ESES Major Requirements

The ESES program offers a unique combination of structure and flexibility not found in most programs at the University of Illinois. Since most students are not accustomed to the level of choice we present our majors, the ESES program has professors ready to advise you in the customization of your degree. 

OUTLINE OF THE ESES BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES

HOURS
REQUIREMENTS

 15 - 18

One Concentration

  • Society and Environment (SAE) OR
  • Science of the Earth System (SES)

  7

ESES Introductory Core: Required Courses

  • ESE 200: Earth's Physical Systems
  • ESE 379: Intro to GIS Systems

 12 - 14

ESES Introductory Core: Breadth Coursework
Four introductory courses selected from four different categories.

 9 - 12

ESES Advanced Courses
Five advanced courses from the approved list, three must be from the ESE or ENSU rubric.

 

CHOOSE A CONCENTRATION: EITHER SAE OR SES

After studying cross-disciplinary introductory classes, ESES students choose to focus in one of two concentrations, depending on their developing interests.

SAE: SOCIETY AND THE ENVIRONMENT,
15-18 HOURS

It is also recommended, but not required, that SAE students take CHEM 101 or 102.*Substitutions may be made with advisor approval.

The SAE concentration offers a balanced cross-disciplinary social science/humanities education, emphasizing the political, socio-cultural, economic, and historical dimensions of sustainability. Students in this track might be interested in focusing on these areas:

  • Environmental Policy
  • Environmental Economics
  • Studies in Science and Technology
  • Social Valuation of Environmental Systems
  • Social Studies of the Physical Environment
  • Environmental History
  • Social Movements and the Environment
  • Perceptions of Environmental Risk
  • Environmental Ethics

SES: SCIENCE OF THE EARTH SYSTEM, 
16-18 HOURS

It is also recommended, but not required, that SES students take ECON 102. *Substitutions may be made with advisor approval.

The SES concentration is a rigorous scientific program in the geophysical and ecological sciences focused on the complexity and interactions of natural systems. Students in this track might be interested in focusing on these areas:

  • Water/Hydrology
  • Ecology and Ecosystems
  • Data and Modeling
  • Engineering and Management Practices
  • Climate and Global Change
  • Biogeochemical Cycles
  • Types of Pollution and Their Sources
  • Remote Sensing
  • Sustainability Applications of GIS
  • Green Chemistry

ESES REQUIRED CORE, 7 HOURS

Both of the below courses are required. ESE 200 is a general introduction into sustainability and the various topics covered by our major. GGIS 379 introduces students to the software and practices behind viewing data on a map with ArcGIS. Typically, ESE 200 is only offered Fall semesters, while GGIS 379 is available Fall and Spring semesters.

ESES INTRODUCTORY CORE, 12-14 HOURS

Students take one approved introductory course from at least four of the following five areas:

    Students take one approved introductory or advanced course from at least four of the following five areas.

     

    Earth’s Biosphere and Ecology

     

    ESE 111GEOL 143IB 100IB 103IB 105IB 150MCB 150NRES 105UP 205

     

    Earth’s Physical Systems, Resources, and Hazards

     

    ATMS 100ATMS 120ATMS 201GEOL 100GEOL 107GEOL 117GEOL 118GGIS 103GGIS 222

     

    Environment and the Human Response

     

    ACE 210ACE 251GGIS 106HIST 202REL 270RST 242SOC 160

     

    Sustainability, Policy, and Global Change

     

    ANTH 278ATMS 140CPSC 215GEOL 208LA 250NPRE 101NPRE 201PS 224PS 225SOC 270

     

    Visualizing the Earth System

     

    ATMS 207GGIS 105

     

    ESES ADVANCED COURSES, 15-20 HOURS  

    A minimum of five (5) 300- and 400-level courses, from the approved list are required. At least three of these five advanced courses must be listed or cross-listed as an ESE or ENSU course. Advanced courses will in most circumstances count toward the LAS requirement of 21 hours of 300- or 400-level courses overall, and 12 hours of 300- or 400-level courses in the major. It is strongly recommended that students complete the LAS requirement with 21 hours of 300- or 400-level courses related to the ESE curriculum. Please note that your DARS report will not show these requirements as being met until you complete a Major Plan of Study with your advisor.

    Looking for hands-on experience in a class? Consider ESE 401: ESE Capstone. ESE 401 offers a pathway for students to receive course credit for a senior thesis or internship experience. Make an appointment with Dr. Jonathan Tomkin to learn more about ESE 401.

    NOTES
    1. A minimum of 120 hours of course work is required for graduation, including twelve hours of advanced (400 level or approved 300 level) courses that must be taken on this campus.
    2. All foreign language requirements for the College of LAS must be satisfied.
    3. A Major Plan of Study form must be completed and submitted to the LAS Student Affairs Office, ideally by the end of the fifth semester (60-75 hours).
    4. Study abroad courses may be substituted for major and minor requirements with approval of advisor.
    5. There are two ESES minor options, the ESES minor and the Environmental Fellows Program minor.
    6. Double majoring is generally allowed, as per the College of Liberal Arts and Science’s guidelines, with the following exception: Undergraduate students may not major in both ESES and in a major directed by one of the three departments (Geology, Geography, and Atmospheric Science) that make up the School without the explicit approval of the ESES advisor.
    7. Departmental Distinctions are awarded as follows:

      Distinction: A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.3, and have also completed an approved independent study project, approved senior thesis, or approved capstone.

      High Distinction: A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5, and have also completed an approved independent study project, approved senior thesis, or approved capstone.

      Highest Distinction: A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.7, and also completed an approved senior thesis or approved research capstone.
       

    8. Graduate programs may require additional coursework. All students wishing to attend graduate school in any field should discuss necessary supplementary coursework with their advisor as early as possible.