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What will I learn?

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science is designed for students intending to prepare for graduate school or direct entry into a career as an environmental scientist or environmental manager in industry or government. Entry to the major presupposes prior coursework comprising the high school equivalents of two years of algebra, one year of plane geometry, one-half year of trigonometry, one year of biology, and one year of physics and/or chemistry.

The Environmental Science curriculum comprises a core providing a foundation of science and methods courses introductory earth systems and environmental science, biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics as well as distributed electives in environmental science, environmental management, and analytical methods, and a capstone proseminar. GEOG 205 provides introductory research design, statistical and geospatial methods. Geospatial methods are then further developed in GEOG 603, which is a prerequisite for all advanced GIS classes. The GWAR course (GEOG 500GW) focuses on the physical and human dimensions of climate change, providing a rich source of topics for composition at the upper division level.

Student progress toward the degree is aided in that some of these core classes also meet lower-division general education requirements. Students will complete their entire Area B, Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning in GEOG 101 (Area B1 Physical Science), GEOG 160 (Area B2 Life Science), GEOG 160 lab (Area B3 Laboratory Science), and MATH 226 (Area B4 Quantitative Reasoning). They will also complete three units toward their Area D Social Sciences requirement in GEOG 102.

Electives are distributed into three areas:

  • Environmental Science, including investigations of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, pedosphere (soils), environmental chemistry, and the biosphere;
  • Environmental Management of managed lands and waters, natural resources, threatened species and livable environment; and
  • Analytical Methods, including geographic information science, statistical analysis, and field-based environmental analysis methods.

Through choices in each area, students can tailor their program in a variety of ways, to focus on water, soils and agriculture, biotic systems, restoration science, coastal systems, bioclimatology, pollution management, protected land management, water resources management, or others. The capstone course, GEOG 690, prepares students for careers and graduate study.

Students are advised that the CR grade is acceptable in any two courses to be counted for the major. No more than one course counted toward major requirements may be completed with a grade less than a C–.

Which department am I in?

College of Science and Engineering

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
US$16,632.00 per year
Start date

Expected January, August 2023


College of Science and Engineering

Thornton Hall (TH) 323,

1600 Holloway Avenue,



94132, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Students must have completed a high school/ secondary school and have a 2.5 grade point average (GPA) in the 4.0 grading scale or B- average, and that you have, or will have, the equivalent of US high school completion.

For international students

Complete a secondary/high school curriculum that totals 12 years of primary-secondary education, be qualified to enter a university in your home country and have a good scholastic record from an accredited/recognized school. Have a 2.5 grade point average (GPA) in the 4.0 grading scale or B- average in academic courses completed after 9th grade.

TOEFL score of at least 61, IELTS score of at least 6.0 or PTE score of at least 45 is required.

Application Deadlines: Spring: Sept-30; Fall: May-1

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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