Environmental Policy Major

Program Requirements

  • Total units required: 39 units with a C or better; 18-27 of the total units must be at the 300 or 400 level

Required Courses

  • 18 units from required foundation courses
    • Intro to Political Science: Pol Sci 101B American Politics; Pol Sci 102B Introduction to Comparative Politics; Pol Sci 103B International Politics; or Pol Sci 106 Introduction to Political Theory (Note: Students scoring a 4 or 5 on AP US Government and Politics or AP Comparative Government and Politics may place out of the introductory requirement and replace it with a 300- or 400-level Political Science course in the subfield related to the AP course.)
    • Intro to Environmental Policy: Pol Sci 2010 Introduction to Environmental Policy
    • Natural Science on Enviro: Biol 2950 Introduction to Environmental Biology
    • Research Methods: Pol Sci 263 Data Science for Politics or Pol Sci 363 Quantitative Political Methodology
    • Policy Analysis: Pol Sci 4043 Public Policy Analysis, Assessment and Practical Wisdom
    • Normative: Pol Sci 3313 Theories of Social Justice

Elective Courses

  • 15 units of 300- or 400-level electives with an environmental focus (from a preapproved list or by petition in advance), 6 units of which must be in Political Science or cross-listed with Political Science


  • 6 units of capstone experiences; any combination of the following:
    • Internship (credits following Political Science rules)
    • Experiential Learning Course
    • Directed Research Project/Independent Study 
    • Honors Thesis (following Political Science rules)

Additional Information

Senior Thesis

The department encourages students to pursue independent research by working toward a senior thesis. Students admitted to this program work closely with a faculty advisor for a full calendar year, beginning at the end of their junior year. Students writing a senior thesis receive 6 units of credit for two semesters of work by enrolling in Pol Sci 415 Senior Thesis Research. This credit counts toward the capstone requirement. Although there is no grade point average requirement for writing a senior thesis, an application is required. For more information, contact the department office. All majors may apply.

To qualify to write a senior thesis, students must do the following:

  • Complete the methodology course requirement by the fall of their junior year (all majors are strongly urged to complete this requirement during their sophomore year).
  • Complete Pol Sci 495 Research Design and Methods prior to their senior year.
  • Apply during their junior year for admission into the program.


No more than 6 units from the following may count toward the major: study abroad, summer school, the School of Continuing & Professional Studies, or transfer credit.

No more than 6 units from the following may count toward the major: internship, directed reading, directed research, or teaching practicum.

Contact Info