Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies: Concentration in Natural Resource Management and Conservation

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Natural Resource Management and Conservation provides students with the theoretical and applied knowledge and skills in ecology, conservation biology, and natural resources they need to address natural resource management and conservation issues. Required courses provide knowledge in ecology, conservation biology, statistics, and natural resource management and provide students with a solid background in both quantitative and qualitative problem-solving techniques. Students choose additional coursework in ecology, biodiversity studies, applied methods, and management of specific resources.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the relationships between social justice and environmental problems in local, national, and global contexts.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of chemical, biological, and social processes related to environmental problems and the ability to integrate these with the understandings and critical evaluations of descriptive statistics commonly used in environmental literature.
  3. Communicate clearly and accurately both orally and in writing and be able to conduct research appropriate to the area of emphasis.
  4. Demonstrate a basic understanding of civic activities and processes, and of methods of engagement in those processes.
  5. Demonstrate readiness to enter the professional job market by preparing/training students in developing appropriate job market skills (e.g., resume and cover letter writing, interview preparation, writing well and engagingly, acquiring professional experience via internship).
  6. Demonstrate understanding of ecological and conservation biology theories and how they relate to natural resource management and conservation decisions.
  7. Demonstrate understanding of natural resource management techniques and approaches.

Environmental Studies (B.S.): Concentration in Natural Resource Management and Conservation — 58 units minimum

Required Courses (34-35 units)

Select One:3-4
General Chemistry I
Chemistry for Energy and the Environment
BIOL 230Introductory Biology I5
BIOL 240Introductory Biology II5
BIOL 530Conservation Biology3
ENVS 130Environmental Studies3
ENVS 224Research Methods for Environmental Studies4
ENVS 450GWEnvironmental Law and Policy - GWAR3
ENVS 680Environmental Studies Internship1
ENVS 690Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies3
GEOG/ENVS 657Natural Resource Management: Biotic Resources4

Elective Courses (24–32 units)

Students must consult with a faculty advisor prior to selection of elective courses to determine which courses are most appropriate for the student's particular interests and/or career path. Choose one course from each category:

Physical Environment
ERTH 230Environmental Geology3
GEOG 101Our Physical Environment3
Sustainability and Social Justice
ENVS 460Energy, Justice, and Sustainability3
ENVS 480Climate Change Adaptation and Justice3
ENVS 570Applied Local Sustainability3
PHIL 470Environmental Ethics3
USP 514Sustainable Development in Cities4
USP 515/GEOG 667Environmental Justice: Race, Poverty, and the Environment4
ENVS/I R 331Global Environmental Crisis4
ENVS 470Climate Politics and Policy3
ENVS 480Climate Change Adaptation and Justice3
I R/GEOG 428International Political Economy of Food and Hunger4
GEOG 603Introduction to Geographic Information Systems3
GEOG/USP 652Environmental Impact Analysis4
GEOG/USP 658Land-Use Planning4
BIOL 482Ecology4
BIOL 529GWPlant Ecology - GWAR4
BIOL 532Restoration Ecology3
BIOL 534Wetland Ecology4
BIOL 582Biological Oceanography & Limnology4
BIOL 585Marine Ecology3
BIOL 586GWMarine Ecology Laboratory - GWAR4
BIOL 470Natural History of Vertebrates4
BIOL 475GWHerpetology - GWAR3
BIOL 478GWOrnithology - GWAR4
BIOL 502Biology of the Algae3
BIOL 504Biology of the Fungi4
BIOL 514Plant Biodiversity and California Field Botany5
BIOL 570GWBiology of Fishes - GWAR4
Or a second course chosen from the Ecology section
CHEM 380Chemistry Behind Environmental Pollution3
ENVS 460Energy, Justice, and Sustainability3
ERTH 330California Water3
ERTH 335Global Warming3
GEOG 317Geography of Soils4
GEOG 427Agriculture and Food Supply4
GEOG 646The Geography of Marine Resources4
GEOG 647Geography of Water Resources4
GEOG 666Geography of Garbage: Recycling and Waste Reduction3
LS 430Future of the Forests3
RPT 440Urban Recreation and Parks3
RPT/ENVS 640Recreational Use of National Parks and Protected Areas3
Resource Policy and Techniques
ENVS 470Climate Politics and Policy3
ENVS 480Climate Change Adaptation and Justice3
ENVS 530Environmental Leadership and Organizing3
ENVS 570Applied Local Sustainability3
GEOG/USP 652Environmental Impact Analysis4
GEOG/USP 658Land-Use Planning4
RRS/SOC 410Grassroots Organizing for Change in Communities of Color3

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
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
Humanities LD 3 C2
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD 3 E
Ethnic Studies LD 3 F
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), a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities LD or UD 3 AERM
Environmental Sustainability LD or UD 3 ES
Global Perspectives LD or UD 3 GP
Social Justice LD or UD 3 SJ

Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

The roadmaps presented in this Bulletin are intended as suggested plans of study and do not replace meeting with an advisor. For a more personalized roadmap, please use the Degree Planner tool found in your Student Center.

First-Time Student Roadmap

Transfer Student Roadmap (2 Year)

For students with an AS-T in Biology.
BIOL ADT Roadmap

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

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit 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 requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units 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 a course was not passed on the 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 the 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 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. Note that, as described below, 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 (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. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit

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.