B.S. in Environmental Science

UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, together with the Departments of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Health Sciences and Geography, offers an innovative dual-component degree program in Environmental Science.

  1. The first component, the Environmental Science Major, provides students with disciplinary breadth in areas important to environmental science.
  2. The second component, a Minor/Concentration in one of eight environmental science areas, provides students with focused, disciplinary depth in an area of their choosing.

Both components of the program must be completed to receive the degree.

Every student participates in the real-world Environmental Science Practicum and graduates of this program are fully prepared to enter a career in environmental science or to continue their education in a graduate degree program.

Online Resources:


Preparation for the Major (56-57 units)

Lower division courses give students an introduction to environmental science and a firm foundation in science and math. There are seven components: 1) Introduction to Environmental Science, 2) Chemistry, 3) Biology, 4) Mathematics, 5) Physics, 6) Statistics and 7) additional preparation depending on Minor.

Note: Where two sequences are listed for the courses below, the first option is recommended.

  • ENVIRON M10 - Introduction to Environmental Science
    EPS SCI 1 - Introduction to Earth Science (required for those choosing the Earth and Environmental Science concentration, and recommended for those who have completed the Global Environment Cluster)
  • CHEM 14A/B/BL - Chemical Structures and Equilibria/ Thermodynamics, Kinetics, Organic structures, and Spectroscopy/ General and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I or 20A/B/L - Chemical Structure/ Chemical Energetics and Change/ General Chemistry Laboratory
  • LIFE SCI 1 - Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity and LIFE SCI 2 - Cells, Tissues, and Organs
  • MATH 3A/B - Calculus for Life Sciences Students or 31A/B- Differential Calculus/ Integration and Infinite Series
  • PHYSICS 6A/B - Physics for Life Sciences Majors: Mechanics/ Waves, Electricity, and Magnetism or 1A/B - Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Mechanics/ Oscillations, Waves, Electric and Magnetic Fields
  • STATS 12 - Introduction to Statistical Methods for Geography and Environmental Studies or 13 - Introduction to Statistical Methods for Life and Health Sciences
  • Two additional courses from the following, depending on the Minor/Concentration selected.
    • CHEM 14C - Organic Molecular Structures and Interactions or 30A - Chemical Dynamics and Reactivity: Introduction to Organic Chemistry
    • MATH 3C - Calculus and Probability for Life Sciences Students or 32A - Calculus of Several Variables
    • PHYSICS 6C - Physics for Life Sciences Majors: Light, Fluids, Thermodynamics, Modern Physics or 1C - Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Electrodynamics, Optics, and Special Relativity
    • LIFE SCI 3 and 23L - Introduction to Molecular Biology and Introduction to Laboratory and Scientific Methodology

Major requirements (50-52 units)

Upper division courses give students breadth in the environmental sciences and include the following four components:

1. Environmental Science (24-26 units)

One course in each of six environmental science areas, with no more than two courses from any one department.

Atmospheric and Water Science

  • A&O SCI 101 - Fundamentals of Atmospheric Dynamics and Thermodynamics
  • A&O SCI 103 - Physical Oceanography
  • A&O SCI M105 - Introduction to Chemical Oceanography
  • A&O SCI 130 - California's Ocean
  • EPS SCI C132 - Hydrogeology
  • EPS SCI 153 - Oceans and Atmospheres
  • GEOG 105 - Hydrology

Climate Science

  • A&O SCI 102 - Climate Change and Climate Modeling
  • GEOG 102 - Tropical Climatology
  • GEOG 104 - Climatology
  • GEOG M106 - Applied Climatology
  • GEOG M131 - Environmental Change

Earth Science

  • EPS SCI 101 - Earth's Energy
  • EPS SCI C113 - Biological and Environmental Geochemistry
  • EPS SCI 119 - Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics
  • EPS SCI 135 - Introduction to Applied Geophysics
  • EPS SCI 139 - Engineering and Environmental Geology
  • EPS SCI 150 - Remote Sensing for Earth Sciences
  • GEOG 100 - Principles of Geomorphology
  • GEOG 101 - Coastal Geomorphology
  • GEOG M107 - Soil and Water Conservation
  • GEOG M127 - Soils and Environment

Ecology and Conservation Biology

  • EE BIOL 100 - Introduction to Ecology and Behavior
  • EE BIOL 109 - Introduction to Marine Science
  • EE BIOL 116 - Conservation Biology
  • EE BIOL 151A - Tropical Ecology
  • EE BIOL 154 - California Ecosystems
  • ENVIRON 121 - Conservation of Biodiversity
  • GEOG 111 - Forest Ecosystems
  • GEOG 113 - Humid Tropics

Environmental Management

  • ENVIRON M134 - Environmental Economics
  • ENVIRON M135 - California Sustainable Development: Economic Perspective
  • ENVIRON M155 - Energy in the Modern Economy
  • ENVIRON 157 - Energy, Environment, and Development
  • ENVIRON 159 - Life Cycle Analysis of Sustainability Assessment
  • ENVIRON 160 - Topics in Environmental Economics and Policy
  • ENVIRON 162 - Entrepreneurship and Finance for Environmental Scientists
  • ENVIRON 163 - Business and Natural Environment
  • ENVIRON 166 - Leadership in Water Management
  • PUB PLC C115 - Environmental and Resource Economics and Policy

Pollutant Sources, Treatment, Fate and Transport

  • A&O SCI 104 - Fundamentals of Air and Water Pollution
  • CH ENGR C118 - Multimedia Environmental Assessment
  • C&EE 153 - Introduction to Environmental Engineering Science
  • C&EE 154 - Chemical Fate and Transport in Aquatic Environments
  • C&EE M166 - Environmental Microbiology
  • EHS 100 - Introduction to Environmental Health
  • EHS C125 - Atmospheric Transport and Transformations of Airborne Chemicals
  • EHS C152D - Properties and Measurement of Airborne Particles
  • EHS C164 - Fate and Transport of Organic Chemicals in the Aquatic Environment

2. Social Science-Humanities (8 units)

One course in each of two areas:

Policy and Politics

  • ENVIRON M155 - Energy in the Modern Economy
  • ENVIRON 157 - Energy, Environment, and Development
  • ENVIRON M161 - Global Environment and World Politics
  • ENVIRON M164 - Environmental Politics and Governance
  • ENVIRON 166 - Leadership in Water Management
  • ENVIRON M167 - Environmental Justice Through Multiple Lenses

Humans and the Environment

  • ENVIRON M132 - Environmentalism: Past, Present, and Future
  • ENVIRON M133 - Environmental Sociology
  • ENVIRON M137 - Historical Geography of American Environment
  • ENVIRON 150 - Environmental Journalism, Science Communications, and New Media
  • ENVIRON M153 - Introduction to Sustainable Architecture and Community Planning
  • GEOG M128 - Global Environment and Development: Problems and Issues
  • GEOG 135 - African Ecology and Development
  • GEOG 150 - Urban Geography
  • GEOG M153 - Past Societies and Their Lessons for Our Own Future
  • GEOG 156 - Metropolitan LA
  • PHILOS 125 - Philosophy of Science: Contemporary

3. Environmental Science Colloquium (4 units)

  • ENVIRON 170 - Environmental Science Colloquium
  • ENVIRON 185A - Education for Sustainable Living Program Speaker Series

The colloquium consists of weekly lectures and presentations on topics relevant to environmental science. Students are required to register for the colloquium for a minimum of 4 quarters for which they receive P/NP credit of 1 unit.

4. Practicum in Environmental Science (14 units)

  • ENVIRON 180A/B/C - Environmental Science Practicum
    (4+5+5 units)

These courses are taken by all students in the degree program, normally in their last year. The course sequence runs for the entire academic year and the activities during the three quarters will be distributed as follows:

  • Fall quarter, students attend lectures and presentations designed to introduce them to the common tools and methodologies of environmental science, building on what they have been exposed to in other classes. Retrospective case studies are presented as a way of integrating material and for introducing issues such as ethical considerations.
  • Winter and Spring quarters, students work as a team on an environmental case study representing a real-life multi-disciplinary forward looking issue requiring original data collection and analysis. The case study will be defined and conducted with the collaboration of a local agency, non-profit institution or firm.

Throughout the practicum students prepare written material and make presentations. Where appropriate, students may use involvement in undergraduate research experiences as a component of the practicum. Outcomes of the Environmental Science Practicum

Students complete both the Environmental Science Major and a Minor/Concentration in one of the eight environmental science areas.

  • All courses applied to the major, except the Colloquium requirement, must be taken for a letter grade.
  • All courses applied toward requirements for preparation for the major must be passed with a letter grade of C- or better.
  • Students in the Environmental Science Major are expected to declare their Minor within 120 units.
  • See the College of Letters and Science web page for undergraduate degree requirements
  • To graduate, students must earn at least a 2.0 (C) overall average in all courses applied toward the major.

For more info contact:

Royce Dieckmann
Student Affairs Officer
Office: LS 2308
(310) 206-9193

For counseling, please sign in on the sheet outside Life Sciences 2308 for same day or future appointments. Counseling hours are generally Monday - Friday 10 am - 12 pm and 2 - 4 pm.

Undergraduate Advising Message Board

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Environmental Science Alumni Group

All Environmental Science majors past and present are invited to join the Environmental Science Alumni Group (ESAG).

General Education Requirements

For questions regarding your General Education requirements and University requirements, please go to your counseling unit: