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Undergraduate Requirements: Environmental Science and Engineering Major

The major can be pursued along two tracks: environmental physics and environmental chemistry. These tracks have separate course requirements and emphases, but at their hearts provide fundamental training in core scientific disciplines, with specialization in applications to the environmental and climate sciences. The two tracks share a sophomore year that continues the Core Curriculum's training in mathematics and physics.

However, there are fewer required classes in the ESE major to enable students to design a curriculum that emphasizes the environmental sciences, after training in a core discipline. A total of 212 units are required for the major, leaving approximately nine classes of free choice outside the major and the core.

  1. Ma 2.
  2. Ph 2a or Ph12a.
  3. Training in data analysis and statistics: BE/Bi 103ab or Ph 20 and Ph 21 or ChE 15 and BE/Bi 103b.
  4. ESE 101, ESE 102, ESE 103. If students have taken ESE 1, they can petition not to have either ESE 101 or ESE 103.
  5. Science Writing Requirement: Ch 91 or Ph 70.
  6. Oral Presentation Requirement: Ge109 or Ph 70 or Ch 90.
  7. ESE 91. Senior thesis (Optional).
  1. Ch 21ab, Ch 41ab, ESE/Ge 142, ESE/Ch 176, ESE/Ge/Ch 171.
  2. Laboratory Requirement: Ch/ChE 9 or Ch 4a; and Ch 15.
  3. At least 77 units of electives, with a maximum of 2 additional lab classes. These courses are to be chosen by the student with approval by the Option Representative or their assigned surrogate. It is expected that the electives will span a range of options and constitute a coherent program in the Environmental Sciences.
  1. Ph 12bc, Ph 106ab, ACM 95ab, ME 11c, ESE 130.
  2. Laboratory Requirement: Ph 6.
  3. At least 2 of the following 4 courses: ME/CE/Ge/ESE 146, ESE 131, ESE 133, ME 119.
  4. At least 77 units of electives. These courses are to be chosen by the student with approval by the Option Representative or their assigned surrogate. It is expected that the electives will span a range of options and constitute a coherent program in the Environmental Sciences.
Typical Course Schedule Units per term
1st 2nd  3rd
Second Year
Ma 2a 9
ESE 102 9
Ch 41ab 9 9
Ch 4a 9
ChE 15 10
Ph 2a 9
ESE 103 9
Electives 18
Total units: 36 27 28
Third Year
ESE 101 9
ESE 142 9
ChE 15 9
BE/Bi 103b 9
ESE/Ge/Ch 171 9
ESE/Ch 176 9
Ch 91 9
Electives 9
Ch 21ab 9 9
Total units: 27 36 27
Fourth Year
Electives 9 9 9
Electives 9 9 9
ESE 90 9 9
Sr. Thesis 9
Total units: 27 27 27

Passing grades must be earned in a total of 486 units, including courses listed above. Any student whose grade-point average in science and mathematics courses is less than 1.9 at the end of an academic year may be refused permission to register in the geological and planetary science options.