Bachelor of Science

Environmental Science - Earth System Science

Students studying soil samplesStarting Autumn 2019, students interested in Earth System Science may apply to the new Earth Systems Science major.  Continuing students are able complete the pathway described below.

The Earth System Science Pathway (ESS) is an interdisciplinary field of study that examines the physical and chemical nature of the environment in various media (as well as atmosphere, rivers, lakes, oceans, soils, and lithosphere), their interaction with each other and with biological systems. ESS emphasizes the examination of human impacts on these complex environmental processes and the long term sustainability of living systems.


  • One quarter of Calculus (ST MATH 124, B MATH 144 or equivalent)
  • Three quarters of the General Chemistry sequence (B CHEM 143/144, 153/154, 163/164 or equivalent)
  • One Introductory Earth System Science course (BIS 242, BEARTH 155, BEARTH 153 (previuosly BIS 153), BEARTH 154 (previously BIS 154) or Physical Geography or Oceanography or equivalent)
  • One Introductory Environmental Studies course (BIS 240, BIS 243  or equivalent)
  • One quarter of Introductory Biology (B BIO 180 or equivalent)
  • One quarter of Introductory Physics (B PHYS 114/117 or equivalent)
  • A second quarter of Introductory Physics (B PHYS 115/118 or equivalent) OR a second quarter of Calculus (B MATH 125 or equivalent)


Environmental Science Core Requirements (27 Credits)

ESS Core Course Requirements (15 Credits)

ESS Distribution Requirements (25 Credits)

Capstone (13 Credits)

TOTAL = 80 Credits

*Should be taken in the first quarter of IAS enrollment.

Download these requirements as a pdf checklist you can print and fill out by hand.

School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (IAS) Requirements & Policies

Interdisciplinary Practice & Reflection (IPR)

Within the above-listed 80 credits, students must complete the IPR requirement.

Areas of Knowledge

25 credits must be completed in each Area of Knowledge. The Areas of Knowledge are: Visual, Literary and Performing Arts (VLPA), Individuals and Societies (I&S), and Natural World (NW).

Multiply-designated courses may not be double-counted as fulfilling two Areas of Knowledge. Courses may apply to both an Area of Knowledge requirement and an ESS major requirement.

Upper Division Credit Policy

Of the credits applying to ESS major requirements, a minimum of 48 must be completed at the Upper Division (300-400) level.

Matriculated status

Courses taken to satisfy ESS major requirements must be completed in matriculated status.

Admitted prior to Autumn Quarter, 2016?

Students admitted to the ESS major prior to Autumn 2016 may be eligible to complete an older set of major requirements. For more information, please check Requirement Changes Autumn 2016 page.

In addition to the general admission requirements, students must have completed the prerequisites to be considered for admission to the ESS major.

ESS Resources