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Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science and Policy

Program Overview

The Environmental Science and Policy B.A. degree program prepares students interested in environmental problem solving by linking an understanding of natural science with socioeconomic factors and public policy. The curriculum combines a quantitative understanding of environmental science, chemistry, and biology with law, policy, and economics to provide a foundation for careers in environmental policy, resource management, education, environmental law, urban and environmental design and related fields.

The Environmental Science and Policy program provides students with a solid foundation to recognize the impacts of human activities on the environment, and in turn the impacts of environmental change on society. Students will understand the mechanisms by which key institutions, policies, and regulations impact ecosystems and the physical environment. Once the core course work is complete, students are encouraged to focus on a particular area within Environmental Science and Policy and to choose electives that build a coherent core of knowledge. Focus areas include, but are not limited, to urban planning, public policy, sociology, economics, climatology, water resources, water quality, agriculture, air pollution, resource management, and atmospheric sciences.

Program Highlights

  • Research opportunities with faculty members in both departments specifically interested in the growing field of coupled human-environment interactions.
  • Field Studies project with an emphasis on environmental placement.
  • Graduates can pursue a range of public and private sector positions, including environmental management, resource management, environmental law, environmental consulting, work with nonprofit organizations and non-governmental agencies, and related areas.

Degree Requirements

For the complete list of the B.A. in Environmental Science and Policy degree requirements, please see the UCI Course Catalogue.

In addition to UCI General Education requirements, a total of 85 units are required in three categories of courses, as follows:

45 units of Environmental Science and Policy Basic Requirements:

  • ESS 40A: Earth System Chemistry
  • ESS 40B: Earth System Biology
  • ESS 40C: Earth System Physics
  • ESS 70A: Sustainable Energy Systems
  • ESS 70B: Sustainable Food and Water Systems
  • ESS 116: Data Analysis for Earth Sciences
  • ESS 192: Careers in Earth System Science
  • UPPP 5: Intro to Policy & Planning
  • STATS 7: Basic Statistics or SOCECOL 13: Statistical Analysis in Social Ecology
  • UPPP 8: Environmental Analysis and Design
  • SOCECOL 10: Research Design
  • SOCECOL 195: Field Study (4- units), or SOCECOL 195W

12 units of Upper Division Environmental Law and Policy classes, any combination of (tentative quarters to be offered included):

  • UPPP 131: Environmental Sustainability I
  • UPPP 133: Environmental Law and Policy
  • UPPP 139: Water Resource Policy
  • UPPP 142: Environmental Hazards in Urbanizing World
  • UPPP 145: Environmental Governance
  • UPPP 146: Principles of Economics for Planning and Policy

28 units of Upper Division Environmental Science and Policy Electives:

Select any seven 4-unit upper-division course (100-196) in UPPP or ESS (two courses must be from UPPP, two courses must be from ESS). Courses may not be used as electives if counted toward ESP degree requirements. Up to two of the seven Electives can be satisfied with 4-unit ESS 199 and/or 4-unit SE 199 courses. For this requirement SE 199 courses can be counted as UPPP electives.


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