Advising for the ENSC Major

The Environmental Studies (ENST) department is the home for two separate interdisciplinary majors: Environmental Studies and Environmental Science. Students who are interested in pursuing an Environmental Science major should get started with ENST 150: Introduction to Environmental Science and ENST 151: Introduction to Environmental Policy. (Students with a 4 or 5 on the AP Environmental Science exam can submit this credit instead of taking ENST 150.)

Students will want to consult with one of the natural science faculty who are affiliated with Environmental Science while choosing courses, since ENSC faculty will be able to help students craft a coherent slate of courses out of a wide range of possible choices.

In addition to gateway courses, students who are early in the process of completing an Environmental Science major should consider taking the other courses listed as Foundational Concepts, including CHEM 116: Principles of Chemistry; either GEOS 220 Remote Sensing/GIS or BIOL 420: Geography of Life; and a statistics course from the list of major requirements in the catalog.

In their first or second year, Environmental Science majors will also want to begin making progress on Section 3 (Scientific Perspectives on the Nature of Nature) and Section 4 (Science Focus) from the catalog description of the major. These sections include a wide range of course options in Ecology, Environmental Chemistry, Natural Systems, Biology, Geosciences, and Physics. In consultation with their ENSC advisor, students can think about how to group their environmental science course into a thematic cluster such as sustainable agriculture, climate change, or aquatic ecology.

In addition, Environmental Science majors will need to take the ENST 300 symposium, which is a project-based course with rotating topics; and one course on social/cultural perspectives, which can be any course in the arts, humanities or social sciences that is cross-listed as an ENST course.

The two-part senior experience for Environmental Science includes a 3-unit junior-year seminar (ENSC 580) and 3-unit senior capstone (ENSC 620).

Note that courses can only count for one category in the Environmental Science major (e.g., CHEM 116 counts as a foundational course, so it can’t be used to fulfill the Science Focus requirements). Students may not double-major in Environmental Science and Environmental Studies.