Dec 09, 2023  
2020-2021 Catalog 
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Studies, BA

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Department of Environmental Studies, Huxley College of the Environment

81-86 credits


Environmental Studies students, faculty, and staff work together to understand and to reflect the complexity of human-environment systems. We aim to engage meaningfully, collaboratively, and respectfully with diverse communities in pursuit of a more just and sustainable world. The department’s undergraduate programs include major specializations in environmental education, environmental policy, geography, and urban planning and sustainable development, as well as this interdisciplinary major in environmental studies. The environmental studies major allows students to gain breadth in environmental studies topics through foundation and core courses.

Environmental studies students work with their faculty advisor to create an area of focus for their depth and specialization courses. The focal area should reflect the student’s interests and career goals; it may align with an existing specialization or minor in the department, or environmental studies majors may carve out a focal area that spans or transcends existing programs. 

Why Consider an Environmental Studies Major?

Do you want to use your knowledge and skills to promote positive change in the environment? Do you want an interdisciplinary education that reflects the nature of society’s grand environmental challenges? Do your interests and career ambitions lie outside of the currently available majors? Then Environmental Studies is the major for you.

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Grace Wang
Arntzen Hall 212

Huxley College Professional Advisor
Kathryn Patrick
Environmental Studies 539

 Sample Careers

Environmental communications | environmental advocacy | government agency employee | sustainability officer

 Major/Career Resources

How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

How to Apply as a Pre-Major:

At any time, you can declare yourself as a pre-major with interest in environmental studies by contacting a professional advisor at the Huxley College Student Support office in Environmental Studies Building 539, or by phone 360-650-3520. There are several advantages to declaring an Environmental Studies department pre-major during your freshman or sophomore year. Once you are declared as a pre-major you are assigned a Huxley professional advisor and a faculty advisor based on your academic interests. Your professional advisor can help you understand graduation requirements and how to navigate through the Huxley curriculum. Your faculty advisor can help you decide which courses to take, and when, and give you advice about how to prepare for graduate school or a future career. As a pre-major, your email is added to an email distribution list for Huxley majors so you will begin to receive notifications and general announcements. Pre-major status will also give you access to priority registration for some classes.

How to Apply to the Major:

ENVS 201 and ENVS 203 must be completed with a C- or better before applying to this major.  Applicants should strongly consider also taking MATH 112, MATH 114, CHEM 161, and either BIOL 204 or BIOL 101 as GURs; doing so will allow enrollment in a broader range of upper division science courses.

To apply, students should submit an application that includes a brief answers (<1 paragraph) to the following questions:

  1. Which two focal areas (Lists A, B, C, or D) most interest you?  Why?
  2. What would you like to focus on for your depth and specialization? Why?
  3. OPTIONAL: What minor(s) are you considering? Why?
  4. OPTIONAL: Do you feel that your academic transcript accurately reflects your abilities as a student? Please explain.

The application can be found on the Huxley College website. Applications are accepted during fall, winter, and spring quarters and must be received by 5 p.m. on October 6 (for winter quarter admission), January 15 (for spring quarter admission), or April 18 (for summer or fall quarter admission). If the deadline falls on a weekend, applications are due the following Monday.

If you have any questions, please contact a professional advisor at the Huxley College Student Support office in Environmental Studies Building 539.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.


ENVS 201, ENVS 203 must be completed before applying to this major.

Environmental Studies Foundations (24 credits)

MATH 112 or suitable math placement score is necessary for some foundations courses, but higher-level math courses are recommended. Students are strongly encouraged to take chemistry, biology, and MATH 114 as part of their GUR courses to access upper division Environmental Science courses.

Environmental Studies Major Core Courses (13-18 credits)

Students must have their faculty advisor sign their plan of study BEFORE beginning senior year.

❑ Choose two lists from the four below (A, B, C, D); take two courses from each chosen list.

List A - Environmental Education

List C - Urban Planning and Sustainable Development

Take ENVS 361 Introduction to Planning and at least one other from this list:

Environmental Studies Depth and Specialization (36 credits)

❑ Minimum 36 credits - ENVS or ESCI 300-400 level (minimum 15 credits 400-level) or approved relevant 300-400 level courses outside of Huxley College, under advisement. We strongly encourage upper-division language courses and study away experiences, which may count towards depth and specialization, under faculty advisement.

Environmental Studies Culminating Courses (8 credits)

Take any combination of the courses listed below to obtain the required 8 credits. If students take courses in this Culminating Courses category, the same courses may not be counted in other categories in this major.

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