Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major in Earth and Environmental Sciences

The Earth and Environmental Sciences B.Sc. program provides an education reflecting the multi-disciplinary 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 the Geoscientists Canada and the Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia 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
Two of BIOL 116, 125, COSC 101, 111, 114, 121, DATA 101 6
CHEM 111 or CHEM 121 3
CHEM 113 or CHEM 123 3
MATH 100, 101 6
PHYS 111 or 112 3
PHYS 121 or 122 3
Communication Requirement2 6
One of BIOL 202; GEOG 271, STAT 121, 230 3
EESC 200-level courses 9
EESC or other Science 200-level courses3 6
Non-Science electives 6
Total Credits 60

Third and Fourth Years1 Credits
EESC 300- and 400-level courses4 18
EESC or GISC 300- or 400-level courses 6
EESC, GISC or other Science 300- and 400-level courses5 12
Non-Science electives6,7 6
Electives7 18
Minimum total credits for degree 120

1Students 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.

2Communication Requirement: This may be fulfilled by 6 credits from: APSC 176, 201, CORH 203, ENGL 109,112, 113, 114, 150, 151, 153, 154, 155, 156, BIOL 313, EESC 398. In exceptional circumstances, such as transfer students, other courses may be permitted by the program advisor. Students who have not completed the Communication Requirement by the time they enter fourth year will not be permitted to enrol in any courses other than courses that satisfy the requirement.

3Students may choose 200-level courses from Earth and Environmental Sciences courses, Geography courses accepted as science courses, or from across the sciences. Students should consult with a program advisor to select courses to match their intended program of study and professional registration intentions.

4A few upper-level Earth and Environmental Sciences courses are offered in alternate years. Planning with a department advisor is recommended.

5Students may choose from Earth and Environmental Sciences courses, Geospatial Information Science courses, Geography courses accepted as science courses, or from across the sciences. Students should consult with a program advisor to select courses to match their intended program of study and professional registration intentions.

6Those Geography courses regarded as Science courses cannot be used for Non-Science credit. See the Bachelor of Science Degree Requirements for a list.

7At 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 30 credits in Earth and Environmental Sciences with at least 18 of these credits at the 300 and 400 level. All 300 or 400-level Earth and Environmental Sciences courses are acceptable, with the exception of EESC 449. Up to 6 credits of GISC courses may be substituted1.

Minor in Earth and Environmental Sciences for Arts Majors

To complete a Science minor, a Bachelor of Arts student must successfully complete 30 credits of Earth and Environmental Sciences courses1 with at least 12 of these credits at the 300 or 400 level.

1Students with a strong interest in Geospatial Information Science may wish to speak to an Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences department advisor about the Minor in Geospatial Information Science.

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. Students must maintain a high academic standing, and demonstrate their ability to undertake independent research through completion of an individual research project.

Admission Requirements

  • Fourth-year standing;
  • A minimum grade average of 76% in 200- and 300 and 400-level courses applicable to the Major in Earth and Environmental Sciences; and
  • Enrolment in EESC 449 with a research project and supervisor approved by the department head.
  • An individual research project as agreed upon by the student and the supervising faculty member.
  • Permission of the Department Head.
  • In exceptional cases, such as transferees from another institution, a student may be admitted to the Honours program notwithstanding the criteria listed above.

In exceptional cases, such as transferees from another institution, a student may be admitted to the Honours program notwithstanding the criteria listed above.

Graduation Requirements

  • Completion of the course requirements for the Major in Earth and Environmental Sciences with EESC 449 Honours Thesis representing 6 of the 120 credits;
  • A minimum 76% graduating grade average;
  • A minimum average of 76% in all 300- and 400-level Earth and Environmental Sciences courses including up to 6 credits of Geospatial Information Science courses used to fulfill the program requirements; and
  • A minimum grade of 76% in EESC 449. A written thesis is required and the research must be publicly presented either as a seminar or poster.

Page last updated: June 9, 2021

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