Declaring the Major


Although Environmental Studies does not have a "pre-major" that must be completed before applying, students should complete at least one of the lower-division ES courses (ENV S 1, 2, or 3) and at least two additional lower-division course required as part of the Preparation for the Major. Exceptions for those who are currently enrolled in one of the above courses or for other extreme circumstances will be considered. There is no minimum GPA requirement to declare a major in Environmental Studies. A student should just be in good academic standing (overall GPA of 2.0 or higher) at the time they submit the change of major forms.

Freshman are discouraged from declaring or changing majors (including undeclared students) until they have completed a minimum of two quarters at UCSB (one quarter for Transfer students). Exceptions can be made for those who are trying to enroll in a course that requires a student to be declared in a major that requires such course(s) as a requirement (i.e. Chemistry 1A/AL).

The change of major process takes on average two to three weeks. An email will be sent to you once Environmental Studies has processed the forms and sent them to the College of Registrar for a final review.  You will then need to check GOLD to see when your change of major has been finalized.

If you have any questions please email or visit the ES Academic Advisor in Bren 4313. 



Review Major Worksheets

Review the Major Worksheets and decide which major you plan to declare: Environmental Studies (B.A. or B.S.) or one of the three Hydrological Sciences majors (B.S.). These worksheets can be downloaded or be found in the Environmental Studies Main Office (Bren 4312) & Advising Office (Bren 4313).

Review Worksheets (under "Major Worksheets")


Petition to Change Major

Complete this form. Be sure to indicate if you are pursuing the B.A. or B.S. for the Environmental Studies major or which emphasis for the Hydrological Sciences and Policy. Review the "Exceptions" portion below and submit additional forms if needed. Save all forms on your computer with your last name included in the file name.

Petition to Change Major


Submit Your Petition

Once your Change of Major Petition (and memo for double majors) has been completed and saved as a pdf email it to The subject line should read: "Change of Major Request." Please remember to include your full name and UCSB perm number. The entire change of major process takes on average two to three weeks.

Submit Your Petition


Double Majors

If you are declaring or adding a double major, you are required to also fill out an additional Memo of Understanding for Double Majors Petition. This petition can be found in the Letters & Science Advising Office in Cheadle Hall and the Environmental Studies Main Office (Bren 4312) & Advising Office (Bren 4313). 

Memo of Understanding for Double Majors - (Offsite link)

Over 200 Units

If you are going to go over 200 total units prior to earning your degree and will be at UCSB for more than 4 years (started as a Freshman) or two years (Transfer Students), you must complete a Proposed Schedule of Graduation Petition. On the form, you must:

  • Explain why you need additional units and time at UCSB,
  • Provide a quarter-by-quarter plan to fulfill your remaining requirements for graduation, and
  • Obtain the endorsement of the departmental advisor in your major(s) and minor (if you are pursuing one).

 Proposed Schedule for Graduation - (Offsite link)