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)

The following information is from the 2022-2023 catalog requirements. For prior catalog years, please visit this website.

Lower Division Course Requirements (6 courses)

  • ENVS 23 The Physical & Chemical Environment (Spring only) or CHEM 1A General Chemistry
  • ENVS 24 General Ecology (Fall only) or BIOE 20C Ecology & Evolution
  • ENVS 25 Environmental Policy & Economics (Winter and Summer only)
  • MATH 3 Precalculus or STAT 3 Precalculus for the Social Sciences or ALEKS MPE 300+ or AP CALC 3+
  • STAT 7/L Statistical Methods for the Biological, Environmental, and Health Sciences
  • One of the following (SOCY/ANTH/PHIL): SOCY 1, 10, 15, ANTH 2, PHIL 22, 24, 28, 80G

Upper division Course Requirements (9 Courses)

  • ENVS 100/L Ecology and Society (Winter and Spring only)
    • prerequisites: ENVS 23, ENVS 24, ENVS 25, STAT7/L, SOCY/ANTH/PHIL, and WRIT 2
  • 1 ENVS upper division elective from the Social Sciences list: see elective spreadsheet for details
  • 1 ENVS upper division elective from the Natural Sciences list: see elective spreadsheet for details
  • 5 ENVS upper divisions of your choice. Please note the following when choosing your electives: 

Senior Exit Requirement (Students choose 1 of the 5 options listed below)

  • ENVS 109B: Supercourse (by application; offered Spring of some years)
  • ENVS 190: Capstone (no application; offered Spring and Summer)
  • ENVS 196: Senior Seminar (by application; different topics offered Fall, Winter, and Spring)
  • ENVS 195A + 195B: Senior Thesis (must be completed in two consecutive quarters)
  • ENVS 183A + 183B: Senior Internship (must be completed in two consecutive quarters)