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Columbia Campus    
2019-2020 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin 
  Dec 06, 2023
2019-2020 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin

Environmental Studies, BA

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Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate their knowledge of fundamental concepts in environmental studies.
  • Students will be able to utilize information from more than one discipline related to environmental studies, and be able to synthesize that information to analyze interdisciplinary environmental problems.
  • Students will demonstrate effective writing skills.
  • Students will demonstrate effective oral communication skills.

Admission, Progression and Transfer Standards

  1. Any student applying for transfer to the environmental studies major from other programs within the University, or from accredited colleges and universities, is required to have a minimum grade point average of 2.8 on a 4.00 scale and a minimum of 12 credit hours.

  2. Environmental Studies majors may enroll in a course for major credit a maximum of twice to earn the required grade of C or higher. For the purposes of this standard of progression, withdrawal with a W does not constitute enrollment.

Special Opportunities

The major endorses the use of independent study courses to further students’ intellectual pursuits in alternative ways. Before students may register for an independent study course, they must submit a completed independent study contract which has been approved by their major advisor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies. No student may apply more than 6 hours of independent study credits toward the degree. A grade-point average of 2.50 or greater is required to enroll in independent study courses

Major Map

A major map is a layout of required courses in a given program of study, including critical courses and suggested course sequences to ensure a clear path to graduation.

Major maps are only a suggested or recommended sequence of courses required in a program of study. Please contact your academic advisor for assistance in the application of specific coursework to a program of study and course selection and planning for upcoming semesters.

Environmental Studies, BA


Degree Requirements (120 hours)

Program of Study

  1. Carolina Core (32-44 hours)
  2. College Requirements (15-18 hours)
  3. Program Requirements (21-37 hours)
  4. Major Requirements (36-37 hours)

1. Carolina Core (32-44 hours)

Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Written — CMW (6 hours)

must be passed with a grade of C or higher and completed in the first 60 hours

Analytical Reasoning and Problem Solving — ARP (6-8 hours) 

Scientific Literacy — SCI (8 hours)

Note: Must take either both BIOL or both MSCI.

Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language — GFL (0-6 hours)

Demonstration of proficiency in one foreign language equivalent to the minimal passing grade on the exit examination in the 122 course is required. Students can demonstrate this proficiency by successfully completing Phase II of the Proficiency Test or by successfully completing the 122 course, including the exit exam administered as part of that course.

It is strongly recommended that students continuing the study of a foreign language begin college-level study of that language in their first semester and continue in that language until their particular foreign language requirement is completed.

Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking — GHS (3 hours) 

Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences — GSS (3 hours) 

Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding —  AIU (3 hours)

Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component* — CMS (0-3 hours)

  • any overlay or stand-alone CC-CMS course

Information Literacy* —  INF (0-3 hours)

Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility* — VSR (0-3 hours)

  • fulfilled through POLI 201 , an overlay course with GSS

*Carolina Core Stand Alone or Overlay Eligible Requirements — Overlay-approved courses offer students the option of meeting two Carolina Core components in a single course. A maximum of two overlays is allowed. The total Carolina Core credit hours must add up to a minimum of 31 hours. Some programs may have a higher number of minimum Carolina Core hours due to specified requirements.

2. College Requirements (15-18 hours)

Foreign Language (0-3 hours) 

  • only if needed to meet 122-level proficiency

History (3 hours) 

The College of Arts and Sciences requires one U.S. History and one non-U.S. History course. Whichever is not fulfilled through the Carolina Core GHS requirement must be fulfilled through this college requirement. Accordingly, please select one of the following:

  • One Carolina Core GHS-approved course primarily focused on U.S. History: HIST 111 , 112 , 214 , or another GHS-approved course determined by the College of Arts and Science to fit this geographic category.


  • One Carolina Core GHS-approved course primarily focused on non-U.S. History: HIST 101 , 102 , 104 , 105 , 106 , 108 , 109 , GERM 280 , FAMS 300 , or another GHS-approved course determined by the College of Arts and Sciences to fit this geographic category.

Social Science and Fine Arts or Humanities (12 hours)

Select one (3 hours of Social Science) from:

Select 9 hours of Fine Arts or Humanities from:

3. Program Requirements (21-37 hours)

Supporting Courses (7-8 hours)

Minor (18 hours) optional

A student in the Environmental Studies major may choose a minor consisting of at least 18 credit hours of prescribed courses. (Some minors in the sciences require a minimum of 16 hours.) The subject area of the minor may be related to the major. Students pursuing interdisciplinary minors who wish to use courses in their major department for minor credit must petition the College Committee on Scholastic Standards and Petitions for permission to do so.

The minor is intended to develop a coherent basic preparation in a second area of study. Interdisciplinary minors can be designed with the approval of the assistant dean for academic affairs and advising.

Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the minor. No course may satisfy both major and minor requirements. All minor courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher. At least half of the courses in the minor must be completed in residence at the University.

A list of minor programs of study can be found at Programs A-Z .

Electives (13-30 hours)

No courses of a remedial, developmental, skill-acquiring, or vocational nature may apply as credit toward degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences allows the use of the Pass-Fail option on elective courses. Further clarification on inapplicable courses can be obtained from the College of Arts and Sciences.

4. Major Requirements (36-37 hours)

a minimum grade of C is required in all major courses

Major Courses (27 hours)

All majors must complete at least 36-37 hours of approved courses, including the core requirements of 27 hours. Majors must complete enough additional hours from the selected courses to bring them to the required 36-37 hours total. Students are required to develop a program of study in consultation with their advisor. A minimum grade of C is required for all courses used to fulfill major requirements.

* Please see current University of South Carolina undergraduate course catalog for information about prerequisites required to enroll in many of these courses.

Major Electives (9-10 hours)

Students, in consultation with their advisor, will develop a program of study to meet their educational goals in environmental studies courses. All courses may be selected from the ENVR courses below, but if not ENVR courses, then no more than 2 courses should be selected from a single discipline. The list of courses from which students may select their additional 9-10 hours, in consultation with their advisor, includes:

ENVR courses:
Other courses:

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