ECS BS Degree

The B.S. degree in Ecosystem Science and Policy is recommended for students intending to attend graduate or professional schools in pursuit of research or academic careers (including secondary or higher education). It is also suitable for those preparing for technical careers in government and private industries concerned with the environment.

Students pursuing the B.S. may choose to have the major fulfill either the STEM or People & Society cognate; they will need to complete the other cognate plus the Arts & Humanities cognate.  Students with a second major in another school or college should consult their advisors regarding requirements for that major and school or college.  Any course used to fulfill one ECS requirement cannot be used to fulfill another; however, courses other than the ECS core can be used to fulfill requirements for a cognate, minor, or second major.  Students whose primary college is Arts & Sciences are required to complete four courses designated as "Writing Intensive" (also known as "W") courses. Those seeking a B.S. degree in ECS must complete at least two, but as many as four, ECS courses designated as "W". These include ECS 113, 301, 302, 402, and 403.  Up to two "W" courses may be selected from other departments. Students whose primary degree is in another school or college should follow its writing requirements.

Click for a printable ECS BS worksheet or list of ECS BS Science tracks.

ECS Core Courses


ECS 111

Introduction to the Earth's Ecosystem


ECS 112

Field Problems in Ecosystem Science and Policy


ECS 113

Introduction to Environmental Policy


ECS 201

Seminar Series in Contemporary Environmental Issues I


or ECS 202

Seminar Series in Contemporary Environmental Issues II

ECS 232

Ecological Principles and Environmental Applications


or BIL 330


ECS 301

Tools for Environmental Decision-Making: The Quantitative Perspective


ECS 302

Perspectives on Environmental Decision Making


ECS 401



or ECS 402


ECS 403

Interdisciplinary Approaches


ECS electives at the 300 level or higher


In addition, students must take the following courses, which may fulfill cognate or second major requirements:


Science Core Courses


A science course at the 110 level or above with lab (BIL, GSC, MSC, PHY)


CHM 111
& CHM 113

Principles of Chemistry I
and Chemistry Laboratory I


CHM 112
& CHM 114

Principles of Chemistry II
and Chemistry Laboratory II


CAE 240

Environmental Pollution


or CAE 340

Introduction to Environmental Engineering

Complete one of the following ECS science tracks:


Climate Science and Policy Track

 MSC 111 Introduction to Marine Science 

ATM 102 Introduction to Weather and Climate OR

          ATM 103 Survey of Meteorology [MTH 108 co-requisite]


 MSC 346 Climate and Science Policy*


Select 2  courses from the following:


ATM/MSC 220 Climate and Global Change

MSC 222 Earth’s Climate: Past and Future


GSC 462 (Earth’s Ancient Atmospheres, Climates, and Sea Levels) [GSC 110 + 111 pre-requisites]

Other approved climate science course

One course from the following:  

MSC 313 Coastal Law


MSC 314 Ocean Law


MSC 340 Ocean Policy


 MSC 342/ECS 374 Decision-­making & the Environment)


Other approved climate policy course


18 credits total. Completion of track also satisfies a minor in Climate Science & Policy.


*MSC 346 (co-­‐listed with ECS 403) taken to satisfy the Climate Science track cannot also satisfy the ECS 403 core course requirement; a separate ECS 403 section must be taken.


Conservation Biology Track


BIL 150/151 General Biology +lab

4 + 1 

BIL 160/161 Evolution and Biodiversity + lab

 4 + 1

Select 12 credits from the following (must include 3 credits in the field/lab category)


BIL 226 General Botany


BIL 220 Evolution and Disease


BIL 230 Marine Biology


 BIL 250 Genetics


BIL 315 Marine Biota and Biogeochemical Cycles


BIL 316  Global Primary Production


BIL 330 Ecology


BIL 350 Survey of Marine Mammals


BIL 360 Comparative Physiology


BIL 385 Special topics in biology: Conservation and Protected Areas


BIL 415 – Coral Reef Science and Management


BIL 433 Conservation in Practice*


 BIL 435 Origins, Ecology and Conservation in Insular Diversity


 BIL 441 Animal Behavior

 BIL 539 Conservation and Protected Areas **


Other approved conservation-­‐related course


Field/Lab category:


BIL 221 Biology of Birds


BIL 227 General Botany Laboratory


BIL 231 Marine biology lab


BIL 321 Invertebrate Zoology


BIL 331 Ecology lab

 BIL 332 Ecology and Land Use in the Galapagos *

 BIL 432 Ecology in the Galapagos *


 BIL 466 Environmental Physiology: Oxygen, Water, and Ionoregulatory Stress


 BIL 525 Herpetology in the Galapagos *


Other approved field or lab biology course


22 credits total. Completion of track also satisfies a minor in biology.


* This course is taught at UGalapagos in Fall.  

**BIL 539 (co-­‐listed with ECS 403) taken to satisfy the Conservation Biology track cannot also satisfy the ECS 403 core course requirement; a separate ECS 403 section must be taken.


Environmental Chemistry Track: 1


Select 3 of the following (must include 2 labs):


CHM 201
& CHM 205

Organic Chemistry I (Lecture)
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I


CHM 202
& CHM 206

Organic Chemistry II (Lecture)
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II


CHM 360
& CHM 364

Physical Chemistry I (Lecture)
and Physical Chemistry (Laboratory I)


CHM 365
& CHM 464

Physical Chemistry II (Lecture)
and Physical Chemistry (Laboratory II)


CHM 401

Environmental Chemistry


Environmental Health Track: 2


Select 3 of the following:


CHM 201
& CHM 205

Organic Chemistry I (Lecture)
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I


MIC 301

Introduction to Microbiology and Immunology


MIC 322

Medical Parasitology


Geology Track: 3


GSC 260

Earth Materials


Select 2 of the following:


GSC 360

Depositional and Diagenetic Systems


GSC 380

Paleontology and Stratigraphy


GSC 410

Environmental Geochemistry


GSC 420



GSC 480

Structural Geology


GSC 550



Geospatial Certificate Track: 4


GEG 199

Introduction to GIS (Geographic Information Systems)


GEG 391

Intermediate GIS (Geographic Information Systems)


GEG 392

Remote Sensing of the Environment


Select 2 of the following:


GEG 491

GIS and Environmental Modeling


GEG 545

Special Topics (Web-GIS)


GEG 545

Special Topics (Advanced SAR Techniques and Applications)


GEG 545

Special Topics (GIS in Public Health)


Mathematics Track: 6


MTH 359

Mathematical Models in Biology and Medicine


Select 2 of the following:


MTH 210

Introduction to Linear Algebra


MTH 310

Multivariable Calculus


MTH 311

Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations


Mathematics Courses


Select 1 of the following:


MTH 151
& MTH 162

Calculus I for Engineers
and Calculus II


MTH 161
& MTH 162

Calculus I
and Calculus II


MTH 171
& MTH 172

Calculus I
and Calculus II


Select 1 of the following Statistics courses:


ECS 204

Environmental Statistics


MSC 204

Environmental Statistics


BIL 311



MTH 224

Introduction to Probability and Statistics


PSY 292

Introduction To Biobehavioral Statistics For Non-Majors


Social Science Core Courses


Select 1 of the following Economics/Political Science courses for BS:


ECS 377

Topics in Environmental Economics and Development


ECO 211

Economic Principles and Problems


ECO 212

Economic Principles and Problems


INS 102

Global Economics


INS 421

Poverty and the Environment


MSC 345

Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment


POL 201

Introduction to American National Government


POL 202

Introduction To Comparative Politics


POL 203

Introduction to International Relations


Select 1 of the following ECS social science skills courses for BS: 7


BSL 212

Introduction to Business Law



Ocean Law


STC 114

Principles of Advertising


JMM 106

Visual Design


JMM 341

Web Design


ECS 376

Topics in Environmental Communication


ECS 377

Topics in Environmental Economics and Development


EPS 321

Understanding Human Service Organizations


FIN 300

Fundamentals of Finance for Non-Finance Majors


FIN 302

Fundamentals of Finance


GEG 120

Physical Geography


GEG 199

Introduction to GIS (Geographic Information Systems)


INS 503

Int Relations Topics (e.g., Role of Foreign Aid in International Development)


LAS 502

Research Design in Latin American Studies


MGT 303

Operations Management


MGT 353

Introduction to Entrepreneurship


MKT 201

Foundations of Marketing


PHI 110

Critical Thinking


PHI 215

Logic and Law


POL 314

Legislative Processes


POL 342

State and Local Government and Politics


POL 353

Interest Groups and Lobbying


POL 524

Non-Profit Organizations: Law, Policy, and Management


SOC 210

Introduction to Social Research


Total Credit Hours




Note: CHM 111/CHM 113, CHM 112/CHM 114 must be taken before the Chemistry concentration. Fulfillment of the Chemistry concentration earns a Chemistry minor.


Note: BIL 150/BIL 151, BIL 160/BIL 161 and CHM 121CHM 221, CHM 222 should be taken before the Environmental Health concentration.


Note: GSC 110/GSC 114 and GSC 111 should be taken before the Geology concentration. This plus the Geology concentration earns a minor in Geological Sciences.


Note: Fulfillment of the Geospatial Certificate PLUS GEG 110 earns a geography minor. This minor does NOT qualify for an Arts and Sciences B.S.; students completing the geospatial certificate concentration must complete an additional minor in one of the following for an Arts and Sciences B.S.: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Marine Science, Mathematics, Physics.


Note: MSC 111 must be taken before the Marine Biology concentration. Fulfillment of the Marine Biology concentration earns a Marine Science minor.


Note: Calculus II must be taken before the Mathematics concentration. Fulfillment of the Mathematics concentration earns Mathematics minor.


Note: ECS B.S. majors without a second major must take a GIS course, e.g., GEG 199.