Major Requirements

We offer both an Environmental Studies degree and a degree in Environmental Science. When choosing between the studies and science majors, students should consider their interests, aptitudes and professional goals. To illustrate the differences between majors, it helps to look at some examples.

If you are interested in climate change:

    • Would you like to understand atmospheric processes, model potential vegetation changes across the landscape, or evaluate range shifts and other impacts to plant and animal populations? You’re on track for an Environmental Science degree.
    • Or would you like to examine international treaties and policies related to carbon reduction, apply environmental justice principles to reduce the dipropionate impact of climate change on marginalized communities, or create art or literature that engages people in these issues? Your path leads to Environmental Studies.

If you are interested in water quality and access:

    • Would you like to conduct lab work on the biochemistry of toxins, study how pollutants bio-magnify through the food chain, understand how river processes influence aquifer recharge, or restore riparian habitats so they can better filter potential pollutants? You’re headed for Environmental Science.
    • Or would you like to learn the methods that allow agriculture to eliminate chemical inputs and be more sustainable, examine regulatory and/or market-based approaches for managing water quality, design buildings and plan cities that use green infrastructure to filter water, or determine how international development can influence people’s access to clean water? Environmental Studies is your calling.

Environmental Studies »  |  Environmental Science »

 

Environmental Studies Major Requirements

Environmental Studies is a field that crosses the boundaries of traditional disciplines, not only the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, but also management, policy, design, and law. These many lenses challenge faculty and students to look at the relationship between humans and their environment from a new perspective. 

Students have flexibility in designing a course of study that combines theory and practice; that invites active engagement; and that fits their specific interests, needs, and aptitudes. The Environmental Studies major provides a well-rounded basic education to prepare students for entry-level positions in business, government, or non-governmental organizations. 

Students should plan their programs as early as possible in their undergraduate careers with the aid of an Environmental Studies undergraduate adviser.

The program leads to a B.A. or B.S. in Environmental Studies. 

Why study Environmental Studies? What’s required to earn a degree? It's all summarized in our major map.

 

View and print a PDF version of ENVS degreee requirements.

*With the exception of ENVS 401 (Research), 403 (Senior Thesis), 404 (Internship), 406 (Field Studies), 408 (Workshop), and 409 (Practicum), all courses applied to the major or minor must be graded. Grades of C- or better must be earned in all graded courses. Students may petition to substitute other courses. The Honors options are available to majors only.

Area 1: Lower Division Requirements

Environmental Studies

  • ENVS 201
  • ENVS 202
  • ENVS 203

Area 2: Lower Division Math and Science Requirements

  • MATH 105 or above (MATH 111 recommended)
  • Statistics (MATH 243, ERTH 418 or GEOG 495)

Natural Sciences (4 courses): One sequence of three courses from approved list below, plus an additional course from a different sequence. At least two departments must be represented.

  • Life Sciences: BI 211-213 or CH 111 & BI 211, BI 213
  • Chemistry: CH 221-223
  • Earth Sciences: ERTH 101-103 or ERTH 201-203
  • Physical Sciences: CH 111 & PHYS 161-162 or PHYS 201-203

Additional approved non-sequence lower-division science courses:

    • ANTH 270, BI 130, BI 131 (but not in conjunction with the Life Science sequence)
    • CH 113
    • CH 114
    • GEOG 141
    • GEOG 181 [>2]
    • ERTH 213

Area 3A: Upper-Division Natural Science (2 courses)

*{IP} Identity, Pluralism and Tolerance. See all UO Bachelor’s degree requirements.

  •  ANTH 341 Food Origins
  • ANTH 361 Human Evolution
  • ANTH 362 Human Biological Variation {IP}
  • ANTH 375 Primates in Ecological Communities
  • ANTH 463 Primate Behavior
  • ANTH 466 Primate Feeding and Nutrition
  • ANTH 472 Primate Conservation Biology
  • BI 306 Pollination Biology
  • BI 307 Forest Biology
  • BI 309 Tropical Diseases of Africa
  • BI 330/331 Microbiology and Lab
  • BI 357 Marine Biology
  • BI 359 Plant Biology
  • BI 370 Ecology
  • BI 374 Conservation Biology
  • BI 380 Evolution
  • BI 390 Animal Behavior
  • BI 395 Tropical Ecology
  • BI 432 Mycology
  • BI 442 Systematic Botany
  • BI 448 Field Botany
  • BI 451 Invertebrate Zoology [OIMB] (If 8 credits, then counts as 2 courses)
  • BI 452 Insect Biology
  • BI 454 Estuarine Biology [OIMB] (5 credits)
  • BI 455 Marine Birds and Mammals [OIMB] (6 credits)
  • BI 457 Top: Marine Conservation [OIMB] (5 credits)
  • BI 458 Biological Oceanography [OIMB] (5 credits)
  • BI 468 Amphibians & Reptiles of Oregon
  • BI 471 Population Ecology
  • BI 472 Community Ecology
  • BI 474 Marine Ecology [OIMB] (8 credits, counts as 2 courses)
  • BI 476 Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology
  • BI 478/479 Neotropical Ecology in Ecuador (8 credits, counts as 2 courses)
  • CH 331 Organic Chemistry I
  • CH 335 Organic Chemistry II
  • CH 336 Organic Chemistry III
  • ENVS 350 Ecological Energy Generation
  • ENVS 465 Wetland Ecology & Management
  • ENVS 477 Soil Science
  • GEOG 321 Climatology
  • GEOG 322 Geomorphology
  • GEOG 323 Biogeography
  • GEOG 360 Watershed Science & Policy
  • GEOG 361 Global Environmental Change
  • GEOG 425 Hydrology and Water Resources
  • GEOG 427 Fluvial Geomorphology
  • GEOG 430 Long-Term Environmental Change
  • GEOG 433 Fire and Natural Disturbances
  • GEOG 461 Environmental Alteration
  • GEOG 481 GIScience I
  • GEOG 482 GIScience II
  • GEOG 485 Remote Sensing I
  • GEOG 486 Remote Sensing II
  • GEOG 491 Advanced Geographic Information Systems
  • ERTH 304, 305, 306, 307 OR 308 (no more than one course of ERTH 30X)
  • ERTH 310 Earth Resources & Environment
  • ERTH 311 Earth Materials (5 credits)
  • ERTH 315 Earth Physics
  • ERTH 316 Introduction to Hydrogeology
  • ERTH 331 Mineralogy (5 credits)
  • ERTH 332 Intro Petrology (5 credits)
  • ERTH 334 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
  • ERTH 350 Structural Geology (3 credits)
  • ERTH 353 Geological Hazards
  • ERTH 425 Geology of Ore Deposits (5 credits)
  • ERTH 433 Paleobotany
  • ERTH 434 Vertebrate Paleontology
  • ERTH 435 Paleopedology
  • ERTH 438 Geobiology
  • ERTH 441 Hillslope Geomorphology
  • ERTH 451 Hydrogeology
  • ERTH 462 Environmental Geomechanics
  • ERTH 468 Intro Seismology
  • ERTH 472 Aqueous-Mineral-Gas Equilibria
  • ERTH 473 Isotope Geochemistry

Area 3B: Upper-Division Social Science, Policy, Humanities and Sustainable Design and Practice Courses (10 courses)

All ENVS majors must complete one foundation course from each of the following four categories. Then select two categories and complete an additional three courses (foundation or elective) in each.*Course is repeatable if titles are different

An Honors Thesis can substitute for one elective course.

*{IC} International Cultures, {IP} Identity, Pluralism and Tolerance, {AC} American cultures. See all UO Bachelor’s degree requirements.

Social Science

Foundation Courses:

  • ENVS 435 Environmental Justice
  • ENVS 450 Political Ecology
  • ENVS 455 Sustainability
  • GEOG 341 Population & Environment [>2]{IC}
  • SOC 416 Issues in Sociology of the Environment (contact instructor for approval)*

Elective Courses:

  • ANTH 320 Native North Americans [>2]{IP}
  • ANTH 431 Plants and People
  • ES 350 Native American and the Environment {IP}
  • GEOG 342 Geography of Globalization
  • GEOG 442 Urban Geography
  • GEOG 465 Environment and Development {IC}
  • GEOG 471 North American Historical Landscapes {AC}
  • INTL 420 International Community Development
  • INTL 421 Gender and International Development {IP}
  • INTL 432 Indigenous Cultural Survival {IC}
  • SOC 304 Community, Environment, Society [>2]
  • WGS 331 Science, Technology & Gender {IP}

Policy

Foundation Courses:

  • ENVS 335 Allocating Scarce Environmental Resources [>2]
  • PPPM 443 Natural Resource Policy
  • PPPM 444 Environmental Policy
  • PS 367 Science and Politics of Climate Change [>2]
  • PS 477 International Environmental Politics

Elective Courses:

  • EC 330 Urban and Regional Economic Problems [>2]{IP}
  • EC 333 Resource & Environmental Economic Issues [>2]
  • EC 434 Environmental Economics
  • EC 435 Natural Resource Economics
  • GEOG 463 Geography, Law, and the Environment
  • GEOG 467 International Water Policy
  • PPPM 327 Global Leadership and Change
  • PPPM 331 Environmental Management
  • PPPM 340 Climate Change Policy [>2]
  • PPPM 418 Introduction to Public Law
  • PPPM 438 Issues in Planning
  • PPPM 446 Socioeconomic Development Planning
  • PPPM 480 Nonprofit Management I

Humanities

Foundation Courses:

  • ENG 469 Literature and the Environment*
  • ENVS 345 Environmental Ethics [>1]
  • HIST 378 American Environmental History to 1890 [>2] {AC}
  • HIST 379 American Environmental History, 1890-Present [>2] {AC}
  • HIST 473 American Environmental History: Topic
  • PHIL 340 Environmental Philosophy [>1]

Elective Courses:

  • ENG 325 Literature of the Northwest
  • PHIL 309 Global Justice [>2]
  • PHIL 339 Intro Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL 345 Place in the Cosmos [>1]

Sustainable Design and Practice

Foundation Courses:

  • ARCH 431 Community Design
  • ARCH 435 Principles of Urban Design
  • ENVS 467 Sustainable Agriculture
  • PPPM 442 Sustainable Urban Development
  • PPPM 445 Green Cities

Elective Courses:

  • LA 326 Plants: Fall
  • LA 337 Spring Plants
  • LA 337 Landscape Field Work*
  • LA 390 Urban Farm (this course may be taken only once for the major)

Area 4: Environmental Issues (1 course)

  • ENVS 411, 425, 427

AREA 5. Practical Learning Experience (4 credits)

All ENVS majors must complete four upper division credits of practical learning (eg, 404, 429 or other approved course) which can be satisfied in any of the following ways:

  • Environmental Leadership Program (ENVS 429 – application required)
  • Internship (ENVS 404 – approval by Internship Coordinator required)
  • Honors Thesis (ENVS 403 – w/ advisor approval)
  • Other experiential learning opportunity as approved by advisor

We offer multiple areas of interest within the environmental studies program. This list is meant to serve as a guide to upper division classes, the types of information presented in those classes, and how those classes can be grouped and taken together to foster a deeper understanding of their respective topic.

 


 

Environmental Science Major Requirements

The Environmental Science major is scientifically rigorous and offers an interdisciplinary approach to the natural sciences, including biology, geology, chemistry, data analysis, and physical geography. It is designed for students who want to focus on scientific careers in fields such as conservation biology; climate and the atmosphere; pollution prevention and abatement; aquatic environments; or ecosystem protection, restoration, and management. The number of credits required for Environmental Science major (approximately 112 credits) is comparable to other science majors. 

Why study Environmental Science? What’s required to earn a degree? It's all summarized in our major map.

Environmental Science Four-year Degree Plan

View and print a PDF version of Environmental Science degree requirements.

*With the exception of ENVS 401 (Research), 403 (Senior Thesis), 404 (Internship), 406 (Field Studies), 408 (Workshop), and 409 (Practicum), all courses applied to the major or minor must be graded. Grades of C- or better must be earned in all graded courses. Students may petition to substitute other courses. The Honors options are available to majors only.

Area 1: Lower Division Environmental Studies Requirements (2 courses)

  • ENVS 201 (Soc Sci)
  • ENVS 203 (Humanities)

Area 2: Math and Statistics Requirements (4 courses)

Mathematics - take one of the following sequences:

  • MATH 246 and 247 – Calculus for Biological Sciences I, II
  •  MATH 251 and 252 – Calculus I, II

Statistics - take one of the following:

  • GEOG 495 Geographic Data Analysis
  • ERTH 418 Data Analysis for Earth & Env Sciences
  • MATH 425 Statistical Methods I

Analytical Approaches - take one of the following:

  • ENVS 427 Environmental & Ecological Monitoring
  • GEOG 481 GIScience I

Area 3A: Natural Science Requirements (17 courses)

Natural Science courses are divided into two major categories: a) life sciences courses and b) earth and physical science courses. Choose one as a focal area and complete two, three- course introductory sequences (six courses) and an additional six upper division (300 or 400 level) courses in that focal area. In the non-focal area, you must complete five courses, at least two of which must be upper division.

*{IP} Identity, Pluralism and Tolerance. See all UO Bachelor’s degree requirements.

Life Science Focus

Lower division introductory sequences:

  • Biology: BI 211-213
  • Chemistry: CHEM 221-223 (Accompanying lab courses
  • CHEM 227-229, are strongly recommended)
  • CH 111, BI 211, BI 213 (if non-focal area)

Upper division electives:

  • ANTH 341 Food Origins
  • ANTH 361 Human Evolution
  • ANTH 362 Human Biological Variation {IP}
  • ANTH 375 Primates in Ecological Communities
  • ANTH 463 Primate Behavior
  • ANTH 466 Primate Feeding and Nutrition
  • ANTH 472 Primate Conservation Biology
  • BI 306 Pollination Biology
  • BI 307 Forest Biology
  • BI 309 Tropical Diseases of Africa
  • BI 330/331 Microbiology and Lab
  • BI 357 Marine Biology
  • BI 359 Plant Biology
  • BI 370 Ecology
  • BI 374 Conservation Biology
  • BI 380 Evolution
  • BI 390 Animal Behavior
  • BI 395 Tropical Ecology
  • BI 432 Mycology
  • BI 442 Systematic Botany
  • BI 448 Field Botany
  • BI 451 Invertebrate Zoology [OIMB] (If 8 credits, then counts as two courses)
  • BI 452 Insect Biology
  • BI 454 Estuarine Biology [OIMB] (5 credits)
  • BI 455 Marine Birds and Mammals [OIMB] (6 credits)
  • BI 457 Marine Biology [OIMB] (8 credits, counts as two courses)
  • BI 458 Biological Oceanography [OIMB] (5 credits)
  • BI 468 Amphibians & Reptiles of Oregon
  • BI 471 Population Ecology
  • BI 472 Community Ecology
  • BI 474 Marine Ecology [OIMB] (8 credits, counts as two courses)
  • BI 476 Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology
  • BI 478/479 Neotropical Ecology in Ecuador (8 credits, counts as two courses)
  • CH 331 Organic Chemistry I
  • CH 335 Organic Chemistry II
  • CH 336 Organic Chemistry III
  • GEOG 323 Biogeography
  • GEOG 433 Fire and Natural Disturbances

Earth and Physical Sciences focus

Lower division introductory sequences:

  • Earth Sciences: ERTH 101-103 or 201-203
  • Physical Sciences: PHYS 201-203 (Accompanying lab courses
  • PHYS 204-206, are strongly recommended)
  • GEOG 141 (if non-focal area)

Upper division electives:

  • ENVS 350 Ecological Energy Generation
  • ENVS 465 Wetland Ecology & Management
  • ENVS 477 Soil Science
  • GEOG 321 Climatology
  • GEOG 322 Geomorphology
  • GEOG 360 Watershed Science & Policy
  • GEOG 361 Global Environmental Change
  • GEOG 425 Hydrology and Water Resources
  • GEOG 427 Fluvial Geomorphology
  • GEOG 430 Long-Term Environmental Change
  • GEOG 461 Environmental Alteration
  • GEOG 482 GIScience II
  • GEOG 485 Remote Sensing I
  • GEOG 486 Remote Sensing II
  • GEOG 491 Advanced GIS
  • ERTH 304, 305, 306, 307 OR 308 (no more than one course of ERTH 30X)
  • ERTH 310 Earth Resources & Environment
  • ERTH 311 Earth Materials (5 credits)
  • ERTH 315 Earth Physics
  • ERTH 316 Introduction to Hydrogeology
  • ERTH 331 Mineralogy (5 credits)
  • ERTH 332 Introduction to Petrology (5 credits)
  • ERTH 334 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
  • ERTH 350 Structural Geology (3 credits)
  • ERTH 353 Geological Hazards
  • ERTH 425 Geology of Ore Deposits
  • ERTH 433 Paleobotany
  • ERTH 434 Vertebrate Paleontology
  • ERTH 435 Paleopedology
  • ERTH 438 Geobiology
  • ERTH 441 Hillslope Geomorphology
  • ERTH 451 Hydrogeology
  • ERTH 462 Environmental Geomechanics
  • ERTH 468 Intro Seismology
  • ERTH 472 Aqueous-Mineral-Gas Equilibria
  • ERTH 473 Isotope Geochemistry

Area 3B: Social Science, Policy, Humanities and Sustainable Design and Practice Courses (3 courses)

All ESCI majors must complete one course from three of the four areas below:

*{IC} International Cultures, {AC} American cultures. See all UO Bachelor’s degree requirements.

Social Science - Foundation Courses:

  • ENVS 435 Environmental Justice
  • ENVS 450 Political Ecology
  • ENVS 455 Sustainability
  • GEOG 341 Population & Environment [>2] {IC}
  • SOC 416 Issues in Sociology of the Environment (contact instructor for approval)

Policy - Foundation Courses:

  • ENVS 335 Allocating Scarce Environmental Resources [>2]
  • PPPM 443 Natural Resource Policy
  • PPPM 444 Environmental Policy
  • PS 367 Science and Politics of Climate Change [>2]
  • PS 477 International Environmental Politics

Humanities - Foundation Courses:

  • ENG 469 Literature and the Environment
  • ENVS 345 Environmental Ethics [>1]
  • HIST 378 American Environmental History to 1890 [>2] {AC}
  • HIST 379 American Environmental History, 1890-Present [>2] {AC}
  • HIST 473 American Environmental History: Topic
  • PHIL 340 Environmental Philosophy [>1]

Sustainable Design and Practice - Foundation Courses:

  • ARCH 431 Community Design
  • ARCH 435 Principles of Urban Design
  • ENVS 467 Sustainable Agriculture
  • PPPM 442 Sustainable Urban Development
  • PPPM 445 Green Cities

Area 4: Environmental Issues course (1 course)

  • ENVS 411 or 425 Issues course

Area 5: Practical Learning Experience (1 course or 4 credits)

All ESCI majors must complete 4 upper division credits of practical learning (eg, 404, 429 or other approved course), which can be satisfied in any of the following ways:

  • Environmental Leadership Program (ENVS 429 – application required)
  • Internship (ENVS 404 – approval by Internship Coordinator required)
  • Honors Thesis (ENVS 403 – w/ advisor approval)
  • Other experiential learning opportunity as approved by advisor