Undergraduate Academic Programs
The Department of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine is home to two interdisciplinary undergraduate degrees: a (B.S.) Bachelor of Science in Earth System Science and a (B.A.) Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science.
(B.S.) Bachelor of Science in Earth System Science
The Bachelor of Science program provides students with a fundamental understanding of the oceanographic, atmospheric, and terrestrial sciences and prepares them for careers in science, research or technical fields. Students will learn to apply basic sciences (physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology) to understand the major processes and systems governing the Earth's climate, biogeochemical cycles and global change. Central to the program is an understanding of relevant scientific literature, methods to collect and analyze data and interpret results in the context of scientific theory.
(B.A.) Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science
The Bachelor of Arts program combines a quantitative understanding of environmental science, chemistry and biology with studies of social science, policy and macro- and microeconomics to teach students to recognize the impacts of human activities on the environment and, in turn, the impacts of environmental change on society. The B.A. degree prepares students for careers in environmental policy, resource management, education, environmental law and related fields. Students will learn to understand the mechanisms by which key institutions, policies and regulations impact ecosystems and the physical environment.
- air/water quality management
- atmospheric scientists (including meteorologists)
- city and state environmental and natural resource regulators
- college and university professors (graduate school required)
- conservation scientists and foresters
- consultants (with previous government / private sector experience)
- environmental law
- environmental policy and planning
- environmental science and protection technicians
- environmental scientists and specialists
- forest and conservation technicians
- hydrologists (graduate school required)
- planning and conservation
- pollution cleanup specialist
- public school earth science teachers
- soil science
- waste management
Helpful Career Exploration Resources
The Right Degree for the Job
A bachelor’s degree will qualify one for work as a laboratory assistant, technician, technologist or research assistant in education, industry and government. A bachelor’s degree is also sufficient for nontechnical work in writing, illustration, sales, photography and legislation.
A master’s degrees allow for greater specialization in a field and more opportunities in research and administration. Some community colleges will hire Master’s level teachers.
Doctoral degrees are necessary for advanced research and administrative positions, university teaching and independent research.