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The Bachelor of Environmental Studies is a multidisciplinary degree program offered by the Faculty of Arts. It is designed to prepare students for work related to environmental issues – from natural resource management and protection, to sustainable economic planning and development for the protection and preservation of the environment. The program includes geographical, cultural, sociopolitical, economic and ecological orientations to the environment. Studies in these fields provide a strong foundational understanding of natural processes and systems that make up the environment. Students can focus their environmental interests through exposure to a broad spectrum of knowledge about the human experience and the natural world, and practice in identifying, analyzing and mitigating environmental problems from a human perspective.
The program is a 4-year (120-credit-hour) B.E.S. It is comprised of:
At the 4000-level, the two required core capstone courses take an integrative and applied orientation to environmental policy and practice. To graduate, students must achieve a minimum requirement of a DGPA of at least 2.00.
In selecting their courses, B.E.S. Students are advised to follow the yearly program structure as much as possible. Students should also be aware of course prerequisites when choosing their courses. In the event that a stated prerequisite has not been earned, students must obtain instructor’s permission in order to enroll.
BES students can minor in any subject, so long as they complete the requirements to satisfy the minor as stated in the specific Departments.
A Minor in Geography is available for B.E.S. Students. Students need to consult with the B.E.S Coordinator or a BA Advisor early in their program in order to take the required prerequisite courses for this minor.
A Minor in Global Environmental Politics is also available for B.E.S. students as outlined in the calendar. Students are free to take other Minor options in addition to their B.E.S. degree and are encouraged to consult the academic calendar and speak with the B.E.S. Coordinator or BA Advisor to discuss options.
Note: When choosing approved B.E.S. electives to meet the degree requirements, students are not permitted to take more than two 1000-level courses from any one subject area (ENVS, GEOG, POLI, etc.).
A B.E.S. degree with Cooperative Education (Co-op) is designed to provide interested and qualified students with an opportunity to integrate academic studies with active work experience in an approved job placement. The B.E.S. Co-op option is supplementary to the B.E.S. and Honours B.E.S. degree requirements, alternating periods of full time academic study with three months or more of practical experience in the working world. The Cooperative Education program will make every effort to provide students with up to three (3) paid work placements relevant to their undergraduate degree and/or future careers but cannot guarantee placements. Work terms start in September, January, or May, and have a minimum duration of 13 weeks, with at least 32.5 work hours per week.
The overarching Honours regulations for the Faculty of Arts will apply to students wishing to enter, continue and graduate with an Honours Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree. The Honours option requires B.E.S. students to achieve a higher standard of academic performance and to complete a thesis, encompassing research related to environmental studies.
Chosen from Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geology, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy and/or Computing Science.
See list below.
Honours students are required to take BES Honours Thesis (BEST 4599) (six credit hours) plus three credit hours in approved B.E.S. electives at the 2000-level or higher.
Climate change is one of the defining environmental and social problems of our lifetime, and one that will become ever more relevant and important as we move into the future. Employers in all fields will increasingly seek to hire those with an understanding of climate change and how it relates to business, public policy, economies and livelihoods, conservation, and human health and happiness. As a student pursuing a specialization in Climate Change Studies, you will engage in an interdisciplinary program of study that prepares you with an understanding of climate change from diverse perspectives, examining scientific, political, psychological, economic, and ethical dimensions of the problem and its solutions. Courses are drawn from disciplines across the University, including Geography and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, Global Development Studies, and Social Justice and Community Studies.
The learning goals and outcomes are aligned with and expands upon the established essential principles of climate literacy (NOAA (2022) https://www.climate.gov/teaching/climate) including;
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