Environmental Studies Major, B.A.

This major is designed for students seeking interdisciplinary preparation in the social sciences and humanities needed to understand how society affects the environment, how it organizes itself to respond to environmental problems, and how understanding of the environment is transmitted through culture. The major prepares students for graduate and professional training, especially in environmental policy, journalism, education, and law. There are two tracks available. Students should contact Dr. Amy Cooke to discuss the right track for their interests and career goals.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the environmental studies program (B.A.), students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge in the connections in social and/or natural sciences through an understanding of major concepts, theoretical reasoning, and empirical findings in environmental studies
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a marketable skill (e.g. GIS, communication, statistics) to enhance their ability to apply concepts from the program in the real world
  • Demonstrate mastery of research and problem-solving skills through individual or team-based projects working for a researcher or client in a social or natural science

Requirements

In addition to the program requirements, students must

  • earn a minimum final cumulative GPA of 2.000
  • complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
  • take at least half of their major core requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 in the major core requirements. Some programs may require higher standards for major or specific courses.

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

The environmental studies program provides two options:

Environmental Studies Major, B.A.

Core Requirements
ENEC 201IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Environment and Society H, F4
ENEC 202IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to the Environmental Sciences4
ENEC 698Capstone: Analysis and Solution of Environmental Problems3
or ENEC 694H IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Project in Environmental Sciences and Studies
One of the following earth system science courses:3-4
IDEAs in Action General Education logo How Cells Function F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Biodiversity
Ecology and Evolution
Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science 1
Ecological Processes in Environmental Systems 1
Coastal and Estuarine Ecology 1
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water in Our World: Introduction to Hydrologic Science and Environmental Problems
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water in Our World Laboratory 1
Synoptic Meteorology
Energy Resources
Two courses from one of the following skills categories:6
GIS:
Anthropological Application of GIS
Landscape Analysis 1
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Geographic Information
Introduction to GIS
GIS in Public Health
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Applied Issues in Geographic Information Systems
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Geovisualizing Change
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Geographic Information Science Programming
Remote Sensing:
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Geographic Information
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Remote Sensing of the Environment
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Advanced Remote Sensing
Geologic and Oceanographic Applications of Geographical Information Systems
Statistics:
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Data Models and Inference F
Principles of Statistical Inference
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Data Science and Econometrics H
Statistics for Environmental Scientists
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Quantitative Analysis for Public Policy H
Five courses chosen from one of the concentrations list below15-20
Additional Requirements
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Principles of Biology
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Biology Laboratory H, F
Select one of the following:4
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry I
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory I F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity F
Select one of the following:4
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry II
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory II H, F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics II: For Students of the Life Sciences F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Electromagnetism and Quanta F
ECON 101IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Economics H, F4
MATH 231IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable I H, F4
Enough General Education and free electives to accumulate at least 120 credit hours. 2varies
Total Hours120
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

F

FY-Launch class sections may be available. A FY-Launch section fulfills the same requirements as a standard section of that course, but also fulfills the FY-SEMINAR/FY-LAUNCH First-Year Foundations requirement. Students can search for FY-Launch sections in ConnectCarolina using the FY-LAUNCH attribute.

1

This course appears on a core requirement list as well as a concentration requirement list, but can only be counted toward one of the two.

2

Recommended courses are ECON 400 and one of the following PH courses: COMM 375/ENEC 375, ENEC 325, or ENEC 368/PHIL 368.

Agriculture and Health Concentration

ANTH 252IDEAs in Action General Education logo Archaeology of Food3
ANTH 306Water and Inequality: Anthropological Perspectives3
ANTH 319IDEAs in Action General Education logo Global Health3
ANTH/ENEC 238IDEAs in Action General Education logo Human Ecology of Africa3
ENEC 325IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water Resource Management and Human Rights H3-4
ENEC 370Agriculture and the Environment H3
ENEC 395IDEAs in Action General Education logo Research in Environmental Sciences and Studies for Undergraduates3
or ENEC 396 Directed Readings
ENEC 420Community Design and Green Architecture3
ENEC 693HIDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Research in Environmental Sciences and Studies 13
or ENEC 694H IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Project in Environmental Sciences and Studies
ENEC/ENVR 522Environmental Change and Human Health3
ENEC/GEOL 324IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water in Our World: Introduction to Hydrologic Science and Environmental Problems 13
ENEC/GEOL 324LIDEAs in Action General Education logo Water in Our World Laboratory1
GEOG 334Human Ecology of Health and Disease3
GEOG 457IDEAs in Action General Education logo Rural Latin America: Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources H3
GEOG 542Neighborhoods and Health3
PLCY 475The Political Economy of Food H3
PLCY 485Poverty, Health, and Human Development in Low Income Countries3
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

1

This course appears on a core requirement list as well as a concentration requirement list, but can only be counted toward one of the two.

Ecology and Society Concentration

ANTH 226The Peoples of Africa3
ANTH 318IDEAs in Action General Education logo Human Growth and Development3
ANTH 320Anthropology of Development3
ANTH 439IDEAs in Action General Education logo Political Ecology3
ANTH/ENEC 238IDEAs in Action General Education logo Human Ecology of Africa3
ANTH/ENEC 460Historical Ecology3
BIOL 201Ecology and Evolution 1, H4
or BIOL 260 Introduction to Ecology
BIOL/ENEC 272Local Flora4
BIOL 277Vertebrate Field Zoology3
BIOL 402Infectious Disease in the Developing World3
BIOL 427Human Diversity and Population Genetics3
BIOL 461Fundamentals of Ecology4
BIOL 463Field Ecology4
BIOL 464Global Change Ecology3
BIOL 465Global Biodiversity and Macroecology3
BIOL 469Behavioral Ecology3
BIOL 561Ecological Plant Geography3
BIOL 565Conservation Biology H3
BIOL 567Evolutionary Ecology3
BIOL/ENEC 256Mountain Biodiversity4
BIOL/ENEC 461Fundamentals of Ecology4
BIOL/ENEC 562Statistics for Environmental Scientists4
CHIN 356IDEAs in Action General Education logo Chinese Environmental Literature3
ENEC 222Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science 14
ENEC 304Restoration Ecology4
ENEC 395IDEAs in Action General Education logo Research in Environmental Sciences and Studies for Undergraduates3
or ENEC 396 Directed Readings
ENEC 462Ecosystem Management3
ENEC 479Landscape Analysis 13
ENEC 489Ecological Processes in Environmental Systems 14
ENEC 491Effective Environmental Communication3
ENEC 693HIDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Research in Environmental Sciences and Studies 13
or ENEC 694H IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Project in Environmental Sciences and Studies
ENEC/GEOG 264Conservation of Biodiversity in Theory and Practice3
ENEC/GEOL 324IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water in Our World: Introduction to Hydrologic Science and Environmental Problems3
ENEC/GEOL/MASC 450Biogeochemical Processes4
ENEC/MASC 352Marine Fisheries Ecology3
ENEC/MASC 441Marine Physiological Ecology3
ENEC/MASC 444Marine Phytoplankton3
ENEC/MASC 448Coastal and Estuarine Ecology 14
ENEC/MASC 471Human Impacts on Estuarine Ecosystems4
ENEC/PLAN 641Watershed Planning3
ENEC/PLCY 372Global Environment: Policy Analysis and Solutions3
ENEC/PLCY 520Environment and Development3
ENEC/POLI 254International Environmental Politics3
GEOG 228IDEAs in Action General Education logo Urban Geography3
GEOG 232IDEAs in Action General Education logo Agriculture, Food, and Society3
GEOG 261The South3
GEOG 334Human Ecology of Health and Disease3
GEOG 423Social Geography3
GEOG 444Landscape Biogeography3
GEOG 470IDEAs in Action General Education logo Political Ecology: Geographical Perspectives3
GEOG 597Ecological Modeling3
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

1

This course appears on a core requirement list as well as a concentration requirement list, but can only be counted toward one of the two.

Environmental Behavior and Decision Making Concentration

ANTH 422Anthropology and Human Rights3
ANTH 539IDEAs in Action General Education logo Environmental Justice3
BIOL/MATH 553Mathematical and Computational Models in Biology3
BUSI 507Sustainable Business and Social Enterprise H3
COMM/ENEC 375Environmental Advocacy3
ENEC/POLI 254International Environmental Politics3
ENEC 305Data Analysis and Visualization of Social and Environmental Interactions4
ENEC 309Environmental Values and Valuation3
ENEC 312Risk-Based International Environmental Decisions3
ENEC/GEOL 324IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water in Our World: Introduction to Hydrologic Science and Environmental Problems3
ENEC 325IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water Resource Management and Human Rights H3-4
ENEC 350IDEAs in Action General Education logo Environmental Law and Policy3
ENEC 351Coastal Law and Policy3
ENEC 380Environmental Economics3
ENEC 395IDEAs in Action General Education logo Research in Environmental Sciences and Studies for Undergraduates3
or ENEC 396 Directed Readings
ENEC 462Ecosystem Management3
ENEC/BUSI 463IDEAs in Action General Education logo Corporate Environmental Stewardship3
ENEC/ENVR 470Environmental Risk Assessment3
ENEC 474Sustainable Coastal Management3
ENEC/PLCY 480Environmental Decision Making3
ENEC 485Coastal Resource Economics and Policy3-4
ENEC 491Effective Environmental Communication3
ENEC 492Social Science Research Methods3
ENEC/MEJO 565Environmental Storytelling3
ENEC 580Environmental Markets: Science and Economics3
ENEC 581Water Resource Planning and Policy Analysis3
ENEC/ENVR/PLAN/PLCY 585American Environmental Policy3
ENEC 586Water Quality Policies and Planning3
ENEC/PLAN 641Watershed Planning3
ENEC 675Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere3
ENEC 685Environmental and Resource Economics3
ENEC 693HIDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Research in Environmental Sciences and Studies 13
or ENEC 694H IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Project in Environmental Sciences and Studies
ENEC/PLAN 547Energy, Transportation, and Land Use3
ENEC/PLCY 372Global Environment: Policy Analysis and Solutions3
ENEC/PLCY 475The Political Economy of Food H3
GEOG 237Natural Resources3
GEOG 435IDEAs in Action General Education logo Global Environmental Justice3
GEOG 470IDEAs in Action General Education logo Political Ecology: Geographical Perspectives3
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Population, Environment, and Development Concentration

ANTH 318IDEAs in Action General Education logo Human Growth and Development3
ANTH 319IDEAs in Action General Education logo Global Health3
ANTH 439IDEAs in Action General Education logo Political Ecology3
ANTH 459Ecological Anthropology3
ANTH 539IDEAs in Action General Education logo Environmental Justice3
ANTH/ENEC 238IDEAs in Action General Education logo Human Ecology of Africa3
ENEC 266Contemporary Africa: Issues in Health, Population, and the Environment3
ENEC 325IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water Resource Management and Human Rights H3-4
ENEC 350IDEAs in Action General Education logo Environmental Law and Policy3
ENEC 351Coastal Law and Policy3
ENEC 370Agriculture and the Environment H3
ENEC 380Environmental Economics3
ENEC 395IDEAs in Action General Education logo Research in Environmental Sciences and Studies for Undergraduates3
or ENEC 396 Directed Readings
ENEC 485Coastal Resource Economics and Policy3-4
ENEC 491Effective Environmental Communication3
ENEC 492Social Science Research Methods3
ENEC 580Environmental Markets: Science and Economics3
ENEC 693HIDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Research in Environmental Sciences and Studies 13
or ENEC 694H IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Project in Environmental Sciences and Studies
ENEC/GEOL 324IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water in Our World: Introduction to Hydrologic Science and Environmental Problems3
ENEC/PLCY 520Environment and Development3
ENVR 600Environmental Health3
GEOG 222Health and Medical Geography3
GEOG 237Natural Resources3
GEOG 269IDEAs in Action General Education logo Human-Environment Interactions in the Galapagos Islands3
GEOG/ENEC 437IDEAs in Action General Education logo Social Vulnerability to Climate Change3
GEOG/ENEC 451IDEAs in Action General Education logo Population, Development, and the Environment3
GEOG 452Mobile Geographies: The Political Economy of Migration3
GEOG 457IDEAs in Action General Education logo Rural Latin America: Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources H3
GEOG 470IDEAs in Action General Education logo Political Ecology: Geographical Perspectives3
PLCY 475The Political Economy of Food H3
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Environmental Studies Major, B.A.–Sustainability Track

This major is designed for students who wish to pursue business and policy with an interdisciplinary approach to resiliency and sustainability. This track is appropriate for students wishing to pursue graduate or professional studies in business or policy.

Core Requirements
ENEC 201IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Environment and Society H, F4
ENEC 307Energy and Material Flows in the Environment and Society3
ENEC 330Principles of Sustainability3
or ENEC 431 Sustainable Cities: Exploring Ways of Making Cities More Sustainable
ENEC 698Capstone: Analysis and Solution of Environmental Problems3
or ENEC 694H IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Project in Environmental Sciences and Studies
One course from each of the Pillars of Sustainability, plus one additional course at the 300-level or above in any pillar (4 courses total):12-15
Equity
Water and Inequality: Anthropological Perspectives
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Political Ecology
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Environmental Justice
Environmental Values and Valuation
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water Resource Management and Human Rights H
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Environmental Law and Policy
Coastal Law and Policy
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Social Vulnerability to Climate Change
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Political Ecology: Geographical Perspectives
Liberation Geographies: The Place, Politics, and Practice of Resistance
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Living Things, Wilderness, and Ecosystems: An Introduction to Environmental Ethics
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Solving Urban Problems
Political Economy of Poverty and Inequality
Public Transportation
Pedestrian and Bike Transportation
Social and Economic Justice
Economics
Sustainable Business and Social Enterprise H
Environmental Economic Theory
Environmental Economics
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Corporate Environmental Stewardship
Energy Economics
Coastal Resource Economics and Policy
Environmental Markets: Science and Economics
Applied Environmental Finance: How to Pay for Environmental Services
Environment
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to the Environmental Sciences
Mountain Biodiversity
Conservation of Biodiversity in Theory and Practice
Restoration Ecology
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water in Our World: Introduction to Hydrologic Science and Environmental Problems
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water in Our World Laboratory
Agriculture and the Environment H
Mountain Preservation
Community Design and Green Architecture
Sustainable Cities: Exploring Ways of Making Cities More Sustainable
Environmental Life Cycle Assessment
Ecosystem Management
Human Impacts on Estuarine Ecosystems
Energy and the Environment: A Coastal Perspective
Ecological Processes in Environmental Systems
Sustainable Energy Systems
American Environmental Policy
Introduction to Watershed Systems
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Population, Development, and the Environment
Energy Resources
North Carolina Estuaries: Environmental Processes and Problems
Marine Physiological Ecology
Marine Phytoplankton
Coastal and Estuarine Ecology
Wetland Hydrology
Energy: Physical Principles and the Quest for Alternatives to Dwindling Oil and Gas
Energy, Transportation, and Land Use
Policy Instruments for Environmental Management
Two courses from one skill area and one additional course from a second skill (3 courses total):9-12
Basic Science
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Principles of Biology
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Biology Laboratory
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo How Cells Function H, F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Principles of Biology
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Biology Laboratory
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Biodiversity H, F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Principles of Biology
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Biology Laboratory
and Ecology and Evolution H, F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry I
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory I
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry II
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory II F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics II: For Students of the Life Sciences F
Communications and Research
Environmental Advocacy
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Internship in Sustainability 2
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Environmental Internship
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Environmental Practicum
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Research in Environmental Sciences and Studies for Undergraduates
Directed Readings
Effective Environmental Communication
Social Science Research Methods
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Research in Environmental Sciences and Studies 1
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Project in Environmental Sciences and Studies
Environmental and Science Journalism H
Environmental and Science Documentary Television
Environmental Storytelling
Communicating Under Pressure: Tools for Effective Communication
GIS and Remote Sensing
Anthropological Application of GIS
Landscape Analysis
Temporal GIS and Space/Time Geostatistics for the Environment and Public Health
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Geographic Information
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Remote Sensing of the Environment
Introduction to GIS
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Geovisualizing Change
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Geographic Information Science Programming
Geologic and Oceanographic Applications of Geographical Information Systems
Analytics
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Data Science and Econometrics H
Statistics for Environmental Scientists
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Quantitative Analysis for Public Policy H
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Decision Analytics
Methods of Data Analysis
Time Series Data Analysis
Programming and Informatics
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Programming and Data Science H
Introduction to Scientific Programming
Systems Fundamentals
Tools for Information Literacy
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Foundations of Information Science
Information Systems Analysis and Design
Additional Requirements
ECON 101IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Economics H, F4
MATH 152IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus for Business and Social Sciences F3
or MATH 231 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable I
Enough General Education and free electives to accumulate at least 120 credit hours. 1varies
Total Hours120
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

F

FY-Launch class sections may be available. A FY-Launch section fulfills the same requirements as a standard section of that course, but also fulfills the FY-SEMINAR/FY-LAUNCH First-Year Foundations requirement. Students can search for FY-Launch sections in ConnectCarolina using the FY-LAUNCH attribute.

1

Recommended courses are ENEC 202, ECON 400 and one of the following courses: ENEC 325, COMM 375/ENEC 375, or PHIL 368/ENEC 368.

2

Internships should be taken for 3 credit hours or combining two internships to reach 3 credit hours. 

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans can be used as a guide to identify the courses required to complete the major and other requirements needed for degree completion within the expected eight semesters. The actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Students should meet with their academic advisor to create a degree plan that is specific and unique to their interests. The sample plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UNC–Chapel Hill in the fall term. Some courses may not be offered every term.

Suggested Program of Study for B.A. Major

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
First-Year Foundation Courses
IDST 101 IDEAs in Action General Education logo College Thriving 1
ENGL 105
IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric
or IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric (Interdisciplinary)
3
First-Year Seminar or First-Year Launch F 3
Triple-I and Data Literacy 4
Global Language through level 3 varies
Major Courses
BIOL 101
101L
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Principles of Biology
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Biology Laboratory H, F
4
ECON 101 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Economics H, F 4
ENEC 201 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Environment and Society H, F 4
MATH 231 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable I H, F 4
Additional Courses
Lifetime Fitness 1
Electives or IDEAs in Action Requirements 3
Hours 31
Sophomore Year
Select one of the following: 4
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry I
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory I F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity F
ENEC 202 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to the Environmental Sciences 4
Select one of the following: 4
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry II
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory II H, F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics II: For Students of the Life Sciences F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Electromagnetism and Quanta F
One earth system science core 3-4
Two courses from the concentration core 6
Electives or IDEAs in Action Requirements 7
Hours 28-29
Junior Year
Two courses from the environmental skills core 6
Two courses from the concentration core 6
ECON 400 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Data Science and Econometrics H 4
Electives or IDEAs in Action Requirements 15
Hours 31
Senior Year
ENEC 698 Capstone: Analysis and Solution of Environmental Problems 3
Remaining concentration course 3
Electives or IDEAs in Action Requirements as needed to complete curriculum and a minimum of 120 academic hours 24
Hours 30
Total Hours 120-121
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

F

FY-Launch class sections may be available. A FY-Launch section fulfills the same requirements as a standard section of that course, but also fulfills the FY-SEMINAR/FY-LAUNCH First-Year Foundations requirement. Students can search for FY-Launch sections in ConnectCarolina using the FY-LAUNCH attribute.

Suggested Program of Study for the Sustainability Track

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
First-Year Foundation Courses
IDST 101 IDEAs in Action General Education logo College Thriving 1
ENGL 105
IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric
or IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric (Interdisciplinary)
3
First-Year Seminar or First-Year Launch F 3
Triple-I and Data Literacy 4
Global Language through level 3 varies
Major Courses
ENEC 201 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Environment and Society H, F 4
MATH 152
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus for Business and Social Sciences F
or IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable I
3
ECON 101 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Economics H, F 4
Additional Courses
Lifetime Fitness 1
Electives or IDEAs in Action Requirements 7
Hours 30
Sophomore Year
ENEC 330
Principles of Sustainability
or Sustainable Cities: Exploring Ways of Making Cities More Sustainable
3
Two envrionmental skills core courses 6
Two pillars of sustainability core courses 6
Electives or IDEAs in Action Requirements 15
Hours 30
Junior Year
ENEC 307 Energy and Material Flows in the Environment and Society 3
One environmental skills core course 3
Two pillars of sustainability core courses 6
ECON 400 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Data Science and Econometrics H 4
Electives or IDEAs in Action Requirements 14
Hours 30
Senior Year
ENEC 698
Capstone: Analysis and Solution of Environmental Problems
or IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Project in Environmental Sciences and Studies
3
Remaining IDEAs in Action courses and free electives to reach a minimum of 120 credit hours 27
Hours 30
Total Hours 120
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

F

FY-Launch class sections may be available. A FY-Launch section fulfills the same requirements as a standard section of that course, but also fulfills the FY-SEMINAR/FY-LAUNCH First-Year Foundations requirement. Students can search for FY-Launch sections in ConnectCarolina using the FY-LAUNCH attribute.

Dual Bachelor’s–Master’s Degree Program

Four dual bachelor’s–master’s programs are offered:

  1. Environmental and science communication is a collaboration between the environment, ecology and energy program (E3P) and the School of Journalism and Media;
  2. Environmental informatics is a collaboration between E3P and the School of Information and Library Science;
  3. Environmental finance and leadership is a collaboration between E3P and the School of Government;
  4. Environmental geography is a collaboration between E3P and the Department of Geography.

Each program is designed for students to earn their bachelor’s degree and complete a master’s degree in a professional school in as few as five years. The dual degree in environmental and science communication is approached through the bachelor of arts degree with a major in environmental studies, and students then complete a master’s degree in journalism with a focus on strategic communication. The dual degree in environmental informatics is approached through the bachelor of science degree with a major in environmental science, and students then complete a master’s in information sciences (M.S.I.S.). The dual degree in environmental finance and leadership is approached through either the bachelor of science in environmental science or the bachelor of arts in environmental studies, and students then complete a master of public administration (M.P.A.). The dual degree in environmental geography is is approached through either the bachelor of science in environmental science or the bachelor of arts in environmental studies, and students then complete a master's in geography.

Students may begin taking courses for the graduate degree while in the undergraduate program. In some programs, up to 12 hours of undergraduate credits can also be counted in the graduate degree. Early advising is essential to success in navigating these dual-degree programs. Advisors are available in both units to help students prepare and select courses appropriately to get the most from their education.

Applying for one of the dual-degree programs is a two-step process. It is highly recommended that interested first- and second-year students speak to an advisor early in their college program. Students must submit a conditional application to most programs no later than their junior year to ensure that they will receive preference in registering for courses. Students must formally apply to the program through The Graduate School in their senior year. The GRE is not required for applications from current UNC–Chapel Hill students for the dual degrees in environmental science and communication, nor for the dual degrees in environmental geography; for other dual degrees students should check with their advisors about GRE requirements. For complete information on the application process and curriculum requirements, please go to the specific website listed above for the dual-degree program of interest.

In addition to the four dual-degree programs specific to collaborations with E3P, there are other dual-degree undergraduate/graduate programs developed by other UNC departments and colleges. Programs of interest include the Department of City and Regional Planning for a Master's in City and Regional Planning (M.C.R.P.), the Department of Public Policy for a Master's in Public Policy (M.P.P.), and the Gillings School of Global Public Health for a range of public health-related master's programs. 

Special Opportunities in Environmental Science and Studies

Honors in Environmental Science or Studies

Students in either the B.S. or B.A. degree program may participate in honors research leading to graduation with honors or highest honors. This distinction is earned by participation in honors research (ENEC 693H) and culminates in ENEC 694H, thesis writing and defense. Students should follow the guidelines established by Honors Carolina and meet with the faculty honors advisor, Dr. Geoff Bell, to ensure that appropriate requirements are fulfilled. (Requirements can be found on the Honors Program website). Honors students can use three credit hours of ENEC 693H (research) or ENEC 694H (thesis), but not both courses, to fulfill a concentration requirement.

Departmental Involvement

The Carolina Environmental Student Alliance (CESA) is an interdisciplinary organization dedicated to uniting the environmental interests of students across campus. Participation is open to all students and community members with an interest in the environment. 

Experiential Education

Possibilities for experiential education include APPLES service-learning courses (ENEC 593), Coral Reef Ecology and Management (ENEC 259), Sierra Nevada Program (ENEC 208), internships (ENEC 393, ENEC 493), research (ENEC 395, ENEC 396, ENEC 698), and honors research (ENEC 693H, ENEC 694H). Additionally, a series of experiential education field sites is available in North Carolina and around the world where students may take coursework and conduct research for a semester. Fall semester field sites are offered in North Carolina at Highlands Biological Station (mountain/ecology), the Institute for Marine Sciences (marine ecology/geology), and the Coastal Studies Institute/Outer Banks (coastal policy and economics). Spring semester field sites are offered on the UNC campus (Sustainable Triangle field site) and in Thailand (energy and pollution). The Thailand field site experience incorporates part of the following summer as well. Summer programs are also offered in the Galapagos via UNC's Center for Galapagos Studies. Contact our advisors about other opportunities. Faculty members often arrange Burch Program summer educational trips to such locations as Australia (conservation, restoration, and natural resource management), Siberia, Russia (ecology and anthropology), the Sierra Nevadas (ecology and physical geography), and northern Europe (energy, sustainability, and communication).

Internships

Students are encouraged to apply for paid or unpaid internships in local, state, national, and international environmental organizations. Internship opportunities can be found through the Ecostudio Internship Incubator website. These internships provide valuable practical experience, and some may be conducted for academic credit. Students interested in academic credit should contact the director of undergraduate studies, Dr. Amy Cooke, or the Ecostudio, to obtain the required application for credit before the term begins.

Study Abroad

Exchange and other study abroad programs are available through the UNC Study Abroad Office. At some locations students may take courses for UNC credit, such as some field sites listed above. Students may take courses at other universities during study abroad and apply for transfer credit as well. We encourage students to participate in study abroad during their career at Carolina.

Undergraduate Awards

Undergraduates may be considered for the Watts and Betsy Carr Awards, Mary and Watts Hill Jr. Awards, and Robert Alonzo Winston Scholarships.

Undergraduate Research

All students are encouraged (but not required) to complete an independent or team research project. Such projects introduce students to the tools needed for graduate study. They also provide an important opportunity for working directly with the world-class environmental faculty members and graduate students at UNC–Chapel Hill, as well as in the many environmental organizations in the Research Triangle. The Triangle area contains one of the largest collections of environmental organizations and expertise in the world, providing unique opportunities for students to conduct research on an immense range of topics from fundamental scientific research to policy applications. Students interested in obtaining course credit for research should speak with either Dr. Geoff Bell (honors advisor) or Dr. Amy Cooke (director of undergraduate studies) to ensure all the requirements and appropriate paperwork has been approved within the first week of classes.

Environment, Ecology, and Energy Program

Visit Program Website

3202 Murray Hall, CB# 3275

(919) 962-1270

Chair

Paul W. Leslie

pwleslie@unc.edu

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Amy E. Cooke

amycooke@unc.edu

Student Services Manager

Violet Anderson

vmanders@email.unc.edu