Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major in Earth and Environmental Sciences

The Earth and Environmental Sciences B.Sc. program provides an education reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the field. Students will acquire a fundamental understanding of past and present relationships among air, water, rocks and minerals, and biota. Flexible program requirements allow students to acquire a degree that meets their personal objectives. Students can highlight the environment or the solid earth and enhance their program with related elective courses from Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Mathematics, and Statistics. Programs can also be designed to meet curriculum guidelines required by professional organizations1. For example, students are referred to Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists (CCPG) and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC) websites for syllabus requirements for registration as a Professional Geoscientist. Registration with other national and provincial bodies may be possible with careful course selection.

1Professional registration in geoscience and other related fields is managed by organizations external to UBC. Efforts are made to ensure that the relevant UBC courses meet provincial and national registration requirements, but students are reminded that the final decision on course acceptance and registration rests with these external organizations.

First and Second Years1 Credits
Two of EESC 101, 111, 121 6
BIOL 116, 125 6
CHEM 111 or CHEM 121; and CHEM 113 or CHEM 123 6
MATH 100, 101 6
PHYS 111 or 112; and PHYS 102 or 122 6
Two of ENGL 112 or 114, 113, 150, 151, 153 6
STAT 230 or equivalent course (e.g. BIOL 202; GEOG 271; PSYO 271; SOCI 271) 3
At least three 200-level EESC courses 9
Electives2 12
Total Credits 60
Third and Fourth Years1 Credits
Any eight EESC 300- and 400-level courses3 24
Upper-level Science electives4 12
Arts electives5,6 12
Electives6 12
Minimum total credits for degree 120
1 Students are advised to consult a departmental program advisor or the program website for guidance on which courses to take in first and second year. The choice of courses, and the order to take them in, may vary depending on student interests. Careful selection of courses at all levels may be required to meet the requirements of registration in some professional organizations. Consultation with a departmental program advisor is recommended at the end of 1st-year or in the first weeks of 2nd year if a student is aiming to meet requirements of professional registration.
2 At least 6 of these 12 credits must be 200-level science. Students may choose to take additional 200-level EESC or GEOG science courses within the electives credits.
3 A few upper-level Earth and Environmental Sciences courses are offered in alternate years. Planning with a department advisor is recommended.
4 Students may choose from Earth and Environmental Sciences courses, Geography courses accepted as science courses, or from across the sciences.
5 Those Geography courses regarded as Science courses cannot be used for Arts credit.
6 At least 6 credits of these electives must be at upper-level.

Minor in Earth and Environmental Sciences for Science Majors

A student must successfully complete 18 credits in Earth and Environmental Sciences courses at the 300 and 400 level. All upper-level Earth and Environmental Sciences courses are acceptable, with the exception of EESC 449.

Minor in Earth and Environmental Sciences for Arts Majors

To complete a Science minor, a Bachelor of Arts student must have at least 30 credits of Earth and Environmental Sciences courses with at least 12 of these credits numbered 300 or above.

Earth and Environmental Sciences Honours Program

The Earth and Environmental Sciences Honours program is designed for dedicated students in Earth and Environmental Sciences desiring a recognized research component in their B.Sc. degree. Course requirements are similar to the Major in Earth and Environmental Sciences (total 120 credits), with EESC 449 (Honours Thesis Project) representing 6 of these credits.

Admission Requirements

  • Fourth-year standing;
  • A minimum grade average of 75% in 200- and 300-level courses; and
  • Enrolment in EESC 449 with a research project and supervisor approved by the academic unit.

Graduation Requirements

  • Completion of the course requirements for the Major in Earth and Environmental Sciences with 6 of the 120 credits representing the Honours Thesis (EESC 449);
  • A 75% overall grade average;
  • A minimum average of 70% in all upper-level Earth and Environmental Sciences courses; and
  • A minimum grade of 75% in EESC 449. A written thesis is required and must be publicly presented either as a seminar or poster.

Page last updated: June 7, 2017

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