Major Code: ENVS
BS degree awarded
59 - 62 hours to complete
16 courses required
For the Declaration of Major Form, contact the department:


Students who seek a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences must complete eleven courses in four areas: Foundation Courses, Intermediate Breadth Courses, Upper Level Electives, and Independent Study. One Field Course and one Upper Level Lab course are required as part of, but not in addition to, this coursework. An additional 5 courses in chemistry, math and physics and/or biology are also required. Except for courses listed under the BS course options, no 100-level courses may be applied toward the major. Oxford College students should check website for Oxford course equivalencies.

Foundation Courses (three required): the foundation consists of three courses (ENVS 131, 260 and 390) designed for students seeking a major.  Intermediate Breadth Courses (three required): at least one 200-level course in each of three discipline areas: Ecology/Conservation, Earth Science, and Social Science and Policy. Upper Level Electives (four required): students will choose four courses (200 level and above) to form a focus in a particular area. Students are given a great deal of flexibility and responsibility in choosing their elective courses. The Upper Level Elective area course options include courses offered in the department and those cross-listed with other departments. Elective courses are intended to provide students with the opportunity to focus their studies in a given area. Focus area choices are guided by a student’s interests and in consultation with the faculty advisor. A limited number of study abroad courses, Emory courses outside the department, or transfer courses may be counted for the major, subject to ENVS department approval.

Foundation Courses (three courses required)

Student must complete

  • ENVS 131: Introduction to Environmental Sciences (with lab)

  • ENVS 260: Quantitative Methods in Environmental Sciences

  • ENVS 390:  Environmental Sciences Seminar.

Intermediate Breadth Courses (three courses required; one course from each category A-C)

A. Earth Science

  • ENVS 222: Evolution of the Earth (with lab) 

  • ENVS 230: Fundamentals of Geology (with lab)

  • ENVS 235: Environmental Geology

  • ENVS 241: Modern and Ancient Tropical Environments (1 credit) and ENVS 242: Modern and Ancient Tropical Environments Field Course (3 credits) [Note: That both ENVS 241 and ENVS 242 are required to fulfill the Earth Science Category. ENVS 241/ENVS 242 also fulfills the field course component of the major]

B. Social Science and Policy

  • ENVS 215: Human Ecology

  • ENVS 225: Institutions and the Environment

  • ENVS 227: Environmental Policy

C. Ecology and Conservation

  • ENVS 232: Integrated Methods in Ecology (with lab)

  • ENVS 240: Ecosystem Ecology (with lab)

  • ENVS 247: Ecology (with lab)

Upper –Level Electives (four courses required, courses must be at the 200-level or above)

The following are examples of ENVS courses that satisfy the upper-level electives:

ENVS 250, ENVS 320, ENVS 321, ENVS 324, ENVS 325, ENVS 329, ENVS 330, ENVS 331, ENVS 339, ENVS 340, ENVS 342, ENVS 3442, ENVS 344, ENVS 345, ENVS 346, ENVS 348, ENVS 349, ENVS 350, ENVS 359, ENVS 361, ENVS 371, ENVS 372, ENVS 377, ENVS 383, ENVS 384, ENVS 385, ENVS 399, ENVS 410, ENVS 420, ENVS 442, ENVS 444, ENVS 446, ENVS 458, ENVS 483.

Independent Study (one four hour course required)

The following courses satisfy the independent study requirement:

ENVS 491, ENVS 495R, ENVS 497R, ENVS 498R, ENVS 499R

Field Study Courses (one 4 hour course)

Students must complete four hours in an approved field study course. A field course may also be used to satisfy one other ENVS requirement (Intermediate area or an upper-level elective requirement).

  • ENVS 241 and ENVS 242

  • ENVS 371 and 372

  • ENVS 442

  • ENVS 444

  • ENVS 446

Upper level lab requirement (one 4 hour ENVS 200-level or above course “with lab”)

Students must complete an upper-level lab course within ENVS course offerings. The course may also be used to satisfy one other ENVS requirement (Intermediate area or an upper-level elective requirement).

Additional B.S. Requirements: Five additional courses in chemistry, math and physics and/or biology are also required. At least one course from each of the three categories, then two courses from any category.

Math and Computer Science:

  • MATH 107

  • MATH 111

  • MATH 112

  • MATH 115

  • MATH 116

  • CS 170

Natural Science: Biology/Physics:

  • BIO 141

  • BIO 142

  • PHYS 141

  • PHYS 142

  • PHYS 151

  • PHYS 152

Natural Science: Chemistry

  • CHEM 141

  • CHEM 142

  • CHEM 221Z/CHEM 226L

  • CHEM 222Z/CHEM 227L