency)
  3. Access and analyze a complex literature addressing specific topics in environmental studies, and evaluate the usefulness and limitations of individual sources of information.  (Analytic thinking)
  4. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills. (Communication skills)

Optional Concentrations

The ENVS major may be completed with or without a concentration. Students can learn more about hte optional concentrations here: 

Other Program Information

The ENVS major includes coursework in five focus areas: Agroecology & Sustainable Agriculture; Conservation Science & Natural History; Environmental Education & Sustainability; Environmental Policy; Political Economy. For the most part, students in the ENVS major can choose all of their upper division electives, with just a few guidelines they must follow as they select courses. See below for more details on the major requirements. This flexibility allows students to explore different focus areas within the larger field of Environmental Studies, or to spend most of their time within just one or two areas of focus if they prefer.

In addition to comprehensive classroom-based learning, a number of Environmental Studies students engage in field studies, internships, independent research, study abroad, and volunteer work.  Our students are highly encouraged to seek out these opportunities, which are an excellent supplement to rigorous traditional courses, and are a great way to prepare for a career in environmental work or graduate school.

Students majoring in the Environmental Studies major can choose one of three concentrations (Conservation Science and Policy, Global Environmental Justice, and Geographic Information Systems). The concentrations are intended to provide students with courses that will provide specific tools within the field of study. The concentration will be noted on the student's transcript as an indication that the curriculum chosen has followed an academic path that constitutes a concentration. Concentrations are not mandatory; students can major in ENVS without a concentration. 

Course Requirements for ENVS B.A.

ENVS B.A. Major Worksheet (PDF), updated August 2023

Alternatively, you may view the program requirements on the 2023-2024 UCSC catalog. For prior catalog years, please visit this website.


Which GEs will get satisfied by this major?

It depends on which classes you take! Please refer to this chart to see which of your GE requirements may be satisfied by taking major courses for any of our majors. If you need help understanding the chart, please speak to ENVS advising.