Major Requirements

BA/BS program requirements

The Environmental Studies Program at Binghamton University provides undergraduates with an interdisciplinary major focusing on the interrelationships of humans and their environment as well as the practical and ethical problems resulting from these relationships. In addition to taking core courses required of all majors, an E.S. major completes a specialization developing a cross-disciplinary perspective with a problem oriented focus.

Within the framework of the E.S. major, a student may obtain the interdisciplinary background required for such professional fields as planning, policy analysis, resource management, environmental analysis or environmental remediation. To foster this, students take both natural and social science courses with an area of emphasis or specialization in one or the other.

Students can obtain either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, depending on their specialization.


  • BA Degree Requirements

    Courses required for the Bachelor of Arts Degree include:

    Five core courses (usually taken early in student's program):

    • Envi 101 - Environment And Man/Women: An Ecological Perspective.

    • Envi 201 - Environment And Man/Women: Physical Aspects.

    • Chem 101, 107, Or 111 - Introductory Chemistry (Students specializing in Envi Chem or Envi Ecosystems or Earth Science and Natural Resources science areas are advised to take Chem 107 or 111).

    • Econ 160 - Principles Of Microeconomics.

    • Envi/Geog 239 - Environmental Planning and Policy or Envi/Phil 149 - Environmental Ethics and Policy or Envi 230 - Introduction to Environmental Policy.

    Problem-oriented courses (usually taken in senior year). Select two of the following:

    • Envi 397 - Independent Study

    • Envi 413 - Environmental Impact Statements

    • Envi 415 - Environmental Planning

    • Envi 495 - Internship in Environmental Studies

    • Envi 498 - Senior Thesis

    • Envi 499 - Honors Thesis

    Eight courses in one of the following specializations:

    NOTE: The science specializations include 6 courses within the discipline and 2 additional courses in the social sciences. The social-science specializations include 6 courses within the discipline and 2 additional courses in the sciences. Note that no courses for which a student receives a grade lower than C- will count toward fulfilling major requirements. Also, no courses for the major may be taken pass-fail, except for Envi 491 and Envi 495 (for which pass-fail is the only option).


    Specializations for BA Degree in Environmental Studies 

    Ecosystems BA:

    • Core courses: BIOL 114 (was 117) and either BIOL 355 or BIOL 373.

    • 16 credits (equivalent of 4 full courses) in ecology. Some of these courses are taught in Biology, whereas others are taught in Environmental Studies or Geography.

    • Courses include BIOL 351*, 352*, 370, 371, 374 (2 cr; cross-listed as ENVI 361), 375, 376, 377, 378, 379 (cross-listed as ENVI 382U), 441 (2 cr), 450*, 453*, 455, 461, 469, 471, 472, 475, 476; GEOG 323 (cross-listed as ENVI 323), 422 (cross-listed as BIOL 459); ENVI 327. *Only 4 credits of non-lab courses may be taken for this requirement. Non-lab courses are noted as *.

    • Two courses in the social sciences. These include several Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 312, 325, 382 (if social science), 457, 481 (if social science)—as well as relevant social science courses taken from Anthropology (cultural courses), Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, as well as a select number of History and Philosophy courses. One course must be 300 level or higher, whereas the other can be at any level. 

    Earth Sciences - Natural Resources BA:

    • One introductory geology course chosen from GEOL 111,114, 115, or 116 (if not used to substitute for ENVI 201.

    • GEOL 311 (was 211) and ENVI/GEOL 304

    • Three additional courses in environmental geology from GEOL 344, 423, 436, 414, 416, 453, 460, 465, 470; ENVI/GEOL 342.

    • Two courses in the social sciences. These include several Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 312, 325, 382 (if social science), 481 (if social science)—as well as relevant social science courses taken from Anthropology (cultural courses), Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, as well as a select number of History and Philosophy courses. One course must be 300 level or higher, whereas the other can be at any level. 

    Environmental Chemistry BA:

    • Core courses: BIOL 114 (was 117) , CHEM 221, 231, and either ENVI/GEOL 304.

    • Three additional courses from CHEM 332, 341, 351, 361, 422, 431, 434, 461; GEOL 416, 465, 470; ENVI/GEOL 342. No more than two of these courses may be selected from geology.

    • Two courses in the social sciences. These include several Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 312, 325, 382 (if social science), 457, 481 (if social science)—as well as relevant social science courses taken from Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, as well as a select number of History and Philosophy courses. One course must be 300 level or higher, whereas the other can be at any level. 

    Environmental Policy and Law BA:

    • Core courses: ENVI 312 and ENVI 460.

    • Law courses: Two from PLSC 331, 333,380F, 414; HIST 356; PHIL 146, 345, 455; SOC 326, 378.

    • Policy courses: Three from PLSC 323, 327, 348, 356, 366, 373; ENVI 239 (if not already used for major); Envi 230 (if not used as core course); ENVI 315, 318, 481G; GEOG 341, 347; ECON 314; HIST 237; SOC 367, 374.

    • Two additional science courses. These can be chosen from several Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 323, 325, 327, 342, 370—as well as courses from Biology, Chemistry, Geology, or Mathematical Sciences. One course must be 300 level or higher, whereas the other can be at any level. 

    Environmental Planning BA:

    • Core course: ENVI 415 (double-counts as problem-oriented course).

    • Six courses from GEOG 232, 233, 235, 323, 330, 333, 335, 336, 337, 341, 345, 347, 350, 352, 356, 357, 360, 445, 463; GEOL 465; ENVI/GEOG 239 (if not already used for major); ENVI 312, 460; ECON 331. Only one course can be below the 300 level.

    • Two additional science courses. These can be chosen from several Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 304, 323 (if not used above), 325, 327, 342—as well as courses from Biology, Chemistry, Geology, or Mathematical Sciences (see current list here). At least one course must be 300 level or higher. 

    Environmental Economics BA:

    • Core courses: ECON 360 and one of ECON 331 or 431 or 433.

    • Three additional economics courses from ECON 331, 431, 433 (if not already used for major); ECON 314, 317, 414, 430, 440, 445, 461, 466.

    • Two additional mathematics courses: (a) Choose a statistics course from MATH 147, 148, ECON 366, MATH 448, CQS 112; (b) Choose a calculus course from MATH 220, 221.

    • An additional upper-division course in science or mathematics. These include a number of Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 304, 323, 325, 327, 342--as well as courses in Biology, Chemistry, Geology, or Mathematical sciences. 

    Ecological Anthropology BA:

    • Core courses: (a) either ANTH 111 or 166; (b) BIOL 114 (was 117); (c) either BIOL 355 or 373; and (d) either ENVI 325.

    • Three courses from among ANTH 244, 252, 254, 255, 256, 258, 337, 349, 354, 362, 363, 364, 365, 380 (depending on topic), 451, 455, 457, 480 (depending on topic); SOC 307, 325, 367. 380 (depending on topic). No more than one course can be below the 300 level.

    • One upper-level ENVI course or a relevant geology or geography course.

    Relevant Science Courses:

    • Biology courses: BIOL 105, 113, 114, 115, 331, 333, 351, 352, 355, 370, 371, 373, 375, 376, 377, 378, 379, 437, 450, 455, 459, 469, 471, 472, 473, 475, 476.

    • Chemistry courses: CHEM 108, 221, 231, 332, 341, 351, 422, 431, 432, 434, 442.

    • Geology courses: GEOL 102, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 301, 303, 304, 311, 342, 344, 366,  411, 414, 416, 423, 436, 453, 460, 465, 470.

    • Mathematics courses: MATH 220, 304, 314, 323, 327, 356, 371, 372, 375, 381, 401, 402, 404, 447, 448, 471, 478, 479.

    • Physics courses: PHYS 121, 122, 131, 132, 323.

    • Statistics courses: MATH 147, 148; ECON 366; PSYC 243; CQS 112.

    Relevant Social-Science Courses:

    • Cultural Anthropology courses: ANTH 111, 124, 166, 244, 252, 254, 256, 258, 273, 275, 277, 354, 362, 363, 364, 365, 367, 369, 370, 451, 455, 457.

    • Art History Architecture courses: ARTH 103, 276, 279.

    • Economics courses (note that some courses may have pre-requisites and be restricted to certain majors): ECON 162, 314, 317, 331, 350, 360, 362, 414, 430, 431, 433, 440, 443, 445, 461, 466.

    • Geography courses (note that some courses may be restricted to certain majors): GEOG 101, 103, 151, 211, 212, 232, 233, 234, 235, 239, 259, 323, 330, 335, 336, 337, 341, 345, 347, 350, 352, 357, 360, 361, 422, 445, 457, 463, 465.

    • History courses: HIST 237, 238, 356.

    • Philosophy courses: PHIL 146, 147, 345, 455, 457G.

    • Political Science courses (note that some courses may be restricted to certain majors): PLSC 111, 112, 113, 117, 311, 321, 323, 326, 327, 331, 333, 340, 348, 356, 360, 366, 373, 414, 419, 421, 435, 441, 442.

    • Sociology courses: SOC 100, 226, 240, 301, 307, 325, 359, 367, 368, 374, 375, 378.

    Relevant Courses for Ecological Anthropology Specialization:

    • Environmental Studies: ENVI 304, 323, 325*,  327, 330, 342 (*whichever courses isn't already used for specialization).

    • Geography: GEOG 323, 330, 333, 335, 336, 337, 341, 345, 347, 350, 352, 357, 360, 361, 422, 445, 463, 465.

    • Geology: GEOL 304, 342, 344, 366, 414, 416, 423, 436, 453,460, 465, 470.

  • BS Degree Requirements

    Courses required for the Bachelor of Science Degree include:

    Five core courses:

    • Envi 101 - Environment and Man/Women: An Ecological Perspective

    • Envi 201 - Environment and Man/Women: Physical Aspects

    • Chem 107 or 111 - Introductory Chemistry

    • Econ 160 - Principles of Microeconomics

    • Envi/Geog 239 - Environmental Planning and Policy or Envi/Phil 149 - Environmental Ethics and Policy or Envi 230 - Introduction to Environmental Policy.

    Problem-oriented courses. Select two of the following:

    • Envi 397 - Independent Study

    • Envi 413 - Environmental Impact Statements

    • Envi 415 - Environmental Planning

    • Envi 495 - Internship in Environmental Studies

    • Envi 498 - Senior Thesis

    • Envi 499 - Honors Thesis

    Eleven courses in one of the following science specializations, differing from the BA by adding 1 second-year chemistry course and 2 additional courses within the primary science discipline:

    NOTE: no courses for which a student receives a grade lower than C- will count toward fulfilling major requirements. Also, no courses for the major may be taken pass-fail, except for Envi 491 and Envi 495 (for which pass-fail is the only option).


    Specializations for BS Degree in Environmental Studies 

    Ecosystems BS:

    • Core courses: BIOL 114 (was 117) and either BIOL 355 or 373

    • Second-year chemistry: CHEM 221 or 231. Note: if you've taken CHEM 107 for the general major requirement, be sure to take CHEM 108 before taking either of these courses.

    • Ecology courses: 24 credits drawn from BIOL 113 and 115 (was 118), 351*, 352*, 370, 371, 374 (2 cr), 375, 376, 377, 378, 379, 441 (2 cr), 450*, 453*, 455, 471, 472, 473, 474, 475, 476, 479 (2 cr); GEOG 322, 323; ENVI 325, 327. *Only 8 credits of non-lab courses may be taken for this requirement. Non-lab courses are noted with a *.

    • Two courses in the social sciences. These include several Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 312, 325, 382 (if social science), 457, 481 (if social science)—as well as relevant social science courses taken from Anthropology (cultural courses), Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, as well as a select number of History and Philosophy courses (see current course list here). One course must be 300 level or higher, whereas the other can be at any level. 

    Earth Sciences - Natural Resources BS:

    • One introductory geology course chosen from GEOL 111, 113, 114, 115, or 116.

    • Core courses: GEOL 311 and GEOL/ENVI 304

    • Second-year chemistry: CHEM 221 or 231. Note: if you've taken CHEM 107 for the general major requirement, be sure to take CHEM 108 before taking either of these courses.

    • Five courses in environmental geology from among GEOL 205, 301, 303, 344, 411, 413, 414, 416, 423, 436, 453, 465, 470; GEOL/ENVI 342. Only one of these courses may be below the 300 level.

    • Two courses in the social sciences. These include several Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 312, 325, 382 (if social science), 457, 481 (if social science)—as well as relevant social science courses taken from Anthropology (cultural courses), Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, as well as a select number of History and Philosophy courses (see current course list here). One course must be 300 level or higher, whereas the other can be at any level. 

    Environmental Chemistry BS:

    • Core courses: BIOL 114 (was 117), CHEM 221, CHEM 231, and GEOL/ENVI 304

    • Five courses from CHEM 332, 341, 351, 361, 422, 431, 434; GEOL 342, 16, 465, 470.

    • Two courses in the social sciences. These include several Environmental Studies courses—ENVI 312, 325, 382 (if social science), 457, 481 (if social science)—as well as relevant social science courses taken from Anthropology (cultural courses), Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, as well as a select number of History and Philosophy courses (see current course list here). One course must be 300 level or higher, whereas the other can be at any level.

    Relevant Social-Science Courses:

    • Cultural Anthropology courses: ANTH 111, 124, 166, 244, 252, 254, 256, 258, 273, 275, 277, 354, 362, 363, 364, 365, 367, 369, 370, 451, 455, 457.

    • Art History Architecture courses: ARTH 103, 276, 279.

    • Economics courses (note that some courses may have pre-requisites and be restricted to certain majors): ECON 162, 314, 317, 331, 350, 360, 362, 414, 430, 431, 433, 440, 443, 445, 461, 466.

    • Geography courses (note that some courses may be restricted to certain majors): GEOG 101, 103, 151, 211, 212, 232, 233, 234, 235, 239, 259, 323, 330, 333, 335, 336, 337, 341, 345, 347, 350, 352, 356, 357, 360, 361, 375, 422, 445, 457, 460, 463, 465.

    • History courses: HIST 237, 238, 356.

    • Philosophy courses: PHIL 146, 147, 345, 455, 457G.

    • Political Science courses (note that some courses may be restricted to certain majors): PLSC 111, 112, 113, 117, 311, 321, 323, 326, 327, 331, 333, 340, 348, 356, 360, 366, 373, 414, 419, 421, 433, 435, 441, 442.

    • Sociology courses: SOC 100, 226, 240, 301, 307, 325, 326, 358, 359, 367, 368, 374, 375, 378.