Why study environmental studies?

The Environmental Studies Program at the University of Kansas, established in 1971, is one of the oldest environmental studies programs in the country. The KU Environmental Studies Program provides a rigorous interdisciplinary education and stimulates exchange concerning the environment from natural science, social science, and humanities perspectives. Learning Pathways, thematic areas of study that match student interest to the environmental expertise of our faculty, are a key aspect of our unique program.

Undergraduate Admission

Admission to KU

All students applying for admission must send high school and college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Unless they are college transfer students with at least 24 hours of credit, prospective students must send ACT or SAT scores to the Office of Admissions. Prospective first-year students should be aware that KU has qualified admission requirements that all new first-year students must meet to be admitted. Consult the Office of Admissions for application deadlines and specific admission requirements.

Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admissions.

Students considering transferring to KU may see how their college-level course work will transfer on the Office of Admissions website.

Admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Admission to the College is a different process from admission to a major field. Some CLAS departments have admission requirements. See individual department/program sections for departmental admission requirements.

Requirements for the B.S. Degree

General Education Requirements

In addition to degree and major requirements, all students must complete the KU Core.

Environmental Studies Prerequisite or Co-requisite Knowledge

Mathematics (0)
Majors must complete the following:
Calculus. Satisfied by one of the following:
Calculus I
and Calculus II
Calculus I
Statistics. Satisfied by one of the following:
Elementary Statistics
Methods of Analyzing Geographical Data
Introduction to Biostatistics
Supporting Laboratory Science (0)
Majors must complete one of the following:
Principles of Physical Geography and Intro Lab to in Physical Geography. Satisfied by:
Principles of Physical Geography
and Introductory Laboratory in Physical Geography
Introduction to Geology, Honors and Geological Fundamentals Laboratory. Satisfied by:
The Way The Earth Works, Honors
and Geology Fundamentals Laboratory
Introduction to Geology and Geological Fundamentals Laboratory. Satisfied by:
The Way The Earth Works
and Geology Fundamentals Laboratory
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry Laboratory. Satisfied by:
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
Or
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
Biology and Ecology (0)
Majors must complete the following:
Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Satisfied by:
Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Honors
Principles of Organismal Biology. Satisfied by:
Principles of Organismal Biology
Principles of Organismal Biology, Honors
Principles of Ecology. Satisfied by:
Principles of Ecology
Chemistry (0)
Majors must complete the following:
Foundations of Chemistry I. Satisfied by:
General Chemistry I
Foundations of Chemistry I, Honors
Foundations of Chemistry II. Satisfied by:
General Chemistry II
Foundations of Chemistry II, Honors

Environmental Studies Core Requirements

Environmental Studies Introduction to Science and Culture (10)
Majors must complete both of the following:10
Global Environment I: The Discovery of Environmental Change. Satisfied by one of the following:
Global Environment I: The Discovery of Environmental Change
Global Environment I: Discovery of Environmental Change, Honors
Global Environment II: The Ecology of Civilization. Satisfied by one of the following:
Global Environment II: The Ecology of Human Civilization
Global Environment II: The Ecology of Human Civilization, Honors
Environmental Studies Core Knowledge and Skills (12)
Majors must complete a course in each of the following areas:
Environmental Policy Analysis. Satisfied by:
EVRN 320Environmental Policy Analysis3
Environmental Law. Satisfied by:
EVRN 332Environmental Law3
Field Ecology. Satisfied by:
EVRN 460Field Ecology3
Capstone Experience. Satisfied by:
EVRN 615Capstone Project3
Environmental Studies Required Electives/Options (0)
Majors must select an option or design their own. Self-designed emphases must be approved in their entirety by an environmental studies advisor and the undergraduate studies director before implementation. Each option requires 4 courses at the 300+ level.

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 32 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 24 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Below is a sample 4-year plan for students pursuing the BS in Environmental Studies. To view the list of courses approved to fulfill KU Core Goals, please visit the KU Core website

Freshman
FallHoursSpringHours
Goal 2.1 Written Communication (First Course, 2 Crs Required)3Goal 2.1 Written Communication (Second Course, 2 Crs Required)3
Goal 2.2 Oral Communication3MATH 103 (Pre-requisite for Major Requirement)2
MATH 101 (Goal 1.2 Quantitative Reasoning, Pre-requisite for Major Requirements)3EVRN 142 (Goal 3 Natural Science, Major Requirement)35
EVRN 140 (Goal 3 Natural Science, Major Requirement)5CHEM 130 (Goal 1.2 Quantitative Reasoning or Goal 3 Natural Science, Major Requirement)5
 Elective (Total Hours)3
 14 18
Sophomore
FallHoursSpringHours
MATH 115 (Goal 1.2 Quantitative Reasoning, Major Requirement)3MATH 116 (Major Requirement)3
CHEM 135 (Goal 1.2 Quantitative Reasoning or Goal 3 Natural Science, Major Requirement)5MATH 365, GEOG 316, or BIOL 570 (Major Requirement)3-4
BIOL 150 (Goal 3 Natural Science, Major Requirement)4BIOL 414 (Major Requirement)3
BIOL 152 (Goal 3 Natural Science, Major Requirement)4EVRN Supporting Laboratory Science LEC (Goal 3 Natural Science, Major Requirement)13
 EVRN Supporting Laboratory Science LAB (Major Requirement)12
 16 14-15
Junior
FallHoursSpringHours
Goal 1.1 Critical Thinking3Goal 3 Social Science3
Goal 3 Humanities3Goal 4.1 US Diversity3
EVRN Elective 300+ (Major Requirement)23EVRN 320 (Major Requirement)33
Elective 300+ (Total Hours)3EVRN Elective 300+ (Major Requirement)23
Elective (Total Hours)3Elective 300+ (Total Hours)3
 15 15
Senior
FallHoursSpringHours
Goal 4.2 Global Awareness3Goal 5 Social Responsibility & Ethics3
EVRN 332 (Major Requirement)33EVRN 615 (Goal 6 Integration & Creativity, Major Requirement)3
EVRN 460 (Major Requirement)3EVRN Elective 300+ (Major Requirement)23
EVRN Elective 300+ (Major Requirement)23Elective 300+ (Total Hours)3
Elective 300+ (Total Hours)3Elective 300+ (Total Hours)3
 15 15
Total Hours: 122-123
1

Refer to the Degree Requirements tab for a list of courses that can fulfill this major requirement.

2

A total of 12 hours of EVRN 300+ electives are required for the major. Students are encouraged to choose courses based on an emphasis area in consultation with an advisor.

3

EVRN 332 and EVRN 460 are Fall only courses.
EVRN 142 and EVRN 320 are Spring only courses.

Please note:

All students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are required to complete 120 total hours of which 45 hours must be at the Jr/Sr (300+) level.

The same course cannot be used to fulfill more than one KU Core Goal. However, overlap of a KU Core course with a major or degree-specific requirement is allowed. Overlapping is recommended to allow more opportunities to explore other majors and/or minors.

Departmental Honors

To graduate with honors in environmental studies, an undergraduate must maintain a minimum overall grade-point average of 3.25 and 3.5 in the major. The student must also complete an individual honors research project in cooperation with a faculty mentor. This project normally represents 2 semesters of original work, the completion of 3 credit hours of EVRN 624 Independent Study, and 3 credit hours of EVRN 625 Honors Research in Environmental Studies. All 6 hours may be applied to the 12 hours of environmental studies electives required for the major. Upon completion of the research project, honors candidates are required to present the results of their work at the department’s Undergraduate Research Colloquium.