Apr 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog

Environmental Studies, B.A.

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SBSB 4115

(760) 750-4200

Program Director:

Greig Guthey, Ph.D.


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Program of Study

The Environmental Studies Program offers students an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts degree with broad training in the physical and life sciences, social sciences, policy and law, and the arts and humanities.  The program includes introductory training in geographic information systems and research methods commonly used in environmental careers and opportunities for internships with a variety of environmental groups and agencies. 

The core of the degree comprises four general areas:

  • Environmental Arts and Humanities encourages students to think critically, ethically, and aesthetically about the environment.
  • Life and Physical Sciences provides the scientific background for the major.
  • Social Sciences and Policy exposes students to the institutional and legal frameworks of environmental policy, and to the processes by which policy is established.
  • Research Methods introduces students to the tools and methods used in applied professional work, and in graduate school.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with a B.A. in Environmental Studies will: 

  1. Describe the major physical processes affecting environmental resources.
  2. Explain and analyze the impacts of human activity on the environment
  3. Critically analyze environmental problems and solutions from multiple perspectives including environmental justice.
  4. Describe the process of environmental policy development locally, nationally, and globally.
  5. Evaluate environmental issues from an ethical and aesthetic standpoint
  6. Collect, organize, interpret, write about and present research and information about historical and contemporary environmental issues.

Career Opportunities

Students will be prepared to pursue diverse careers in environmental policy, consulting, advocacy, communication, education, law, planning and analysis, and recreation and land management in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

Special Conditions for the Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies

A grade of C (2.0) or better must be received in each course taken for the B.A. degree in Environmental Studies or in Preparation for the Major. At least 18 units of the required upper-division courses for the degree must be taken at Cal State San Marcos.

General Education (48 Units)

General Education Requirements  

Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (3 Units)

All Environmental Studies majors must meet an Interdisciplinary Social Sciences requirement. This is satisfied with an approved lower-division Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (IDSS) three (3) unit course from the following departments: American Indian Studies, Anthropology, Ethnic Studies, Global Studies, Liberal Studies, Social Sciences, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Courses taken to satisfy this requirement cannot double count with other major requirements.

Language Proficiency (0-9 Units)

All Environmental Studies majors must meet a second-language proficiency requirement. This is satisfied with a 200-level class or demonstrating proficiency in a language other than English. For details on how to satisfy this requirement, please refer to Language Proficiency Requirement  .

Breadth Requirement (3 Units)

Additional course in Upper-Division Social Sciences (DD designated) or Upper-Division Arts and Humanities (CC designated) outside the major.  This requirement can also count as the DD requirement or CC requirement (as appropriate) in Upper-Division General Education, but it must be a course in a program other than Environmental Studies.  Any course carrying the DD or CC designation outside of  Environmental Studies  can be used to fulfill this requirement.  If students choose to satisfy their UDGE DD or CC with a course outside the major, the breadth requirement will become 3 free elective units.      

Major Requirements (42 Units)

Environmental Studies Electives (6 Units)

Choose six (6) units from the courses listed in the Environmental Studies course list. Courses listed may count toward only one elective area.

Upper-Division Concentration (12 Units)

Choose twelve (12) units from the following course lists in Environmental Studies, Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, and/or Physical and Life Sciences. Students may focus on one or two areas if desired, or take a selection of courses across all four lists.

Approved Course Lists

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