Environmental Studies BA

Students interested in a more humanities-oriented approach to the environment may pursue a BA or BGS. Degree, which has an Environment & Culture emphasis.

The majority of students in the College earn a BA degree. The BA is the traditional baccalaureate degree, structured to ensure both breadth and depth of knowledge by extensive general education degree requirements and approximately ¼ of total course work in the major. The BA requirements  include exposure to world languages and cultures, ever more important as the world’s global community becomes central in our lives. 

The primary distinction between the BA and the BGS degree is the study of a foreign language, which is required for the BA but not for the BGS. Other general education requirements are limited as well, allowing maximum flexibility in course selection. See the KU Core for full CLAS degree requirements.

The interdisciplinary nature of the Environmental Studies Program ensures a multitude of options for students. Explore our 10 Learning Pathways or view just one sample 4-year plan for students pursuing the BA in Environmental Studies. 

The BA in Environmental Studies is also offered at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park, with flexible course formats available to accommodate the needs of non-traditional students, part-time students and working professionals.

The Environmental Studies Program is within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Students may declare an interest in environmental studies or a major in environmental studies by filling out the appropriate forms. CLAS Interest Code and Major Declaration forms are available from College Student Academic Services, 109 Strong Hall. Students are strongly encouraged to declare an Environmental Studies major as soon as possible.

Additional university admission requirements:

Requirements for the BA or BGS Major

Environmental Studies Introduction to Science and Culture (16-18) 

Majors must complete both of the following:10

Global Environment I: The Discovery of Environmental Change. Satisfied by:


EVRN 140

Global Environment I: The Discovery of Environmental Change

or EVRN 144

Global Environment I: Discovery of Environmental Change, Honors

Global Environment II: The Ecology of Civilization. Satisfied by:


EVRN 142

Global Environment II: The Ecology of Human Civilization

or EVRN 145

Global Environment II: The Ecology of Human Civilization, Honors

Research Methods. Satisfied by one of the following:3-4

UBPL 538

Environmental Planning Techniques


Environmental Economics


Biogeography Field and Laboratory Techniques

EVRN 410

Geospatial Analysis

EVRN 510

Advanced Environmental Applications in Geospatial Techniques

GEOL 351

Environmental Geology

GEOG 510

Human Factors

Statistics. Satisfied by one of the following:3-4

MATH 365

Elementary Statistics

GEOG 316

Methods of Analyzing Geographical Data

BIOL 570

Introduction to Biostatistics

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 40 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 30 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.