Environmental Studies/Economics Combined Major B.A.

Information and Policies

Introduction

This major provides students with the basic tools of economic analysis and an understanding of the mechanics of resource production, conservation, and use, in both ecological and economic terms.

Students interested in the four available concentrations (geographic information systems, global environmental justice, conservation science and policy, and agroecology and sustainable food systems) should to pursue the environmental studies B.A. degree. This does not apply to students who declared a combined major and concentration in agroecology and sustainable food systems prior to 2019.

Academic Advising for the Program

Advising is one way to make the most of your university experience. The advising system at UC Santa Cruz is amazing, and we encourage you to use it often. Ask questions, seek advice, and make decisions that work best for you.

To receive advising for this major, contact envsadvi@ucsc.edu. Additional information for prospective transfer students can be found in the Transfer Information and Policy section.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a B.A. degree in environmental studies/economics will:

  • Identify the societal (social, political, economic and ethical) agents and structures that contribute to environmental change. (social science competency)

  • Describe the structure and functioning of major physical and ecological components of the earth’s systems. (natural science competency)

  • Access and analyze a complex literature addressing specific topics in environmental studies, and evaluate the usefulness and limitations of individual sources of information. (analytic thinking)

  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills. (communication skills).

Major Qualification Policy and Declaration Process

Major Qualification

To qualify to declare the environmental studies/economics combined major, students must complete the specific courses listed below, or their approved equivalents.

One of the following:
ENVS23The Physical and Chemical Environment

5

CHEM1AGeneral Chemistry

5

Plus one of the following
ENVS24General Ecology

5

BIOE20CEcology and Evolution

5

Plus all of the following
ENVS25Environmental Policy and Economics

5

ECON1Introductory Microeconomics: Resource Allocation and Market Structure

5

AM11A
/ECON 11A
Mathematical Methods for Economists I

5

Plus one of the following options
Either this course

STAT5Statistics

5

or these courses

STAT7Statistical Methods for the Biological, Environmental, and Health Sciences

5

STAT7LStatistical Methods for the Biological, Environmental, and Health Sciences Laboratory

2

Determining qualification

  • Students who complete all the qualification courses with a grade of P, or letter grade of C or better are eligible to declare a major.

  • Students who have received one grade of C-, D+, D, D-, or F in one of the qualification courses taken at UC Santa Cruz will only be eligible to declare after successfully completing the same or an equivalent course with a letter grade of C or better.

  • Students with two or more grades of C-, D+, D, D-, or F in the qualification courses taken at UC Santa Cruz are not eligible to declare.

  • Students with AP credit for any of the qualification course(s) are eligible to declare after successfully completing the remaining qualification courses.

  • Students must attend an Environmental Studies Department declaration workshop when requesting to declare the major.

Appeal Process

Students who are not eligible to declare the major may appeal this decision by submitting an appeal to qualify for the major here within 15 days of the denial of the declaration. Within 15 days of receipt of the appeal, the department will notify the student and college of the decision. If a student has questions about the appeals process, they should contact envsadvi@ucsc.edu.

How to Declare a Major

Students wishing to declare within the Environmental Studies Department should visit the Environmental Studies Department website and follow the steps to declare listed there. Degree requirement sheets may be downloaded from the Environmental Studies Undergraduate Program Requirements page.

Transfer Information and Policy

Transfer Admission Screening Policy

To be considered for admission to UC Santa Cruz in the environmental studies/biology combined majors, transfer students must pass equivalents of the following courses with a C (2.0) or better in these required courses:

One of the following:

ENVS 23 or a general chemistry course (defined in ASSIST)

Plus one of the following:
ENVS24General Ecology

5

BIOE20CEcology and Evolution

5

Plus all of the following:

ECON 1 and a course in national or international politics (defined in ASSIST)

Plus one of the following:
AM11A
/ECON 11A
Mathematical Methods for Economists I

5

MATH11ACalculus with Applications

5

MATH19ACalculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

5

Plus the following:
STAT5Statistics

5

Prospective transfer students should review transfer information on the environmental studies transfer information.

Students who are proposed in a different major and have advanced standing when they come to UC Santa Cruz require permission from the department to change into the major. Contact envsadvi@ucsc.edu to request permission.

Getting Started at UCSC as a Transfer Student

Transfer students pursuing environmental studies majors are encouraged to transfer in the fall quarter.

Transfer students plan to enroll in ECON 100A or ECON 100M during the summer or fall quarter, and ECON 113 in the winter quarter in order to take ENVS 100 and ENVS 100L in spring quarter of their first year. Transfer students who have completed the screening requirements listed above can formally declare their major, following the steps in How to Declare a Major given above.

ENVS 25 and CHEM 1A are usually offered during Summer Session at UC Santa Cruz, and transfer students are encouraged to take them if they have not completed a substitute requirement or want a better understanding of the relevant material. If you are transferring, compare catalog descriptions, consult your current institution's adviser, and refer to the ASSIST website to determine equivalency. Prospective transfer students should review the transfer information.

Letter Grade Policy

This program does not have a letter grade policy, except that the senior comprehensive requirement must be taken for a letter grade.

Course Substitution Policy

Students pursuing the Environmental Studies/Biology Combined Major cannot substitute courses to count toward their upper division electives.

Study Abroad

Environmental studies students are encouraged to study abroad and participate in other off-campus programs. If students are interested in planning to study abroad
please note the following policies:

  • Students planning to study abroad must be declared in their major prior to
    studying abroad.
  • Students must have their courses they plan to take abroad reviewed and
    approved by Environmental Studies Advising.
  • Environmental studies/biology combined majors cannot petition their courses
    taken abroad for upper division course substitution.
  • For more information on EAP, please visit the UC Education Abroad Program
    website
    .

Honors

Departmental Honors. Students must have a 3.5 grade point average (GPA) in all courses used to satisfy the environmental studies upper-division requirements. To be considered for departmental honors, students are limited to no more than one grade of P in those upper-division courses.

Senior Comprehensive Honors. Only applicable to a senior thesis, senior internship, or individual work in a senior seminar. Honors must be awarded by the student’s faculty sponsor, and a second faculty member (chosen by the student’s faculty adviser) must confer.

Highest Departmental Honors. Students must have a 3.75 grade point average (GPA) in in all courses used to satisfy the environmental studies upper-division requirements and must also receive senior comprehensive honors (see above).

Students must fulfill all requirements for honors from environmental studies and biology.

Requirements and Planners

Course Requirements

Lower-Division Courses

All of the following courses
ECON1Introductory Microeconomics: Resource Allocation and Market Structure

5

ECON2Introductory Macroeconomics: Aggregate Economic Activity

5

AM11A
/ECON 11A
Mathematical Methods for Economists I

5

AM11B
/ECON 11B
Mathematical Methods for Economists II

5

Plus one of the following options
Either this course

STAT5Statistics

5

or these courses

STAT7Statistical Methods for the Biological, Environmental, and Health Sciences

5

STAT7LStatistical Methods for the Biological, Environmental, and Health Sciences Laboratory

2

STAT 7 and STAT 7L must be taken together.

Plus one of the following
ENVS23The Physical and Chemical Environment

5

CHEM1AGeneral Chemistry

5

Plus one of the following
ENVS24General Ecology

5

BIOE20CEcology and Evolution

5

Plus the following
ENVS25Environmental Policy and Economics

5

Plus one of the following
ANTH2Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

5

PHIL22Introduction to Ethical Theory

5

PHIL24Introduction to Ethics: Contemporary Moral Issues

5

PHIL28Environmental Ethics

5

BME80G
/PHIL 80G
Bioethics in the 21st Century: Science, Business, and Society

5

SOCY1Introduction to Sociology

5

SOCY10Issues and Problems in American Society

5

SOCY15World Society

5

Upper-Division Courses

One of the following
ECON100AIntermediate Microeconomics

5

ECON100MIntermediate Microeconomics, Math Intensive

5

And all of the following
ECON113Introduction to Econometrics

5

ENVS100Ecology and Society

3

ENVS100LEcology and Society Writing Laboratory

5

Electives

Six upper-division elective courses, three in economics and three in environmental studies.

Economics electives

Economics electives must be chosen from the following list:

ECON100BIntermediate Macroeconomics

5

ECON100NIntermediate Macroeconomics, Math Intensive

5

ECON101Managerial Economics

5

ECON114Advanced Quantitative Methods

5

ECON115Introduction to Management Sciences

5

ECON120Development Economics

5

ECON128
/LGST 128
Poverty and Public Policy

5

ECON130Money and Banking

5

ECON131International Financial Markets

5

ECON133Security Markets and Financial Institutions

5

ECON135Corporate Finance

5

ECON136Business Strategy

5

ECON138The Economics and Management of Technology and Innovation

5

ECON139AThe Economics of Electronic Commerce

5

ECON139BE-Commerce Strategy

5

ECON140International Trade

5

ECON141International Finance

5

ECON142Advanced Topics in International Economics

5

ECON150Public Finance

5

ECON156Health Care and Medical Economics

5

ECON159The Economics of Organizations

5

ECON160A
/LGST 160A
Industrial Organization

5

ECON160BGovernment and Industry

5

ECON161AMarketing

5

ECON162
/LGST 162
Legal Environment of Business

5

ECON165Economics as an Experimental Science

5

ECON169
/LGST 169
Economic Analysis of the Law

5

ECON175Energy Economics

5

ECON180Labor Economics

5

ECON183
/LGST 183
Women in the Economy

5

Environmental studies electives

Environmental studies electives must be chosen from those numbered ENVS 101-ENVS 179, with at least one course based in the natural sciences selected from the following upper-division courses (lecture and lab combinations count as a single course):

ENVS104AIntroduction to Environmental Field Methods

5

ENVS104LField Methods Laboratory

2

ENVS106ANatural History of Birds

5

ENVS107ANatural History Field Quarter

5

ENVS107BNatural History Field Quarter

5

ENVS107CNatural History Field Quarter

5

ENVS108General Entomology

5

ENVS108LGeneral Entomology Laboratory

3

BIOE151A
/ENVS 109A
Ecology and Conservation in Practice Supercourse: Ecological Field Methods

5

BIOE151B
/ENVS 109B
Ecology and Conservation in Practice Supercourse: Ecological Field Methods Laboratory

5

BIOE151C
/ENVS 109C
Ecology and Conservation in Practice Supercourse: Functions and Processes of Terrestrial Ecosystems

5

BIOE151D
/ENVS 109D
Ecology and Conservation in Practice Supercourse: Conservation in Practice

4

ENVS120Conservation Biology

5

ENVS121Landscape Ecology

5

ENVS122Tropical Ecology and Conservation

5

ENVS123Animal Ecology and Conservation

5

BIOE125
/ENVS 125
Ecosystems of California

5

ENVS129Integrated Pest Management

5

ENVS129LIntegrated Pest Management Laboratory

2

ENVS130AAgroecology and Sustainable Agriculture

5

ENVS130LAgroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Laboratory

2

ENVS130CField Experiences in Agroecology and Sustainable Food

5

ENVS131Insect Ecology

5

ENVS133Agroecology Practicum

5

ENVS138Field Ethnobotany

5

ENVS160Restoration Ecology

5

ENVS161ASoils and Plant Nutrition

5

ENVS161LSoils and Plant Nutrition Laboratory

2

ENVS162Plant Physiological Ecology

5

ENVS162LPlant Physiological Ecology Laboratory

2

ENVS163Plant Disease Ecology

5

ENVS163LPlant Disease Ecology Lab

2

ENVS164Projects and Practices in Soil Ecology

5

ENVS166Agroecosystem Analysis and Watershed Management

5

ENVS167Freshwater and Wetland Ecology

5

ENVS167LFreshwater and Wetland Ecology Lab

2

ENVS168Biogeochemistry and the Global Environment

5

ENVS169Climate Change Ecology

5

ENVS170Agriculture and Climate Change

5

None of the three environmental studies upper-division courses can be an environmental studies internship, individual study or substitution course.

A list of all courses offered by the Environmental Studies Department is available here. A list of which upper-division courses offered in the current year by the Environmental Studies Department are based in the natural sciences and in the social sciences is available here.

 

Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement

Students of every major must satisfy that major's upper-division Disciplinary Communication (DC) requirement. The DC requirement for the environmental studies/economics combined major is satisfied by completing:

The following courses:
ENVS100Ecology and Society

3

ENVS100LEcology and Society Writing Laboratory

5

Plus one of the following
BIOE151B
/ENVS 109B
Ecology and Conservation in Practice Supercourse: Ecological Field Methods Laboratory

5

ENVS183BSenior Internship

5

ENVS190Capstone Course: Environmental Problem Solving

5

ENVS195BSenior Thesis Group

5

ENVS196Senior Seminar

5

Students taking the cross-listed course BIOE 151B/ENVS 109B are recommended to enroll in ENVS 109B.

ENVS 183B and ENVS 195B are usually taken after successfully completing ENVS 183A and ENVS 195A respectively.

Comprehensive Requirement

Students satisfy the senior comprehensive requirement by completing both of the following:

  • One of the options for environmental studies B.A.; and
  • Pass those portions of the economics comprehensive examination administered in ECON 100A and ECON 113.

The senior comprehensive may be satisfied by completing one of the options listed below. All courses used to satisfy the senior comprehensive requirement must be taken for a letter grade.

Before enrolling in the senior thesis or senior internship option, students must formally apply to work with a particular faculty mentor very early in their thesis or project preparation. The senior thesis and senior internship option require careful planning, additional independent research, and at least a two-quarter commitment.

Students with advanced skills in one of the graduate focal areas may also take a graduate seminar by invitation from the instructor.

Either this course

BIOE151B
/ENVS 109B
Ecology and Conservation in Practice Supercourse: Ecological Field Methods Laboratory

5

or these courses

ENVS183ASenior Internship

5

ENVS183BSenior Internship

5

or this course

ENVS190Capstone Course: Environmental Problem Solving

5

or these courses

ENVS195ASenior Research

5

ENVS195BSenior Thesis Group

5

or this course

ENVS196Senior Seminar

5

Students taking the cross-listed course BIOE 151B/ENVS 109B are recommended to enroll in ENVS 109B.

ENVS 190 is offered in the spring and summer.

ENVS 183B and ENVS 195B are usually taken after successfully completing ENVS 183A and ENVS 195A respectively.


Planners

The following are two sample academic plans for students pursuing the environmental studies B.A. major without a concentration. Plan One is for incoming frosh and Plan Two is for incoming transfer students.

Plan One for Incoming Frosh


Fall Winter Spring
1st (frosh) MATH 3 or AM 3
ENVS 25 ENVS 23 or CHEM 1A
  ECON 1 ECON 2
     
2nd (soph) ENVS 24 or BIOE 20C STAT 5 or
STAT 7 & STAT 7L
SOCY/ANTH/ethics
course
AM 11A/ECON 11A
AM 11B/ECON 11B ECON 100A or ECON 100M
     
3rd (junior) ECON 113 ENVS 100 & ENVS 100L* Upper-division ENVS
(natural science)

Upper-division ECON Upper-division ECON
     
4th (senior) Upper-division ENVS Upper-division ENVS Comprehensive 
requirement
Upper-division ECON  
     

*This course is also offered in the spring term.

Students completing this major will have satisfied the SI, IN, PE-E, IS, PE-H, MF, and PR-E general education requirements. In addition, they will need to fulfill all remaining university, college, and general education requirements.

Plan Two for Incoming Transfer Students

 


Fall Winter Spring
3rd (junior) ECON 100A or ECON 100M ECON 113 Upper-division ENVS
(natural sciences)
  Upper-division ECON ENVS 100 & ENVS 100L
 

4th (senior) Upper-division ENVS
Upper-division ENVS Comprehensive
requirement
Upper-division ECON Upper-division ECON
     

This planner assumes that a student has completed all required lower-division courses—including UCSC or community college general education requirements.

A transfer student who has completed the requirements for the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) before matriculating at UC Santa Cruz, with at most two course requirements left to complete, is allowed to satisfy IGETC in lieu of the UCSC general education requirements.

Plan One for Incoming Frosh

 

Fall

Winter

Spring

1st (frosh)

MATH 3 or AM3

SOC/ANTH/ethics
course

ENVS 23 or
CHEM 1A

 

 ENVS 25

 

 

 

 

2nd (soph)

ENVS 24 or BIOE 20C

ENVS 100 & ENVS 100L*

Upper-division ENVS

STAT 7 & STAT 7L

 

 

 

 

 

3rd (junior)

Upper-division ENVS
(social science)

Upper-division ENVS
(natural science)

Upper-division ENVS

 

 

 

 

 

 

4th (senior)

Upper-division ENVS

Upper-division ENVS

Upper-division ENVS

 

 

Comprehensive 
requirement

 

 

 

*This course is also offered in the spring term.