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Environmental Studies, B.A.

Environmental studies at Saint Louis University focuses on relationships between the natural environment and social, economic, political, legal and humanistic aspects of society.

As global population and consumption rises, understanding the interplay between environmental and social systems has become an increasingly important component of decision-making and planning. The B.A. in Environmental Studies program helps prepare students for careers that emphasize a dual awareness of scientific and social perspectives and their relationship to the natural environment.

Curriculum Overview

The environmental studies curriculum at Saint Louis University is built upon a breadth-plus-depth model. All students entering the environmental studies program are required to complete a core set of preparatory science and skill development courses that provide a broad introduction to the environmental sciences. Students then choose a specialized concentration that provides more advanced instruction in their areas of interest to help prepare them for careers after graduation. The program has been developed through collaboration with many other departments on campus, and it provides considerable flexibility in course selection within the tracks. For most students, the program fuses an understanding of environmental science with the approximate equivalent of a self-designed minor in their specific area of interest.

Environmental studies students take a minimum of 38 credits of math and science core classes. Students then choose from one of the following concentrations:

  • Philosophy, religion and ethics
  • Economics, politics and public policy

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

Weekend field trips, canoe trips and social events are scheduled throughout the year. One perk associated with this major is the opportunity to join other faculty and students on annual, weeklong field trips across the country. Visit environmentally important sites and get to know the faculty, other students and alumni who join the trips.

Undergraduate students in the environmental studies program have the option to pursue internship opportunities through the department of Earth and atmospheric sciences or in collaboration with other departments on campus. Students also have the option to participate in a capstone project designed to provide a real-world perspective as part of their undergraduate training.


The environmental studies program prepares students for careers in business, law, government or wherever knowledge of scientific and social perspectives on the environment is important. Students also have the opportunity to prepare for more advanced degrees in a wide range of fields, including law, economics and public policy.

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.


All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 


Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at

  1. Graduates will know the founding principles in their field of study, as well as the facts and content appropriate to the field.
  2. Graduates will be able to use their knowledge to reason about issues in their discipline.
  3. Graduates will be able to solve quantitative problems in their discipline.

Students in the bachelor's environmental studies program must complete a minimum total of 65 credits for the major.

Core Requirement
College core requirements57-66
For additional information about core courses
Required Courses
Physical Sciences
EAS 1430
EAS 1435
Introduction to the Solid Earth
and Introduction to the Solid Earth Lab
EAS 1030Earth's Dynamic Environment II3
Chemistry Elective
Select one of the following:3-4
CHEM 1000
Chemistry and the Environment
CHEM 1xxx
Any chemistry course
Life Sciences
Select two of the following:6-8
BIOL 1240
BIOL 1245
General Biology: Information Flow and Evolution
and Principles of Biology I Laboratory
BIOL 1260
BIOL 1265
General Biology: Transformations of Energy and Matter
and Principles of Biology II Laboratory
BIOL 1200
Ecological Issues and Society
BIOL 1340
Diversity of Life
Integrated Science Courses
EAS 3100Environmental Issues3
Mathematical/Statistics Requirement
Select one of the following:3-4
MATH 1200
College Algebra
MATH 1400
MATH 1510
Calculus I
Mathematical/Statistics Elective
Select one of the following:3-4
OPM 2070
Introduction to Business Statistics
MATH 1510
Calculus I
MATH 1520
Calculus II
PSY 2050
Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics
STAT 1300
Elementary Statistics with Computers
Skill Development
CMM 1200Public Speaking3
GIS 4010Introduction to Geographic Information Systems3
Senior Experience
EAS 4910Internship3
Environmental Studies Concentration
First Tier Courses
One course from each of the concentrations First Tier courses
Students who choose to select two major concentrations may apply a maximum of 12 credits from an individual department towards completion of both concentrations. One Second Tier course may be applied simultaneously towards the completion requirements of both major concentrations.
Advocacy and Discourse3
Economics, Politics, and Public Policy3
Natural Sciences3
Philosophy, Religion, and Ethics3
Society and the Environment through Space and Time3
Second Tier Courses
Any Second Tier courses from a student’s primary concentration. Additionally, any First Tier course in concentrations other than the primary concentration can be used to satisfy this requirement. 9-12
General Electives3-0
Total Credits118-132

College Core Requirements

Many courses included in the environmental studies program satisfy the core requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences. Depending on the concentration of study and individual courses chosen by a student, the number of core requirements that need to be satisfied after completing the requirements of the major might vary.

Advocacy and Discourse Concentration

First Tier Courses
CMM 2100Journalism: News Writing3
CMM 3060Political Communication3
Second Tier Courses
CMM 3200Organizational Communication3
CMM 3060Political Communication3
CMM 3600Public Relations Principles and Practices3
CMM 4430Culture, Technology and Communication3
ENGL 3885Writing Personal Narratives3
ENGL 3580Literature of the Natural World3
ENGL 3590Nature and Literature3
PHIL 3450Disaster Narratives3

Economics, Politics, and Public Policy Concentration

First Tier Courses
ECON 1900Principles of Economics 13
POLS 1100Introduction to American Government3
Second Tier Courses
CMM 3060Political Communication3
ECON 3140Intermediate Microeconomics3
POLS 2600Introduction to International Political Economy3
POLS 3600Problems of Globalization3
POLS 3640International Law3
POLS 4730Seminar: Contemporary Political Ideologies3

Required when Economics, Politics, and Public Policy is the primary concentration.

Natural Sciences Concentration

First Tier Courses
EAS 1600Sustainable Energy3
BIOL 1200Ecological Issues and Society3
BIOL 1340Diversity of Life3
BIOL 3450Economic Botany3
Second Tier Courses
Any BIOL, CHEM, and EAS courses included in the Environmental Science program concentrations are accepted in this concentration. 2

Required when Natural Sciences is the primary concentration.


Note that many upper-division science courses have BIOL 1240 General Biology: Information Flow and Evolution (3 cr) and BIOL 1260 General Biology: Transformations of Energy and Matter (3 cr), CHEM 1110 General Chemistry 1 (0,3 cr) to CHEM 1125 General Chemistry 2 Laboratory (1 cr), and/or MATH 1510 Calculus I (0,4 cr) as pre-requisites.

Philosophy, Religion, and Ethics Concentration

First Tier Courses
PHIL 3420Environmental and Ecological Ethics3
THEO 2820Religion and Science 13
THEO 3510Faith and Politics3
THEO 3525Green Discipleship: Theology & Ecology3
Second Tier Courses
ANTH 2210Biological Anthropology3
PHIL 4150Philosophy of Science Survey3
ANTH 2200Cultural Anthropology3
THEO 3510Faith and Politics3
THEO 4930Special Topics3

Required when Philosophy, Religion, and Ethics is the primary concentration.

Society and the Environment through Space and Time Concentration

First Tier Courses
SOC 1180World Geography 13
ANTH 2200Cultural Anthropology3
ANTH 3270Climate Change & Environmental Futures3
HIST 3660History of Nature in America3
Second Tier Courses
EAS 32503
GIS 4020Intermediate GIS3
POLS 3600Problems of Globalization3
POLS 3640International Law3
POLS 3330Metropolitan Environment3
POLS 4730Seminar: Contemporary Political Ideologies3
ANTH 2210Biological Anthropology3
SOC 4640Demography: Measuring and Modeling Population Process3

Required when Society and the Environment through Space and Time is the primary concentration.

Non-Course Requirements

Competency exam in computer use will be administered once each year and should preferably be completed during a student’s freshman or sophomore year.

Continuation Standards

Students must have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA in their major courses (EAS) and required related credits (biology, chemistry, mathematics and computer sciences, physics, etc.) by the conclusion of their freshman year. Students that fall below a 2.0 GPA will be placed on probation. If a student fails to obtain at least a 2.0 GPA in their major courses and required related credits by the conclusion of their sophomore year they will not be allowed to continue in the program.

Bachelor of Arts Core Curriculum Requirements

Please note: beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming SLU undergraduates—regardless of major, program, college or school—will complete the University Core curriculum. You can find more information about SLU’s common Core here:
Core Components and Credits
Foundations of Discourse3
Diversity in the U.S.3
Global Citizenship3
Foreign Language0-9
Fine Arts3
Natural Science6
Social Science6
World History6
Total Credits57-66

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate, and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Courses listed under the intensive English program do not count toward graduation requirements. EAP 1500 College Composition for International Students (3 cr), EAP 1900 Rhetoric & Research Strategies (3 cr) and EAP 2850 Nation, Identity and Literature (3 cr) count toward graduation requirements as equivalents to Department of English courses.

    In addition to those courses, six credits from EAP/MLNG courses at the 1000 level or higher may count toward graduation requirements
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
EAS 1430
EAS 1435
Introduction to the Solid Earth
and Introduction to the Solid Earth Lab
Math CourseCollege algebra, pre-calculus, or calculus 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
UNIV 1010 Enhancing First-Year Success 1
EAS 1030 Earth's Dynamic Environment II 3
Biology Course 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Year Two
Chemistry course 3
Math courseA statistics class or Calculus 3
Courses in chosen Concentration 6
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Biology course 3
CMM 1200
or EAS 2450
Public Speaking
or Communicating in Science
Course in chosen Concentration 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Year Three
EAS 3100 Environmental Issues 3
Course in chosen Concentration 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Course in chosen Concentration 3
Course in chosen Concentration 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Elective 3
EAS 4910 Internship 3
Year Four
GIS 4010 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 3
Course in chosen Concentration 3
Course in chosen Concentration 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Course in chosen Concentration 3
Course in chosen Concentration 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Elective 3
 Total Credits122