Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit bulletin.sfsu.edu. Any changes will appear on our errata page.

General Education Requirements Met in the Environmental Studies Major or Undeclared with Interest in Environmental Studies

The requirements below are deemed “met in the major” upon completion of the courses listed (even though the courses and their prerequisites are not approved for GE). This is true whether or not the student completes the major.

  • Area B1 (Physical Science) is satisfied upon completion of both CHEM 115 and CHEM 380.
  • Areas B2 (Life Science) and B3 (Laboratory Science) are satisfied upon completion of either BIOL 240 or BIOL 313.

Environmental Studies (B.A.)

Core (16 - 20 units)

ENVS 300Environmental Studies3
CHEM 115General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry3-5
or CHEM 180 Chemistry for the Energy and the Environment
CHEM/ENVS 380Chemistry Behind Environmental Pollution3
ENVS 450GWEnvironmental Law and Policy - GWAR3
ENVS 680Environmental Studies Internship1-3
ENVS 690Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies3

Electives (16 - 18 units)

Select one course from each category:
Physical Environment
GEOG 101Our Physical Environment3
ERTH 230Environmental Geology3
Sustainability and Social Justice
ENVS/ECON 306Economics and the Environment3
ENVS 570Applied Local Sustainability3
PHIL 470Environmental Ethics3
USP 514Sustainable Development in Cities4
USP 515/GEOG 667Environmental Justice: Race, Poverty, and the Environment4
Global/International
ENVS 470Climate Politics and Policy3
I R/ENVS 331Global Environmental Crisis4
I R 428International Political Economy of Food and Hunger4
Ecology
BIOL 313Principles of Ecology3
Research Methods
ENVS 224Research Methods for Environmental Studies4

Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice Emphasis (11 - 12 units)

The environmental sustainability and social justice emphasis provides students with a theoretical and applied understanding of the issues of sustainability and the connections between social justice and environmental problems and solutions. Students study the roles that values and social, political, and economic structures play in contributing to the environmental crisis. With the help of an advisor, students obtain depth by selecting elective courses from political science, American Indian studies, sociology, philosophy and religion, economics, urban studies and planning, geography, women and gender studies, and other related fields.

Take 11-12 units. Two courses must be from the short list. Courses used to meet other requirements of the major cannot also be used to meet the environmental sustainability and social justice emphasis requirements.

Short List

ENVS 470Climate Politics and Policy3
ENVS 570Applied Local Sustainability3
GEOG 421Future Environments3
PLSI 354Politics, the Environment, and Social Change4
USP 514Sustainable Development in Cities (if not taken in core)4
USP 515/GEOG 667Environmental Justice: Race, Poverty, and the Environment4

Long List

AIS 310American Indian Religion and Philosophy3
BECA 502Environmental Communication on the Electronic Media3
BIOL 349Bioethics3
BUS 450Greening of Business3
CINE 344Film Genre3
CST 300/PLSI 386Introduction to Critical Social Thought3
GEOG 425Economic Geography4
ECON 550Environmental Economics3
ECON 620Economic Development3
ENGR 220Energy: Resources, Alternatives, and Conservation3
ENVS/ECON 306Economics and the Environment3
I R/ENVS 331Global Environmental Crisis4
GEOG 422Environmental Perception3
GEOG 427Agriculture and Food Supply4
GEOG/ENVS 600Environmental Problems and Solutions ([ES][GP])3
GEOG 647Geography of Water Resources4
GEOG/USP 652Environmental Impact Analysis4
GEOG 666Geography of Garbage: Recycling and Waste Reduction3
GPS/I R/PHIL 315Introduction to Global Peace Studies3
H ED 655Environmental Health3
HIST 476American Environmental History3
I R 334International Organizations: New World Order4
I R 520Globalization and Development4
LS 460Childhood, Nature, and Society 13
LS 681Community Service Learning in the Schools 13
PHIL 365Science and Civilization3
PHIL 470Environmental Ethics3
SOC/RRS 410Grassroots Organizing for Change in Communities of Color3
SOC 477Environmental Sociology3
SOC 483Global Sociology4
TPW 490Grantwriting3
USP/S W 456Urban Community Organizing and Citizen Action3

The Urban Environment Emphasis (11 - 12 units)

The urban environment emphasis provides students with a strong interdisciplinary theoretical and empirical understanding for dealing with environmental issues in urban settings. With the help of an advisor, students obtain depth by selecting elective courses focusing on sustainable urban development, environmental justice, land-use planning, environmental policy, and the urban environment in a global perspective.

Take 11-12 units. Two courses must be from the short list. Courses used to meet other requirements of the major cannot also be used to meet the the urban environment emphasis requirements.

Short List

GEOG/USP 433Urban Transportation4
GEOG/USP 652Environmental Impact Analysis4
GEOG/USP 658Land-Use Planning4
USP 514Sustainable Development in Cities4
USP 515/GEOG 667Environmental Justice: Race, Poverty, and the Environment4

Long List

BUS 450Greening of Business3
ECON 550Environmental Economics3
ENGR 220Energy: Resources, Alternatives, and Conservation3
ENVS 224Research Methods for Environmental Studies4
ECON/USP 535Urban Economics3
ENVS/ECON 306Economics and the Environment3
ENVS 570Applied Local Sustainability3
ENVS 699Independent Study1-3
GEOG 425Economic Geography4
GEOG/USP 432Urban Geography4
GEOG/USP 433Urban Transportation4
GEOG/ENVS 600Environmental Problems and Solutions ([ES][GP])3
GEOG/USP 651San Francisco Bay Area Environmental Issues4
GEOG/USP 652Environmental Impact Analysis4
GEOG 666Geography of Garbage: Recycling and Waste Reduction3
H ED 655Environmental Health3
I R/ENVS 331Global Environmental Crisis4
RPT 440Urban Recreation and Parks3
SOC 480/USP 470City in a Global Society4
USP 530Alternative Urban Futures3

Humanities and the Environment Emphasis (11 - 12 units)

The humanities and the environment emphasis explores the varied and complex ways that different cultures—past and present—view and communicate about the environment. With an advisor, students choose coursework in disciplines dealing with verbal or visual communication, such as communication studies, creative writing, technical and professional writing, ethnic studies, journalism, photography, design, electronic media, and cinema.

Take 11-12 units. Two courses must be from the short list. Courses used to meet other requirements of the major cannot also be used to meet the humanities and the environment emphasis requirements.

Short List

BECA 502Environmental Communication on the Electronic Media (if not taken in the core)3
ENG 535Literature and Ecology (if not taken in the core)3
JOUR 580Environmental Journalism3
PHIL 470Environmental Ethics (if not taken in the core)3
PLSI 354Politics, the Environment, and Social Change4
WGS 593Gender, Health, and the Environment3

Long List

ANTH 321Endangered Cultures3
CINE 344Film Genre3
CINE/H ED 527Documentary for Health and Social Justice I6
CST 300/PLSI 386Introduction to Critical Social Thought3
COMM 448GWRhetoric of Ecology - GWAR4
HIST 476American Environmental History3
HUM 450/AMST 410California Culture3
HUM 380Nature and Human Values3
I R 334International Organizations: New World Order4
I R 520Globalization and Development4
LTNS 450Indigenismo: Indigenous Cultures of the Americas3
LS 460Childhood, Nature, and Society 13
LS/HIST 681Community Service Learning in the Schools 13
PHIL/PLSI 150Contemporary Moral/Political Issues3
PHIL 351Philosophy of Risk3
PHIL 365Science and Civilization3
PHIL 383Ethics in Medicine3
SOC 477Environmental Sociology3
1

Note: students may take one of either LS 460 (formerly S S 460) or LS 681 (formerly S S 681) but not both.

Complementary Studies

Bachelor of Arts students must complete at least twelve units of complementary studies outside of the primary prefix for the major. (Note: Students may not use an alternate prefix that is cross-listed with the primary prefix for the major.)

Students who complete two majors or a major and a minor automatically complete the complementary studies requirement. Additional ways for students in the environmental studies B.A. program to satisfy the requirement is with one or more languages other than English; partial completion of a minor; partial completion of certificate; or a coherent group of courses approved by a major advisor as complementary to the major.

All complementary studies units must be approved by an advisor and all of the units must be separate from the units used to satisfy major requirements. Courses that fulfill complementary studies units may be lower or upper division units, resident or transfer units, or units taken in approved study abroad programs.

The Environmental Studies Program is impacted. Current students who wish to change their major to Environmental Studies should visit the department office for admission requirements and procedures. See the Environmental Studies website for more information: http://envs.sfsu.edu/prospective.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication I LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Written English Communication II LD 3 A4
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Humanities: Literature LD 3 C3
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Social Sciences: US & CA Governement LD 3 D3
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD or UD 3 E
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), in a major or minor, or may be an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities (AERM) LD or UD 3
Environmental Sustainability (ES) LD or UD 3
Global Perspectives (GP) LD or UD 3
Social Justice (SJ) LD or UD 3

Note: LD = lower division; UD = upper division.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California government
    • a 2nd-semester course in written English composition

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), go to http://assist.org Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower division major requirements for this major
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 units/90 quarters required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper division transfer (for example, if course was not passed on first attempt, or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California community college of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower division general education in areas C and D until after transfer in order to focus on preparation courses for the major. (This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.)

Transferring from institutions other than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower division General Education requirements. As described above, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3 and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (GE A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. Review more information about the A3 requirement here.

Identify and complete a 2nd-semester written English composition course before transfer. This is usually the next course after the typical “freshman comp” course, with a focus on writing, reading and critical analytical skills for academic purposes, and developing skills in composing, revising, and the use of rhetorical strategies.

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.

All students must meet the transfer eligibility requirements outlines below for admission. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.

  • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units
  • Earn a college grade point average of 2.00 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended
  • Complete 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of general education, including four basic skills courses:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE area A3)
    4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning, with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite (same as CSU GE area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a "C" or better grade in each basic skills course.