Academic Programs

Major Requirements

IMPORTANT NOTE: Beginning fall 2017, we have a new curriculum that will replace the following!

Major in Special Programs in Liberal Studies with Environmental Studies Concentration

Environmental & Sustainability Studies is an interdisciplinary program that fosters understanding of the relationships between human societies and the natural physical and biological setting in which life on Earth exists. It integrates scientific study of ecosystems, pollution, climate, energy, and other environmental and natural resource matters on a global, regional or local scale with cultural and policy-related study of politics, economics, sociology, history, and law.  The B.A. is designed to provide students with a broad exposure to topics related to the environment and to provide knowledge and skills to address major environmental issues.

Students interested in the major should work closely with the Environmental Studies advisor, Dr. Aaron Allen, to ensure that they meet prerequisites for upper division courses.  The UNCG Undergraduate Bulletin has the complete details on the degree; all students in all majors are assigned a bulletin or catalog year when they matriculate or change majors. Because the Environmental & Sustainability Studies Program is interdisciplinary, we are constantly updating requirements and available classes, so students should check the proper Bulletin year for their own specific requirements (the Registrar provides an archive of past Bulletins). The following information is summarized from the 2015-16 Bulletin (complete information is at this link).

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Required: 122 semester hours, to include at least 36 hours at or above the 300 course level. As for all students at UNCG, Environmental Studies majors must complete the General Education Core Requirements, the General Education Marker Requirements, and the College of Arts and Sciences Additional Requirements (CAR). Many of the required and elective Environmental Studies courses can fulfill these requirements, so please plan accordingly!

Environmental Studies Major Requirements

A. Core courses (minimum of 28 semester hours)

  • ENV 100 (Introduction to Environmental Studies)
  • ENV 110 (Introduction to Sustainability Studies)
  • ENV 400 (Capstone Seminar in Environmental Studies)
  • BIO 111 (Principles of Biology I)
  • GEO 106/GEO 106L (Geosystems Science & Geosystems Science Laboratory)
  • STA 108 (Elementary Introduction to Probability and Statistics) or STA 271 (Fundamental Concepts of Statistics)
  • Choose one of the following:
    • CHE 101 (Introductory Chemistry)
    • CHE 103/CHE 110 (General Descriptive Chemistry I & Introductory Chemistry Laboratory)
    • CHE 111/CHE 112 (General Chemistry I & General Chemistry I Laboratory)
  • Two courses from the following:
    • ECO 201 (Principles of Microeconomics)
    • PSC 210 (Introduction to Public Policy)
    • ATY 213 (Introduction to Cultural Anthropology) — NOTE: May not count in both the Core and Area Courses!
    • SOC 202 (Social Problems in Global Context) — NOTE: May not count in both the Core and Area Courses!


B. Additional ENV and Related Area Courses (30 semester hours)

Choose a minimum of 30 additional semester hours. BIO 112 may be included among these 30 hours, but all other courses must come from the four groups below with at least six (6) hours from each of the Groups 1, 2, and 3 and at least three (3) hours from Group 4. Students may choose a maximum of 12 hours in any one department, except that BIO 112 does not count toward the 12 hour limit for Biology. At least 18 hours of the 30 hours must be at the 300 level or above. Students may count a maximum of two (2) internships toward these requirements.

  • Group 1: Natural Sciences (at least 6 hours):
    • ATY 253 (Introduction to Biological Anthropology)
    • ATY 253L (Introduction to Biological Anthropology Laboratory)
    • BIO 277 (Human Physiology)
    • BIO 301 (Principles of Ecology) and BIO 302 (Introductory Ecology Laboratory)
    • BIO 322 (Plant Diversity)
    • BIO 341 (Invertebrate Zoology)
    • BIO 354 (Plant Systematics)
    • BIO 361 (Biology and Conservation of Sea Turtles)
    • BIO 420 (Marine Biology)
    • BIO 430 (Biological Evolution)
    • BIO 431 (The Biosphere)
    • BIO 438/PSY 438(Animal Behavior)
    • BIO 477 (Animal Physiology)
    • BIO 526 (Conservation Biology)
    • BIO 529 (Aquatic Ecology)
    • CHE 205 (Introductory Organic Chemistry)
    • CHE 206 (Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory)
    • CHE 252 (Chemistry and the Human Environment)
    • CHE 331 (Quantitative Analysis) and CHE 333 (Quantitative Analysis Laboratory)
    • CHE 351(Organic Chemistry I)
    • CHE 352 (Organic Chemistry II)
    • ENV 399 (Environmental Studies Internship)
    • GEO 205 (Environmental Change: Its Nature and Impact)
    • GEO 305 (Environmental Hazards Assessment)
    • GEO 311 (Weather and Climate) and GEO 311L (Climatology Laboratory)
    • GEO 314 (Physical Geography: Landscape Processes)
    • GEO 314L (Physical Geography Laboratory)
    • GEO 330 (Elements of Hydrology)
    • GEO 511 (Advanced Weather and Climate – Synoptic Climatology)
    • HEA 314 (Public Health Diseases)
  • Group 2: Applied Social Sciences (at least 6 hours)
    • ATY 213 (Introduction to Cultural Anthropology)
    • ATY 450 (Anthropology in the Environment: Culture, Environment and Adaptation)
    • ATY 465 (An Overview of Medical Anthropology)
    • ATY 520 (Economic Anthropology)
    • ATY 526 (Anthropological Perspectives on Food and Agriculture)
    • CST 420 (Environmental Communication)
    • ENV 493 (Honors Work)
    • GEO 105 (Cultural Geography)
    • GEO 303 (World Population Problems)
    • GEO 313 (Natural Resource Regions of North America)
    • GEO 331/STH 331 (Sustainable Tourism and Transportation)
    • GEO 358 (Geographic Information Systems)
    • GEO 359 (Remote Sensing)
    • HEA 207 (International Health)
    • HEA 316 (Environmental Health)
    • STH 232 (Tourism Impacts and Alternatives)
    • STH 311 (Sustainable Food and Beverage)
    • STH 312 (Greening Hotel Facilities)
    • STH 332 (Sustainable Destination Planning and Management)
  • Group 3: Policy and Humanities (at least 6 hours)
    • ECO 100 (Economics of a Global Sustainable Society)
    • ECO 380 (Environmental and Natural Resource Economics)
    • ENG 219 (Journalism I: Fundamentals of Newswriting)
    • ENG 318 (Journalism IV: Advanced Reporting and Writing)
    • ENG 323 (Literary Nonfiction)
    • ENG 380 (Literature and the Environment)
    • ENV 399 (Environmental Studies Internship)
    • ENV 401 (Individual Study)
    • ENV 493 (Honors Work)
    • HIS 334 (United States Environmental History)
    • IAR 124 (Introduction to Sustainable Design)
    • IAR 221 (History and Theory of Design I)
    • MST 326 (News Analysis)
    • MUS 223 (Music and Environment)
    • PHI 363 (Environmental Ethics)
    • PSC 312 (Environmental Law and Policy)
    • PSC 313 (Natural Resources Law and Policy)
    • PSC 314 (Wildlife Law and Policy)
    • HEA 318 (Conflict Resolution and Facilitation Skills)
    • REL 250 (Religious Tradition and Care of the Earth)
    • SOC 202 (Social Problems in Global Context)
    • SOC 370 (Environmental Sociology)
    • SOC 377 (Disaster, Self, and Society)
  • Group 4: Research Methodology (at least 3 hours)
    • ATY 362 (Methods in Cultural Anthropology)
    • CTR 418 (Research and Evaluation in Recreation and Parks)
    • ECO 250 (Economic and Business Statistics I)
    • ENG 327 (Writing in the Professions)
    • GEO 322 (Research Methods in Geography)
    • HEA 315 (Epidemiology)
    • HEA 325 (Public Health Data Analysis)
    • HEA 340 (Community Observation and Assessment)
    • PSC 301 (Research Methods in Political Science)
    • PSY 311 (Research and Statistical Methods in Psychology II)
    • SOC 301 (Introduction to Research and Methods)
    • STA 291 (Statistical Methods)


Environmental Studies as a Second Major:

Students who wish to declare a second major in Environmental Studies must complete all requirements listed above.

Environmental Studies Major plus Minor in Sustainability Studies:

See the restrictions here.