The bachelor of science in environmental and sustainability science program equips students with a broad foundation in the sciences with which they can take advantage of important new quantitative skills in geospatial techniques and data science and develop a concentration in either Earth and environmental science or ecological management. Required coursework incorporates science courses from across the university, with elective options including Conservation Biology, Water Resources, and Oceanography. Through varied courses, internships, and undergraduate research, students gain experience in one of the fastest-growing career fields.
Program graduates are well prepared for competitive careers in natural resource management; environmental consulting and startups; sustainability planning and policy; and compliance-oriented agencies and departments of the environment at the local, state, and federal levels. The program is also beneficial for students planning to attend graduate programs in environmental science, ecological management, or sustainability planning and policy.
Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
The George Washington University
800 21st St NW Suite 100
Washington, DC 20052
For questions visit undergraduate.admissions.gwu.edu/contact-us.
The following requirements must be fulfilled:
The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.
The program-specific curriculum:
|BISC 1111||Introductory Biology: Cells and Molecules|
|BISC 1112||Introductory Biology: The Biology of Organisms|
|GEOG 1002||Introduction to Physical Geography|
|or GEOL 1005||Environmental Geology|
|GEOG 1003||Society and Environment|
|or SUST 1001||Introduction to Sustainability|
|STAT 1051||Introduction to Business and Economic Statistics|
|or STAT 1053||Introduction to Statistics in Social Science|
|or STAT 1111||Business and Economic Statistics I|
|or STAT 1127||Statistics for the Biological Sciences|
|Two of the following course sets:|
& CHEM 1112
|General Chemistry I|
and General Chemistry II
& MATH 1221
|Calculus with Precalculus I|
and Calculus with Precalculus II
|or MATH 1231||Single-Variable Calculus I|
& PHYS 1012
|General Physics I|
and General Physics II
|or PHYS 1021|
& PHYS 1022
| University Physics I|
and University Physics II
|or PHYS 1025|
& PHYS 1026
| University Physics I with Biological Applications|
and University Physics II with Biological Applications
|Upper-level major requirements|
|GEOG 2104||Introduction to Cartography and GIS|
|GEOG 2196||Field Methods in Geography|
|or GEOG 3128||Geomorphology and Natural Hazards|
|or BISC 3459||Field Biology|
|ENVR 4195||Environmental Studies Capstone|
|Additional upper-level course requirements|
|18 credits in courses in the major taken at or above the 2000 level. A minimum of 12 of these credits should be within one of the two concentrations below and include at least one 3000-level course. The remaining two courses can be selected from the other concentration or from the “other upper level courses in the major” category below.|
|Earth and environmental science concentration|
|CHEM 2085||Environmental Chemistry|
|GEOG 2136||Water Resources|
|GEOG 3105||Techniques of Spatial Analysis|
|GEOG 3108||Weather and Climate|
|GEOG 3128||Geomorphology and Natural Hazards *|
|GEOG 3218||Arctic Systems|
|GEOL 2151||Introduction to Paleontology|
|GEOL 3191||Geology of Energy Resources|
|Ecological management concentration|
|ANTH 3407||Conservation in a Changing World: Human and Animal Behavior|
|BISC 2010||Global Change Biology|
|BISC 2401||Biodiversity in A Changing World|
|BISC 2454||General Ecology|
|BISC 3454||Marine Ecology|
|BISC 3459||Field Biology *|
|BISC 3460W||Conservation Biology|
|or BISC 3460||Conservation Biology|
|BISC 3461||Plant-Animal Interactions|
|BISC 3464||Ecology and Evolution of Societies|
|or GEOG 2129||Biogeography|
|GEOG 3132||Environmental Quality and Management|
|Other upper-level courses in the major **|
|ECON 2136||Environmental and Natural Resource Economics|
|GEOG 3105||Techniques of Spatial Analysis|
|GEOG 3106||Intermediate Geographic Information Systems|
|GEOG 3107||Introduction to Remote Sensing|
|GEOG 3193||Environmental Law and Policy|
|GEOG 4309||GIS for Emergency Management|
|PHIL 2281||Philosophy of the Environment|
|PPPA 2701||Sustainability and Environmental Policy|
|PUBH 3132||Health and Environment|
**May be used to fulfill the total number of required credits in the major.
In addition to the University General Education Requirement, undergraduate students in Columbian College must complete a further, College-specific general education curriculum—Perspective, Analysis, Communication (G-PAC) as well as the course CCAS 1001 First-Year Experience. Together with the University General Education Requirement, G-PAC engages students in active intellectual inquiry across the liberal arts. Students achieve a set of learning outcomes that enhance their analytical skills, develop their communication competencies, and invite them to participate as responsible citizens who are attentive to issues of culture, diversity, and privilege.
Coursework for the University General Education Requirement is distributed as follows:
One course in critical thinking in the humanities.
Two courses in critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, or scientific reasoning in the social sciences.
One course that has an approved oral communication component.
- One course in quantitative reasoning (must be in mathematics or statistics).
- One course in scientific reasoning (must be in natural and/or physical laboratory sciences).
- UW 1020 University Writing (4 credits).
- After successful completion of UW 1020, 6 credits distributed over at least two writing in the discipline (WID) courses taken in separate semesters. WID courses are designated by a "W" appended to the course number.
Coursework for the CCAS G-PAC requirement is distributed as follows:
- Arts—one approved arts course that involves the study or creation of artwork based on an understanding or interpretation of artistic traditions or knowledge of art in a contemporary context.
- Global or cross-cultural perspective—one approved course that analyzes the ways in which institutions, practices, and problems transcend national and regional boundaries.
- Local or civic engagement—one approved course that develops the values, ethics, disciplines, and commitment to pursue responsible public action.
- Natural or physical science—one additional approved laboratory course that employs the process of scientific inquiry (in addition to the one course in this category required by the University General Education Requirement).
- Humanities—one additional approved humanities course that involves critical thinking skills (in addition to the one course in this category required by the University General Education Requirement).
- CCAS 1001 First-Year Experience
Certain courses are approved to fulfill GPAC requirements in more than one category.
Courses taken in fulfillment of G-PAC requirements may also be counted toward majors or minors. Transfer courses taken prior to, but not after, admission to George Washington University may count toward the University General Education Requirement and G-PAC, if those transfer courses are equivalent to GW courses that have been approved by the University and the College.
Lists of approved courses in the above categories are included on each undergraduate major's page in this Bulletin.