Bachelor of Science

Environmental Science - Earth System Science

Starting Autumn 2019, students interested in Earth System Science may apply to the new Earth Systems Science major.  Continuing students are able to complete the pathway described below.

The Earth System Science Pathway (ESS) is an interdisciplinary field of study that examines the physical and chemical nature of the environment in various media (as well as atmosphere, rivers, lakes, oceans, soils, and lithosphere), their interaction with each other and with biological systems. ESS emphasizes the examination of human impacts on these complex environmental processes and the long term sustainability of living systems.


  • One quarter of Calculus (STMATH 124 Calculus I, B MATH 144 Calculus for Life & Social Sciences, or equivalent)
  • Three quarters of the General Chemistry sequence (B CHEM 143/144 General Chemistry I, B CHEM 153/154 General Chemistry II, B CHEM 163/164 General Chemistry III, or equivalent Chemistry course)
  • One Introductory Earth System Science course (BIS 242 Environmental Geography, BEARTH 155 Intro to Climate Science, BEARTH 153 Intro to Geology (previously BIS 153), BEARTH 154 Intro to Oceanography (previously BIS 154), or equivalent Physical Geography or Oceanography course)
  • One Introductory Environmental Studies course (BIS 240 Intro to Sustainable Practices, BIS 243 Intro to Environmental Issues, or equivalent course)
  • One quarter of Introductory Biology (B BIO 180 or equivalent)
  • One quarter of Introductory Physics (B PHYS 114/117 or equivalent)
  • A second quarter of Introductory Physics (B PHYS 115/118 or equivalent) OR a second quarter of Calculus (STMATH 125 Calculus II, or equivalent)


Environmental Science Core Requirements (ENV SCIENCE:CORE)

30 credits required from the below list

ESS Pathway Core Course Requirements (ESS:CORE)

15 credits required from the below list

ESS Distribution Requirements

25 credits required from the below list


13 credits required from the below list

TOTAL = 80 Credits

School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (IAS) Requirements & Policies

Interdisciplinary Practice & Reflection (IPR)

Within the above-listed 80 credits, students must complete the IPR requirement.

Areas of Knowledge

25 credits must be completed in each Area of Knowledge. The Areas of Knowledge are: Visual, Literary and Performing Arts (VLPA), Individuals and Societies (I&S), and Natural World (NW).

Multiply-designated courses may not be double-counted as fulfilling two Areas of Knowledge. Courses may apply to both an Area of Knowledge requirement and an ESS major requirement.

Upper Division Credit Policy

Of the credits applying to ESS major requirements, a minimum of 48 must be completed at the Upper Division (300-400) level.

Matriculated status

Courses taken to satisfy ESS major requirements must be completed in matriculated status.

Admitted prior to Autumn Quarter, 2016?

Students admitted to the ESS major prior to Autumn 2016 may be eligible to complete an older set of major requirements. For more information, please check Requirement Changes Autumn 2016 page.

In addition to the general admission requirements, students must have completed the prerequisites to be considered for admission to the ESS major.

ESS Resources