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 employs three advisors ready to assist you in the customization of your degree. Our advisors each teach courses within the major, and have extensive knowledge of the University of Illinois campus, courses, student resources, and more. They are here to help you make sense of our degree requirements and select courses that will develop your potential and nurture your curiosity.

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. GEOG 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 GEOG 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:

Environment & the Human Response 

  • ESE 170: Nature Religion
  • GEOG 106: Geographies of Globalization
  • ACE 210: Environmental Economics ACE 255: Economics of Food and Environmental Justice
  • ACE 251: The World Food Economy
  • ENGL 274: Lit & Social Issues, Energy Literature
  • HIST 202: American Environmental History
  • HIST 282: Nature and American Culture
  • SOC 160: Global Ineq and Social Change
  • RLST 270: Religion, Ethics, Environment

Sustainability, Policy, & Global Change

  • ANTH 278: Climate Change & Civilization
  • ATMS 140: Climate and Global Change
  • GEOL 208: History of the Earth System
  • CPSC 215: The Prairie & Bioenergy
  • NPRE 101: Energy Sources
  • NPRE 201: Energy Systems
  • PS 224: Politics of the National Parks
  • PS 225: Environmental Politics
  • LA 250: Environmental Site Analysis
  • SOC 270: Population Issues

Earth's Physical Systems, Resources, & Hazards

  • ATMS 100: Introduction to Meteorology
  • ATMS 120: Severe and Hazardous Weather
  • ATMS 201: General Meteorology
  • GEOG 103: Earth’s Physical System
  • GEOG 222: Big Rivers of the World
  • GEOL 100: Planet Earth
  • GEOL 103: Planet Earth QR II
  • GEOL 104: Geology of the National Parks
  • GEOL 107: Physical Geology
  • GEOL 117: The Oceans
  • GEOL 118: Natural Disasters

Visualizing the Earth System

  • GEOG 105: The Digital Earth

Earth's Biosphere & Ecology

  • ESE 111: Emergence of Life
  • ESE 126: Extinction: Dinosaurs to Dodos
  • GEOL 143: History of Life
  • IB 100: Biological Sciences
  • IB 103: Introduction to Plant Biology
  • IB 105: Environmental Biology
  • IB 107: Global Warming, Biofuels, Food
  • IB 150: Organismal & Evolutionary Biol
  • MCB 150: Molec & Cellular Basis of Life
  • UP 205: Ecology & Environmental Sustainability

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.

Environment & the Human Response

  • ESE 311: Environmental Issues Today
  • ESE 360: Environmental Writing
  • ESE 381: Environmental Perspectives
  • ESE 389: Environ. & Sustainable Field Expedition
  • ENSU 301: Soc Impacts Weather & Climate
  • GEOG 350: Sustainability and the City
  • GEOG 384: Population Geography
  • GEOG 455: Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa
  • GEOG 495: Democracy and Environment
  • GEOG 496: Climate and Social Vulnerability
  • GEOG 483: Urban Geography
  • AGCM 330: Environmental Communications
  • AGCM 430: Communication in Environmental Social Movements
  • CHLH 469: Environmental Health
  • ENG 315: Learning in Community (Approved Sections Only)
  • ENGL 476: Topics in Lit & Environment, American Literature and the Sea
  • LA 314: History of World Landscapes
  • LA 430: Children and Nature
  • LA 450: Ecology of Land Restoration
  • NRES 340: Environmental Social Sciences Research Methods
  • NRES 472: Environmental Psychology
  • SOC 447: Environmental Sociology

Sustainability, Policy, and Global Change

  • ENSU 303: Sustainable Business I
  • ENSU 310: Renewable & Alternative Energy
  • ENSU 410: Sustainable Organizations
  • ESE 465: Transp and Sustainability
  • ESE 466: Environmental Policy
  • ESE 481: Intl Environ Cooperation
  • ESE 482: Challenges of Sustainability
  • ATMS 307: Climate Change Processes
  • ATMS 447: Climate Change Assessment
  • ATMS 449: Biogeochemical Cycles
  • ACE 310: Natural Resource Economics
  • ACE 406: Environmental Law and Policy
  • ACE 411: Environment and Development
  • CPSC 336: Tomorrow's Environment
  • CPSC 415: Bioenergy Crops
  • CPSC 431: Plants and Global Change
  • LA 370: Environmental Sustainability
  • NPRE 480: Energy and Security
  • NRES 325: Natural Resource Policy Management
  • NRES 424: U.S. Environment, Justice & Policy
  • NRES 426: Renewable Energy Policy
  • NRES 439: Environment and Sustainable Development
  • TSM 311: Humanity in the Food Web
  • UP 405: Watershed Ecology and Planning
  • UP 446: Sustainable Planning Seminar
  • UP 456: Sustainable Planning Workshop
  • UP 480: Sustainable Design Principles

Earth's Physical Systems, Resources, & Hazards

  • ENSU 302: Air Pollution to Global Change
  • ESE 320: Water Planet, Water Crisis
  • ESE 333: Earth Materials and the Environment
  • ESE 411: Geomorphology
  • ESE 445: Earth Resources Sustainability
  • ESE 470: Introduction to Hydrogeology
  • ESE 486 Environmental Consulting
  • ATMS 420: Atmospheric Chemistry
  • GEOG 401: Watershed Hydrology
  • GEOG 406: Fluvial Geomorphology
  • GEOG 408: Watershed Analysis
  • GEOL 380: Environmental Geology
  • GEOL 450: Probing Earth's Interior
  • GEOL 451: Env. & Exploration Geophysics
  • GEOL 460: Geochemistry
  • ABE 436: Renewable Energy Systems
  • CEE 330: Environmental Engineering
  • CHEM 360: Chemistry of the Environment
  • MSE 489: Matl Select for Sustainability
  • NRES 351: Environmental Chemistry

Visualizing the Earth System

  • ESE/GEOG 380: GIS II: Spatial Prob. Solving
  • ESE 421: Earth System Modeling
  • ATMS 305: Computing and Data Analysis
  • GEOG 371: Spatial Analysis
  • GEOG 412: Geospatial Tech & Society
  • GEOG 468: Biological Modeling
  • GEOG 476: Applied GIS to Environ Studies
  • GEOG 477: Introduction to Remote Sensing
  • GEOG 460: Analysis and Interpretation of Aerial Photos
  • GEOG 479: Advanced Topics in GIS
  • NRES 427: Modeling Natural Resources
  • NRES 454: GIS in Natural Resource Management
  • UP 418: GIS for Planners

Earth's Biosphere & Ecology

  • ESE 439: Biogeography
  • ANTH 378: Plants and Their Uses
  • HORT 430: Children & Nature
  • HORT 456: Sustainable Landscape Design
  • IB 405: Ecological Genetics
  • IB 440: Plants and Global Change
  • IB 444: Insect Ecology
  • IB 445: Chemical Ecology
  • IB 447: Field Ecology
  • IB 449: Limnology
  • IB 451: Conservation Biology
  • IB 452: Ecosystem Ecology
  • IB 453: Community Ecology
  • IB 461: Ornithology
  • IB 485: Environmental Toxicology
  • NRES 348: Fish and Wildlife Ecology
  • NRES 419: Environment and Plant Ecosystems
  • NRES 420: Restoration Ecology
  • NRES 431: Plants and Global Change
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 Distinction: Students who maintain grade point averages of at least 3.3 in all courses within the major and who fulfill the Capstone requirement with a faculty-guided individual research project are recommended for graduation with distinction.
  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.