Getting started in Environmental Studies: 2023-2024 Entering Frosh


Students are admitted to UCSC with a "proposed major" in most cases, and later petition to officially declare the major. Admission to UCSC does not guarantee acceptance into a particular major. Students must be declared in a major by the end of the second year (or equivalent), so learning about and preparing for a major is a primary goal for first-year students.

Importance of an early start:

This is a course-intensive and/or sequential program, and students who intend to pursue this major must begin taking classes for the major in their first year at UCSC.

Qualification requirements and/or prerequisites for the major:

Review Major Qualification Requirements in the General Catalog.

Frosh who intend to pursue this major should do the following things prior to the beginning of fall term...

Complete the Math Preparation and placement process. You have 15 free hours of math skills review to prep you for placement or your next course. It takes up to three business days for ALEKS PPL placement to post in your student record. Completing the assessment by August 2 will ensure your placement is posted before enrollment begins (although depending on your enrollment appointment, you may have more time!). 

...and should take these courses their first term:

For students who place in pre-calculus or below:

  • Math class: AM 2 or 3, or MATH 2 or 3

For students who place above pre-calculus:

  • ENVS 24: General Ecology

Special enrollment procedures:

Enroll online during your enrollment appointment.

Sample Academic Plan:

Review the Sample Academic Plan in the General Catalog.

Other Information:

  • Agroecology BA is now an additional major option in the department of Environmental Studies. Contact the advisor if you are interested or would like more information.
  • Within the ENVS single major, concentrations in geographic information systems, global environmental justice, and conservation science and policy are available. Contact the advisor if you are interested in these options.
  • Combined majors with biology, earth sciences, and economics are available, and offer a way to specify a focus of interest within the major. Contact the advisor if you are interested in a combined major. 
  • Some people can complete an ENVS degree in three years.

Links to Review:

Program Description (Catalog)
Department Website

Advisor Contact Information:

Cassie Isaacson
405 Interdisciplinary Sciences Building