The Environmental Studies Program offers three undergraduate degrees. The majors in environmental studies (B.A. & B.S.) stress the importance of understanding the interrelationships between the humanities, social sciences, and natural science disciplines. Two degree options allow students the opportunity to choose a major that will most appropriately fit their environmental interests and goals. The major in hydrological sciences and policy provide students with the scientific training needed to understand and solve complex hydrologic problems at local, regional, and global levels. The goal of the hydrologic sciences curriculum is to provide a rigorous framework for students to examine the hydrologic process in our environment.
Environmental Studies, B.A.
The bachelor of arts degree (B.A.) in environmental studies addresses the interdisciplinary relationships by providing the flexibility necessary for students to explore the social, cultural, and scientific issues pertaining to the environment. For their major preparation, students in the B.A. degree program enroll in a variety of introductory social science, humanities, and natural science courses. At the upper-division level, depending on their own area of interest, students may pursue either a specific or multidisciplinary environmental emphasis by choosing a combination of elective courses from within the Environmental Studies Program. The last part of the major is a 20-unit upper-division outside concentration where students complete courses from one or more UCSB departments or programs relating to their emphasis. Approximately one-third of all environmental studies B.A. majors elect to use this section to complete either a double major or minor, or to participate in a field studies or study abroad program.
Environmental Studies, B.S.
The goal of the bachelor of science degree (B.S.) in environmental studies is to train students to become proficient in the natural and physical sciences, as well as to be aware of social and cultural influences upon environmental problems facing society today. The B.S. degree follows a curriculum design similar to the B.A. degree in environmental studies. However, in addition to introductory social science courses, the bachelor of science preparation requires a full year of introductory biology, chemistry, physics, and calculus. The upper-division and outside concentration, while still interdisciplinary and flexible, limit the number of social science and humanities courses a student may take. The majority of environmental studies electives, as well as the outside concentration, are restricted to physical and natural science disciplines.
Hydrological Sciences & Policy, B.S.
The main focus of the hydrologic sciences and policy major is to provide students with the scientific training needed to understand and solve complex hydrologic problems at local, regional, and global levels. The goal of the hydrologic sciences curriculum is to provide a rigorous framework for students to examine the hydrologic process in our environment. Although the program is housed within the Environmental Studies Program, the curriculum for this degree is offered cooperatively by the departments of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology; Chemistry and Biochemistry; Geography; and Earth Science. Lower-division courses concentrate on the physical and natural sciences. In the upper division, students complete a core group of hydrology courses and then select one of the following three emphases: biology and ecology, physical and chemical sciences, or policy.