Jul 18, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Environmental Studies (BA)

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The Environmental Studies Program offers two undergraduate majors, Environmental Studies (ENVS) and Environmental Science and Health (ENSH). Each of these majors leads to either a BA or BS degree. The environmental studies degrees are built on specialized natural science and social science courses and a set of interdisciplinary courses focusing on sustainability. The social science core courses focus on environmental problems from political, legal, economic and international perspectives. Specially designed one-semester surveys of biology, earth science and chemistry provide the natural science competency for subsequent policy or science advanced course work in environmental studies. Two concentrations are available in the BA in Environmental Studies degree: science and management and policy and management. Four concentrations are available in the BS in Environmental Studies degree: sustainability and society; oceans and people; climate and environment; and environmental policy. Both the Environmental Studies BA and BS culminate in the capstone experience of a senior seminar focusing on environmental problem-solving by interdisciplinary teams. A single 24-unit environmental studies minor is derived from the core major curriculum. 

The environmental science and health degrees combine the interdisciplinary courses on sustainability described above and some of the environmental social science content with traditional biology and chemistry content to provide options for students preparing for one of the health professions with an undergraduate emphasis on environmental sustainability. The BS in Environmental Science and Health incorporates recommended preparation for medical schools. The BA in Environmental Science and Health may be appropriate for students preparing for other graduate or professional training as well as students pursuing double majors. The environmental studies courses common to both majors emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of environmental problems. A number of opportunities are provided for field studies from the urban Los Angeles environment to marine protected areas on the coasts of the California Channel Islands. More intensive field study opportunities include “Problems Without Passports” courses with international components. Note that some of the field studies opportunities require travel to remote, rural locations and study under sometimes physically and mentally demanding conditions. These trips require a willingness to conform to the announced guidelines for conduct and safety.

Common Courses (40 units)

Concentrations (16 Units)

Choose 16 units from one concentration.

Required units: 56

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