Environmental Studies, B.A.


The degree in Environmental Studies offers a broad interdisciplinary approach to considering the environment, preparing students for careers in management, policy, teaching, field-based research, regional planning, and the private sector. The B.A. develops a strong foundation for advanced studies in a wide range of academic disciplines. Students may concentrate in Environmental Studies, or choose to complete the emphasis in Outdoor Studies. 

Admission Requirements

Students are admitted to the program after admission to UAS and declaring an Environmental Studies major. Students will be assigned an advisor in the Humanities, Social Science, or Natural Science department depending on their interests. Students should consult with their advisor for course selection and sequencing.

Candidates must complete all UAS General Education Requirements (GERs), the Alaska Native Knowledge Graduation Requirement, and the specific program requirements listed below for a minimum of 120 credit hours. Major requirements can be used to satisfy the Lab Science, Non-Lab Science, and Math GERs. 42 of the 120 credit hours must be at the upper-division level (300 or above), of which 24 must be completed at UAS.

Students should consult with an advisor and select courses that satisfy prerequisites required in this degree program.

Minimum Credit Hours 120
General Education Requirements 34
Alaska Native Knowledge Graduation Requirement 3
Program on the Environment Core 9
Interdisciplinary and Field Courses 6-7
Human Environment 6
Breadth Requirements 9
Emphasis Requirement 15-24
Electives 31-41
General Education Requirements
Complete all General Education Requirements.34
Must include 3-4 credits of Alaska Native or other language (not English) 1
Program on the Environment Core
ENVI S120*Cultures and Environments3
ENVS S102*Earth and Environment4
Select at least two credits of capstone experience:2
Environmental Science Internship
Research in Environmental Science
Research in Geography
Outdoor Studies Expedition II: Major Expedition 2
Or advisor approved course
Interdisciplinary and Field Courses
Select six to seven credits of the following:6-7
Indigenous Sciences and Ways of Knowing: Selected Topics
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Climate Change
Field Studies in Environmental Science
Salmon, Sport, and Society 3
Mountain Studies: Philosophy, Literature, and Practice 3
Ocean Studies: Images of the Environment 3
Or other advisor approved courses
Human Environment
Select six credits of the following:6
Culture and Ecology
Literature and the Environment 4
Sustainable Resource Management
Alaska: A Contested Geography
Perspectives on the Natural World 4
Comparative Environmental Politics
Or other advisor approved courses
Breadth Requirements
Select nine credits of the following:9
*Beginning Tlingit I
*Beginning Tlingit II
*Beginning Haida I
*Beginning Haida II
*Beginning Tsimshian I
*Beginning Tsimshian II
*Introduction to Alaska Native Studies
Indigenous Oral Literature
Alaska Native Organizations and Economies
Introduction to Federal Indian Law
Indigenous Social Movements
ANCSA and Tribal Governance
Archaeology of Southeast Alaska
Arctic Anthropology
Anthropology of Globalization
Tlingit Culture and History
Alaska Native Economic and Political Development
Alaska Native Social Change
Conservation Biology
Aquatic Pollution
Environmental Chemistry
Natural Resource/ Environmental Economics
Indigenous Literatures
Remote Sensing
Snow Hydrology
Advanced Geographic Information Systems
Biogeography and Landscape Ecology
Earth's Climate System
*Local Places, Global Regions: Introduction to Geography
*Physical Geology
*Geological History of Life
Sport, Leisure, and Culture 5
Mathematical Modeling
Alaska Government and Politics
Sociology of Food
*Elementary Statistics
Any course found under the Interdisciplinary and Field Courses, Human Environment, or Environmental Processes and Spatial Analysis headings in this degree
Or other advisor approved courses
Emphasis Requirement15-24
Electives 631-41
Total Credits120

Three to four credits in a single Alaska Native or other language. With departmental approval, students who study abroad in a language other than English, or who have a documented proficiency in a language (other than English), will be considered to have met their language requirement. Students will need to substitute additional credits to fulfill degree requirements.


Outdoor Studies Emphasis students should take ODS S445 as their capstone experience.


Outdoor Studies Emphasis students should meet the Interdisciplinary and Field Courses requirement by choosing between these courses.


Outdoor Studies Emphasis students should meet the Human Environment requirement by choosing between these courses.


This is a required course in the Outdoor Studies Emphasis and will not also count as a breadth requirement for students in this emphasis program.


To include upper division classes as needed (42 credit minimum). Classes should be selected in consultation with an advisor and students are encouraged to include a minor. No more than 6 credits from the major can be used toward a minor. 

Environmental Studies Emphasis

This emphasis represents a deeper concentration in Environmental Studies.

Environmental Processes and Spatial Analysis
Select six credits of the following:6
Temperate Rainforest Ecosystems
Mobile GIS Technology and Applications
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Natural Disasters
Mineral, Energy, and Renewable Resources
Or other advisor approved courses
Human Environment
Select three additional credits from the Human Environment section above3
Breadth Requirements
Select six additional credits from the Breadth Requirements section above6
Total Credits15

Outdoor Studies Emphasis

In order to enroll in ODS designated courses, students must provide ODS application materials and be accepted into the Outdoor Studies Emphasis Program. Note the Outdoor Studies Emphasis majors have specific courses they should take in their major requirements, and should consult with their advisor for assistance.

ODS Emphasis Requirements
ODS S120Wilderness First Responder4
ODS S243Outdoor Studies and Leadership3
ODS S245Outdoor Studies Expedition I3,4
HUM S370Sport, Leisure, and Culture3
Outdoor Skills
Select ten credits of the following:10
Backpacking in Southeast Alaska
Winter Backpacking in Southeast Alaska
Introduction to Rock Climbing
Introduction to Ice Climbing
Avalanche Evaluation and Theory I
Introduction to Fly Fishing, Tying, and Casting
Introduction to Sea Kayaking
Introduction to Swiftwater Travel
Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding
Backcountry Navigation
Avalanche Evaluation and Theory Level II
Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue Fundamentals
Mountaineering I
Advanced Sea Kayaking 1
Other approved ODS skills courses
Total Credits23-24

 May be repeated for up to 3 credits

  1. Describe the fundamental components and interactions of Earth systems, environments, and social systems, including an understanding of their relevance to Southeast Alaska.
  2. Use research techniques to investigate Earth systems and environmental problems.
  3. Use diverse written and oral communication skills to effectively communicate environmental issues.