Degrees Offered

The Environmental Studies Program offers three undergraduate degrees. The B.A. and B.S. degrees in Environmental Studies both integrate knowledge from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities to analyze and address the complex interactions between humans and the environment. The two options allow students the opportunity to choose a degree that best fits their environmental interests and goals (learn more about the difference between the B.A. and B.S. in Environmental Studies). The major in Hydrological Sciences and Policy provides 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 range of hydrologic processes in our environment. All three degree programs offer rigorous training and exposure to significant breadth and depth of subject matter.

Important: Changes to the major (effective July 2020) 

All students declaring the Environmental Studies major (BA and BS) starting in July 2020 will be placed under the newly revised 2020-2021 requirements (see below). Previously declared Environmental Studies majors (ie. before July 2020) are responsible for the year's major requirements they declared the major and retain the option to move into newer 2020-2021 requirements if desired. If a student wishes to adopt the new requirements, they must submit a change of major form.

Environmental Studies, B.A.

BA

Major Worksheets:
2020-2021, 2019-2020, 2018-2019, 2017-2018, 2016-2017

Four Year Plan & G.E. Worksheet:
After July 2020Before July 2020

Supplemental Environmental Emphasis Worksheet:
Environmental Studies, B.A & B.S

Requirements:
Environmental Studies, B.A.

Degree Overview

The Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) in Environmental Studies offers interdisciplinary training necessary for students to explore the social, cultural, and scientific challenges pertaining to the study of environmental threats and solutions. Students are introduced to the major through a series of interdisciplinary lower division courses (ENV S 1, 2, and 3), which emphasize integrated thinking across the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. They then acquire basic disciplinary expertise by completing a range of lower division prerequisites.

The next stage of training reemphasizes integration and interdisciplinarity. Under the upper division requirements, Environmental Studies majors select three courses, one from each of three clusters (Ecology and Society; Energy/Water/Climate; The Built Environment). Although these clusters and the associated courses vary in focus, each tackles a key environmental topic by drawing on research from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, each emphasizes solutions, and each requires critical thinking.

Finally, students complete their training by acquiring in-depth expertise through upper division Environmental Studies electives and an outside concentration. Through the outside concentration, 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.

bs

Major Worksheets:
2020-2021, 2019-2020, 2018-2019, 2017-2018, 2016-2017

Four Year Plan & G.E. Worksheet:
After July 2020Before July 2020

Supplemental Environmental Emphasis Worksheet:
Environmental Studies, B.A & B.S

Requirements
Environmental Studies, B.S

Degree Overview

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. Students in the B.S. degree are also introduced to the major through a series of interdisciplinary lower division courses (ENV S 1, 2, and 3), which emphasize integrated thinking across the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. However, their lower division prerequisites include a full year of introductory biology, chemistry, physics, and calculus, in addition to introductory social science and humanities courses.

At the upper division level, the B.S. degree also emphasizes integration and interdisciplinarity. Under the new upper division requirements, B.S. majors in Environmental Studies select three courses, one from each of three clusters (Ecology and Society; Energy/Water/Climate; The Built Environment). Although these clusters and the associated courses vary in focus, each tackles a key environmental topic by drawing on research from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, each emphasizes solutions, and each requires critical thinking.

Students in the B.S. degree track complete their training by acquiring in-depth expertise through upper division Environmental Studies electives and an outside concentration. Both elective and outside concentration courses are restricted to physical and natural science disciplines.

Hydrological Sciences & Policy, B.S.

Degree Overview

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.

Ready?

Join the thousands of other students at UCSB pursuing an Environmental Studies degree. Visit our webpage on declaring the major to learn more about the process.

More information on Declaring the Major

Questions?

Have questions about which degree is right for you? Visit the Environmental Studies Academic Advisor in Bren 4313 or email advising@es.ucsb.edu to have all your questions answered. 

More information on Academic Advising