If you declared your Environmental and Urban Studies major before Fall 2019, click here for guidelines.

New Major Requirements starting Fall 2019

Urban and environmental issues are inter-connected. Urbanization, climate change, habitat loss, pollution, food and energy needs, and issues of social justice and economic stability are among the most pressing issues facing contemporary societies. Environmental and urban processes operate at multiple scales, involving natural and human consequences that cannot be addressed solely from within a single discipline. Students will gain an understanding of the interconnected natural and urban realms, building their understanding of what sustainable development means and how opportunities and challenges can be met. The major motivates a deeper theoretical understanding of urbanism and nature, as well as practical strength in addressing urban and environmental challenges. It brings a spatial and place-based perspective to the study of these challenges, using built form and environmental context as key, conceptual lenses to investigate the social, cultural, economic and humanistic dimensions of urbanism.  

Environmental and Urban Studies Major Requirements

Students who declared their Environmental and Urban Studies major with the College in Fall 2019 and beyond will follow the requirements for the Environmental and Urban Studies major, as described below. Students who declared their major with the College before Fall 2019 may continue under the previous requirements appropriate to their chosen track, but they may also choose to complete the updated major requirements, provided that they fit within the student’s graduation plan.  The previous requirements may be found on the program here.

Students in the major must complete thirteen courses:

Environmental and Urban Studies Core Sequence

Students are required to take the two-course core sequence in Environmental and Urban Studies: ENST 21201 Human Impact on the Environment and ENST 20150 Sustainable Urban Development. These courses provide an overview of contemporary environmental issues and the theoretical and empirical approaches used to understand and address them.  

Quantitative Requirements

Students in both tracks of the major will take ENST 28702 Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis (or equivalent), which provides the conceptual and analytics tools for space-based approaches to environmental and urban study. The course is designed to incorporate applications from social sciences and humanities.  Other GIS courses may satisfy this requirement by petition. Students in the major also have a statistics requirement of STAT 22000 Statistical Methods and Applications or an equivalent course, approved by petition to the program director.

Requirements for All Majors (13 total courses: 4 common courses, 8 in the chosen track, and BA Colloquium)

ENST 21201 Human Impact on the Environment 100
ENST 20150 Sustainable Urban Development 100
ENST 28702 Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis 100
STAT 22000 Statistical Methods and Applications (or equivalent) 100
Chosen Track Courses 800
ENST 29801 BA Colloquium I (or BA Colloquium II, ENST 29802) 100
Internship/field studies experience  
Total Units 1300

The major in Environmental and Urban Studies is coordinated by the Program on the Global Environment, which is housed in the Social Science Collegiate Division. Students in other fields of study may also complete a minor in Environmental and Urban Studies. Information follows the description of the major.

Students who wish to major or minor in Environmental and Urban Studies must declare with the College and then complete the program course of study form for their chosen course track. [Jump to Program Forms]

NOTE: The B.S. in Environmental Science that is offered by the Department of Geophysical Sciences may be more appropriate for students who intend to pursue postgraduate studies or professional careers in the natural sciences.