Environmental Studies

 

The program in environmental studies (ES) is intended for students who wish to combine study in biology, chemistry, economics, history, or political science with interdisciplinary work on environmental themes across the natural sciences, history, and social sciences. Five courses of study are available, each concentrating in a home department with an environmental emphasis, augmented with cross-disciplinary requirements in ES. ES majors will be identified with their home department as ESbiology, ESchemistry, ESeconomics, EShistory, or ESpolitical science.

Admission to the Major

To be admitted to the ES program, students must obtain signatures of their academic adviser and the chair of the Environmental Studies Committee. Students should use this opportunity to discuss their proposed course of study with an Environmental Studies Committee member, ensuring that ES courses will be offered in the semesters proposed and that all of the major requirements will be met.

Updated ES Requirements for 2019-20

A. Common ES Core Requirements

1. ES–history and social sciences courses (four units). Any two from a-d: *
a. Economics 201 and one ES–economics course.
b. One introductory empirical political science course (220, 240, or 260) and one ES–political science course (except 280–298, 380–415).
c. Two units of history, including at least one ES-history course.
d. Anthropology 211 and one ES–anthropology course.
2. ES–mathematics and natural sciences courses (four and one-half to five units)**
a. Biology 101 and 102
b. Chemistry 101 and 102
c. One upper-level ES–biology or ES–chemistry course (numbered 200 or above).
3. ES interdisciplinary requirements (2 units): ES 200 and ES 300.
4. ES thesis: Environmental Studies 470.

 

*ES-MNS majors (ES-Bio and ES-Chem) may substitute ES 200 for one course in any ES-HSS discipline (a-d). NOTE: ES 200 does not necessarily satisfy the prerequisite for upper division courses in HSS disciplines that require specific 200-level HSS courses.

**ES-HSS majors (ES-History, ES-Political Science, and ES-Econ) may substitute ES 200 for one of Bio 101, Bio 102, or Chem 102. NOTE:  ES 200 does not necessarily satisfy the prerequisite for upper division MNS courses that require Chem 102 or Bio 101/102.

B. Home Department Requirements

Students must fulfill the following course requirements for their respective home departments (home department courses may be fulfilled by ES core requirements):

ES–biology major:

  1. Five units in biology at the 200 level or above, including at least one course from each of the department’s four “clusters,” at least one of which must be a unit designated as ES–biology. The fifth unit may be filled by a lecture-laboratory course, a combination of two one-half-unit courses, or Chemistry 230.
  2. Chemistry 201 and 202, and two units in mathematics or computer science.

ES–chemistry major:

  1. Chemistry 201, 202, 230, 311
  2. Two more units from among the following: Chemistry 212, 316, 332, 333, 391, 392, Mathematics 201.
  3. Physics 101*, Mathematics 111, and one of Mathematics 112 or 141, or Computer Science 121.

*After consultation with a member of the ES faculty, ES-Chemistry students may substitute Physics 102 for either Biology 101 or 102.

ES–economics major:

Seven units in economics. This must include Economics 201; 311 or 312; 313; 304 or 314; 351 or 352; and two additional units in economics (at least one of which is from Economics 315–469, excluding Economics 402).

ES–history major:

  1. Six units of history, including History 411 or 412 (the junior seminar). Three of the units are to be drawn from a list of ES–history courses. In addition, the six units would include at least one unit each in American history, European history, and the history of a region of the world other than America or Europe; and at least one would focus on the period before 1800 and one after 1800.
  2. Statistics: one of Mathematics 141, Economics 311 or 312, Political Science 311, Sociology 311, or Psychology 348.

ES–political science major:

  1. Six units in political science. This must include two empirical introductory political science courses (220, 240, or 260) and at least one upper-level ES–political science class.
  2. Statistics: one of Mathematics 141, Economics 311 or 312, Political Science 311, Sociology 311, or Psychology 348 (Political Science 311 cannot count as one of the six required political science units if used for the statistics requirement).
  3. Junior Seminar.

C. Junior Qualifying Examination

The Environmental Studies Junior Seminar serves as the qualifying exam in Environmental Studies. ES students are also required to pass the junior qualifying exam in their home department.

D. Thesis

Students must complete a thesis with an environmental focus.

2018-19 Requirements for the Major

Click Here to Jump to Updated ES Requirements for 2019-20

A. Common ES Core Requirements

  1. ES–history and social sciences courses (four units). Any two from a-d:
    1. Economics 201 and one ES–economics course.
    2. One introductory empirical political science course (220, 240, or 260) and one ES–political science course (except 280–298, 380–415).
    3. Two units of history, including at least one ES-history course.
    4. Anthropology 211 and one ES–anthropology course.
  2. ES–mathematics and natural sciences courses (four and one-half to five units)
    1. Biology 101 and 102
    2. Chemistry 101 and 102
    3. One upper-level ES–biology or ES–chemistry course (numbered 200 or above).
  3. ES interdisciplinary requirement (one unit): Environmental Studies 300.
  4. ES thesis: Environmental Studies 470.

B. Home Department Requirements

Students must fulfill the following course requirements for their respective home departments (home department courses may be fulfilled by ES core requirements):

ES–biology major:

  1. Five units in biology at the 200 level or above, including at least one course from each of the department’s four “clusters,” at least one of which must be a unit designated as ES–biology. The fifth unit may be filled by a lecture-laboratory course, a combination of two one-half-unit courses, or Chemistry 230. 
  2. Chemistry 201 and 202, and two units in mathematics or computer science.

ES–chemistry major:

  1. Chemistry 201, 202, 230, 311
  2. Two more units from among the following: Chemistry 212, 316, 332, 333, 391, 392, Mathematics 201.
  3. Physics 101 and 102, Mathematics 111, and one of Mathematics 112 or 141, or Computer Science 121.

ES–economics major:

Seven units in economics. This must include Economics 201; 311 or 312; 313; 304 or 314; 351 or 352; and two additional units in economics (at least one of which is from Economics 315–469, excluding Economics 402).

ES–history major:

  1. Six units of history, including History 411 or 412 (the junior seminar). Three of the units are to be drawn from a list of ES–history courses. In addition, the six units would include at least one unit each in American history, European history, and the history of a region of the world other than America or Europe; and at least one would focus on the period before 1800 and one after 1800.
  2. Statistics: one of Mathematics 141, Economics 311 or 312, Political Science 311, Sociology 311, or Psychology 348.

ES–political science major:

  1. Six units in political science. This must include two empirical introductory political science courses (220, 240, or 260) and at least one upper-level ES–political science class.
  2. Statistics: one of Mathematics 141, Economics 311 or 312, Political Science 311, Sociology 311, or Psychology 348 (Political Science 311 cannot count as one of the six required political science units if used for the statistics requirement).
  3. Junior Seminar.

C. Junior Qualifying Examination

ES students are required to pass the junior qualifying exam in their home department, as well as a separate qualifying exam in ES.

D. Thesis

Students must complete a thesis with an environmental focus. 

 

Sample Course Plans

For examples of how one might fulfill the Environmental Studies requirements, please see the following.

The Registrar's Office has prepared major planners for each Environmental Studies major.  

For examples of how one might fulfill the Environmental Studies requirements and study abroad, see the example study plans on the International Programs Office website.