Advice for New Environmental Studies Students

Welcome to Environmental Studies!  It’s hard to think of anything more important than the preservation of the ecosystems that make human life possible, and whose millions of species make the Earth a place of beauty and wonder.  Our degree programs will give you skills and knowledge that enable you to contribute to a sustainable and socially just future, both as a citizen and in your career.

Academic advising is important to ensure that you complete your degree in a timely fashion, so please—get to know your advisor!  They’re assigned by first letter of your last name; see the ENVS web page for their names, hours and contact information. Advising is especially important as you choose your upper-division (and, for BA students) your Complementary Studies courses.  The advice on this page will help you choose your first-semester courses. 

For All New Freshman and Transfer Students Without An Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT)

Use your first semester to complete these lower-division courses required for the ENVS major:

                ENVS 130, Introduction to ENVS.  Please note that we do not generally accept Environmental Science courses taken at a community college as substitutes for this course.   

Either CHEM 115 (5 units) or CHEM 180 (3 units).  Most ENVS students take CHEM 180.  Many community colleges offer an equivalent of CHEM 115.  Students should check with to see if their community college CHEM is an equivalent of SFSU CHEM 115. 

                Either GEOG 101 or ERTH 230, to satisfy the “Physical Environment” ENVS requirement.  Many community colleges offer equivalents to one or both of these courses.  Check with

                ENVS 224, Research Methods

For All New Freshman and Transfer Students without an ADT Who Seek A B.S. in Environmental Studies

Students transferring into the ENVS B.S. (Natural Resources Management and Conservation) are strongly advised to take the BIO 230/240 sequence their first and second semesters, as these courses are prerequisites to many of the upper division courses required for this degree.

For Students Transferring In with ADT                    

Students transferring into the ENVS B.A. program with an Associate Degree in Environmental Science (ADT) have satisfied the lower-division CHEM requirement and the lower-division Physical Environment requirement.  ENVS 130 and ENVS 224 should be taken first semester, as shown on this roadmap.

Students transferring into the ENVS B.S. degree program with an Associate Degree in Biology (ADT) have completed the equivalents of BIO 230 and 240, as well as the lower-division CHEM requirement.  ENVS 130, ENVS 224, and either GEOG 101 or ERTH 230 to satisfy the Physical Environment requirement should be taken first semester, as shown on this roadmap.