Skip to main content Skip to local navigation
Home » Students » Current Students » Bachelor in Environmental Studies (Entry 2020 or earlier)

Bachelor in Environmental Studies (Entry 2020 or earlier)

With the Bachelor in Environmental Studies (BES) program, you will get a well-rounded, interdisciplinary education in diverse fields relating to natural, built and social environments. This innovative program is designed to equip you with the fundamental knowledge, critical understanding and capacity to deal effectively and sensitively with complex environmental and social challenges at the local, regional, national and global scale.

You will be introduced to the relationships between the exploitation of the natural world and justice issues. Aware of the growing interdependencies of human and natural life in a globalized world, the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change believes non-Western and Indigenous perspectives are essential to a fruitful discussion of environmental issues, so we strive to include a broad range of perspectives in our course offerings.

With flexible hands-on learning opportunities both inside the classroom and out, a Bachelor in Environmental Studies will prepare you to achieve future success and empower you to confront global challenges, as you build a more sustainable and just planet.

Students have three degree options:

You are strongly encouraged to review your degree requirements in the York University Academic Calendar. 


Note: You are required to follow the degree requirements listed in the academic calendar for your first year of entry into the BES program for either the Honours (120.00 credits/4 years) or BES (90.00 credit/3 years), in order to graduate.

Your Area of Concentration

To succeed in the upper-level courses and to obtain a critical foundation in Environmental Studies, BES students take all three foundation courses and two methods courses. As you enter year two, you will also declare an Area of Concentration, which allows specialization within the field of Environmental Studies:

Your choices are:

  • Environmental Politics, Justice and the Arts
  • Urban and Regional Environments
  • Environmental Management

Bachelor in Environmental Studies 4 year Program (120 Credits) in Environmental Politics, Justice and the Arts

Using literary texts, digital images, pop art and performances, this concentration focuses on the relationship between humans and the environment. You will study environmental inequalities such as class, race, and gender; explore the concept of social justice; and learn strategies for addressing them both locally and globally.

Areas of study may include:

  • Environmental racism and justice movements
  • Environmental ethics
  • Digital art and the environment
  • Environmental education
  • Human-animal relations
  • Environmental literature
  • Indigenous sovereignty
  • Human and gender rights
  • Technology, science and politics
  • Culture and global media
  • Sustainable development
  • The political economy of international development
  • Health equity
  • Climate justice
  • Sexuality and gender-based activism

Career Paths

  • Social justice commissioner
  • Policy analyst
  • World development practitioner
  • Women’s rights advocate
  • Environmental law
  • Indigenous rights activist

Sample Courses

  • Global Environmental Politics
  • Environment and Health: Social and Political Dimensions
  • Social Movements, Activism and Social Change

Year 1 Courses:

EU/ENVS 1000 6.00  Earth in Our Hands

EU/ENVS 1200 6.00  Taking Action: Engaging People and the Environment

EU/ENVS 1500 6.00  Introduction to Environmental Science: The Web of Life

Humanities requirement: The BES Humanities requirement can be satisfied by taking EU/ENVS 1800 6.00 or a 1000-level course (at least 6 credits) from the following: Classical Studies; English; French Studies; History; Humanities; Languages, Literature and Linguistics or Philosophy.

Science requirement: The General Education science requirement is met by taking six credits from the following departments: Anthropology (AP/ANTH 1120 6.00 only); Biology; Chemistry; Earth & Atmospheric Science; Geography (SC/GEOG 1400 6.00 only); Natural Science; Physics & Astronomy; or Science & Technology Studies.

Year 2 Courses:

EU/ENVS 2000 6.00  Foundations of Environmental Politics, Justice, and Arts

EU/ENVS 2200 6.00  Foundations of Urban and Regional Environments: Analysis, Planning, and Design

EU/ENVS 2400 6.00 Foundations of Environmental Management: Policy, Resources and Conservation

One from the following: EU/ENVS 2009 3.00  Quantitative Methods OR EU/ENVS 2122 3.00  Community Arts for Social Change

9.00 credits Electives

Year 3 Courses:

A choice of two of the following courses: 

EU/ENVS 3010 3.00    Qualitative Methods

6.00 credits in the Environmental Politics, Justice, and Arts Area of Concentration electives

15.00 credits Electives

Year 4 Courses:

18.00 credits in the Environmental Politics, Justice, and Arts Area of Concentration electives

12.00 credits Electives

Bachelor in Environmental Studies 3 year Program (90 Credits) in Politics, Justice and Arts

Year 1 Courses:

Humanities Requirement: The BES Humanities requirement can be satisfied by taking EU/ENVS 1800 6.00 or a 1000-level course (at least 6 credits) from the following: Classical Studies; English; French Studies; History; Humanities; Languages, Literature and Linguistics or Philosophy.

Science Requirement: The General Education science requirement is met by taking six credits from the following departments: Anthropology (AP/ANTH 1120 6.00 only); Biology; Chemistry; Earth & Atmospheric Science; Geography (SC/GEOG 1400 6.00 only); Natural Science; Physics & Astronomy; or Science & Technology Studies.

Year 2 Courses:

EU/ENVS 2000 6.00  Foundations in Environmental Politics, Justice and Arts

EU/ENVS 2200 6.00  Foundations of Urban and Regional Environments

EU/ENVS 2400 6.00  Foundations of Environmental Management:  Policy, Resources and Conservation

One from the following: EU/ENVS 2009 3.00  Quantitative Methods or

EU/ENVS 2122 3.00  Community Arts for Social Change

9.00 credits Electives

Year 3 Courses:

A choice of two of the following courses: 

and any two from the following three courses:

EU/ENVS 3010 3.00    Qualitative Methods

6.00 credits in the Environmental Politics, Justice, and Arts Area of Concentration electives

12.00 credits 3xxx or 4xxx Environmental Studies courses in any area of concentration

3.00 credits Electives

Bachelor in Environmental Studies 4 year Program (120 Credits) in Urban and Regional Environments

This concentration focuses on the relationships between people, buildings, cultures and all aspects of our environment. Using Toronto and the surrounding urban area as your field lab, you will apply classroom theory to practical research on transportation, food systems, sustainable energy and other facets of urban studies.

Areas of study may include:

  • Migration and settlement
  • Urbanization and the urban process
  • Environmental design/landscape design
  • Urban sustainability
  • Urban governance and regulation
  • Global cities and global urbanization
  • Urban social and environmental movements
  • Urban and regional planning
  • Healthy and sustainable community development
  • Urban social relations (class, race, gender)
  • Indigenous/Canadian relations

Sample Courses

  • Regional Governance
  • Urbanization in Developing Countries
  • Planning Environmentally
  • Global Cities

Career Paths

  • Urban and Regional Consultant
  • Environmental Designer
  • Transportation Planning Analyst
  • Urban Planner
  • International development
  • Environmental educator

Year 1 Courses:

EU/ENVS 1000 6.00  Earth in Our Hands

EU/ENVS 1200 6.00  Taking Action: Engaging People and the Environment

EU/ENVS 1500 6.00  Introduction to Environmental Science: The Web of Life

Humanities Requirement: The BES Humanities requirement can be satisfied by taking EU/ENVS 1800 6.00 or a 1000-level course (at least 6 credits) from the following: Classical Studies; English; French Studies; History; Humanities; Languages, Literature and Linguistics or Philosophy.

Science Requirement: The General Education science requirement is met by taking six credits from the following departments: Anthropology (AP/ANTH 1120 6.00 only); Biology; Chemistry; Earth & Atmospheric Science; Geography (SC/GEOG 1400 6.00 only); Natural Science; Physics & Astronomy; or Science & Technology Studies.

Year 2 Courses:

EU/ENVS 2000 6.00  Foundations of Environmental Politics, Justice, and Arts

EU/ENVS 2200 6.00  Foundations of Urban and Regional Environments: Analysis, Planning, and Design

EU/ENVS 2400 6.00  Foundations of Environmental Management: Policy, Resources and Conservation

One from the following: EU/ENVS 2009 3.00  Quantitative Methods OR EU/ENVS 2122 3.00  Community Arts for Social Change

9.00 credits Electives

Year 3 Courses:

EU/ENVS 3010 3.00   Qualitative Methods

EU/ENVS 3227 3.00  Urban Planning and Politics in Global Context

EU/ENVS 3740 3.00   Urban Ecology

6.oo credits in the Urban and Regional Environmental area of concentration electives

15.00 credits Electives

Year 4 Courses:

18.00 credits in Urban and Regional Environments area of concentration electives

12.00 credits Electives

Bachelor in Environmental Studies 3 year Program (90 Credits) in Urban and Regional Environments

Year 1 Courses:

EU/ENVS 1000 6.00  Earth in Our Hands

EU/ENVS 1200 6.00  Taking Action: Engaging People and the Environment

EU/ENVS 1500 6.00  Introduction to Environmental Science: The Web of Life

Humanities Requirement: The BES Humanities requirement can be satisfied by taking EU/ENVS 1800 6.00 or a 1000-level course (at least 6 credits) from the following: Classical Studies; English; French Studies; History; Humanities; Languages, Literature and Linguistics or Philosophy.

Science Requirement: The General Education science requirement is met by taking six credits from the following departments: Anthropology (AP/ANTH 1120 6.00 only); Biology; Chemistry; Earth & Atmospheric Science; Geography (SC/GEOG 1400 6.00 only); Natural Science; Physics & Astronomy; or Science & Technology Studies.

Year 2 Courses:

EU/ENVS 2000 6.00  Foundations of Environmental Politics, Justice, and Arts

EU/ENVS 2200 6.00  Foundations of Urban and Regional Environments: Analysis, Planning, and Design

EU/ENVS 2400 6.00  Foundations of Environmental Management: Policy, Resources and Conservation

One from the following: EU/ENVS 2009 3.00  Quantitative Methods OR EU/ENVS 2122 3.00  Community Arts for Social Change

9.00 credits Electives

Year 3 Courses:

EU/ENVS 3010 3.00    Qualitative Methods

EU/ENVS 3227 3.00  Urban Planning and Politics in Global Context

EU/ENVS 3740 3.00  Urban Ecology

 6.oo credits in the Urban and Regional Environmental area of concentration electives

15.00 credits Electives

Bachelor in Environmental Studies 4 year Program (120 Credits) in Environmental Management

Explore the different perspectives of studying environmental challenges, including the economic, the scientific, the political, the social and the legal. In this concentration, you will discover ways to address issues through conservation, natural resource management and policy approaches.

Areas of study may include:

  • Ecology and conservation
  • Environmental assessment
  • Resource management
  • Environmental auditing
  • Energy and the environment
  • Environment and health

Sample Courses

  • Climate Change: Science & Policy
  • Policies for Transition: Alternative Vehicles and
    Fuels in Canada
  • Ecological Economics

Career Paths

  • Environmental policy developer
  • Conservation coordinator
  • Corporate social responsibility officer
  • Environmental consultant
  • Resource management
  • Corporate sustainability officer
  • Transportation

Year 1 Courses:

EU/ENVS 1000 6.00  Earth in Our Hands

EU/ENVS 1200 6.00  Taking Action: Engaging People and the Environment

EU/ENVS 1500 6.00  Introduction to Environmental Science: The Web of Life

Humanities Requirement: The BES Humanities requirement can be satisfied by taking EU/ENVS 1800 6.00 or a 1000-level course (at least 6 credits) from the following: Classical Studies; English; French Studies; History; Humanities; Languages, Literature and Linguistics or Philosophy.

Science Requirement: The General Education science requirement is met by taking six credits from the following departments: Anthropology (AP/ANTH 1120 6.00 only); Biology; Chemistry; Earth & Atmospheric Science; Geography (SC/GEOG 1400 6.00 only); Natural Science; Physics & Astronomy; or Science & Technology Studies.

Year 2 Courses:

EU/ENVS 2000 6.00  Foundations of Environmental Politics, Justice, and Arts

EU/ENVS 2009 3.00  Qualitative Methods

EU/ENVS 2200 6.00   Foundations of Urban and Regional Environments: Analysis, Planning, and Design

EU/ENVS 2400 6.00  Foundations of Environmental Management: Policy, Resources and Conservation

9.00 credits Electives

Year 3 Courses:

EU/ENVS 3010 3.00  Qualitative Methods

EU/ENVS 3401 3.00  The Science of Pollution: Impacts on the Environment and Human Health

EU/ENVS 3402 3.00  Ecology and Conservation Science

6.00 credits in Environmental Management Area of Concentration elective

15.00 credits Electives

Year 4 Courses:

18.00 credits in Environmental Management Area of Concentration elective

12.00 credits Electives

Bachelor in Environmental Studies 3 Year (90 Credits) in Environmental Management

Year 1

EU/ENVS 1000 6.00  Earth in Our Hands

EU/ENVS 1200 6.00  Taking Action: Engaging People and the Environment

EU/ENVS 1500 6.00  Introduction to Environmental Science: The Web of Life

Humanities Requirement: The BES Humanities requirement can be satisfied by taking EU/ENVS 1800 6.00 or a 1000-level course (at least 6 credits) from the following: Classical Studies; English; French Studies; History; Humanities; Languages, Literature and Linguistics or Philosophy.

Science Requirement: The General Education science requirement is met by taking six credits from the following departments: Anthropology (AP/ANTH 1120 6.00 only); Biology; Chemistry; Earth & Atmospheric Science; Geography (SC/GEOG 1400 6.00 only); Natural Science; Physics & Astronomy; or Science & Technology Studies.

Year 2 Courses:

EU/ENVS 2000 6.00  Foundations of Environmental Politics, Justice, and Arts

EU/ENVS 2009 3.00   Qualitative Methods

EU/ENVS 2200 6.00  Foundations of Urban and Regional Environments: Analysis, Planning, and Design

EU/ENVS 2400 6.00  Foundations of Environmental Management: Policy, Resources and Conservation

9.00 Credits Electives

Year 3 Courses:

EU/ENVS 3010 3.00  Qualitative Methods in Environmental Studies

EU/ENVS 3401 3.00  The Science of Pollution:  Impacts on the Environment and Human Health

EU/ENVS 3402 3.00  Ecology and Conservation Science

 6.00 credits in Environmental Management Area of Concentration elective

12.00 credits in Environmental Management Area of Concentration elective

3.00 Credits Electives

Enhance your studies by completing a certificate in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University. It allows you to add another qualification to your degree, satisfying a specific academic or professional interest – without investing more time or money.

The Certificate in Cultural and Artistic Practices for Environmental and Social Justice (CAP) may be completed either as a direct entry or concurrently with a degree program at York University (a three-year degree or an Honours degree). Candidates who previously completed an undergraduate degree in a related field must have a minimum grade point average of 5.00 (C+). As well, individuals without an undergraduate degree but have previous relevant work experience may also apply to this program. Consideration of non-degree applicants will be based on the level and appropriateness of their work experience and applicants may be invited to an interview by the program coordinator.

The certificate prepares students to collaborate with communities to make art of all forms, to express diverse identities, to explore and take action on social and environmental issues. Students develop cultural and artistic skills, deepen their social analysis and learn to facilitate creative processes with groups working for social change.

Requirements for the Certificate in Cultural and Artistic Practices for Environmental and Social Justice (CAP)

12 credits of core courses:

12 credits of core courses:

12 credits of electives:

In addition to the above core courses, students must complete an additional 12.00 credits; students must take at least one course from each of the following three categories.

Other requirements:
Students working towards this certificate must:

  • meet the minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) requirement for their program.
  • achieve a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 5.00 or higher in the courses taken for the certificate.
  • candidates who simultaneously enrolled in a undergraduate degree and the certificate program must successfully complete both requirements to be awarded the certificate.

The Faculty does not award certificates retroactively.

How to Apply for Current York Students

Students enrolled as majors in the Faculty of Environmental Studies or in another Faculty will complete the certificate concurrently with their degree. To apply for this certificate contact OSASinfo@yorku.ca

How to Apply for Non-York Students

Candidates who previously completed an undergraduate degree in a related field must have a minimum grade point average of 5.0. As well, individuals without an undergraduate degree but have previous relevant work experience may also apply to this program. Consideration of non-degree applicants will be based on the level and appropriateness of their work experience and applicants may be invited to an interview by the program coordinator. Future Students can apply to The Certificate in Cultural and Artistic Practices for Environmental and Social Justice (CAP) may be completed either as a direct entry or concurrently with a degree program at York University (a three-year degree or an Honours degree). Candidates who previously completed an undergraduate degree in a related field must have a minimum grade point average of 5.00 (C+). As well, individuals without an undergraduate degree but have previous relevant work experience may also apply to this program. Consideration of non-degree applicants will be based on the level and appropriateness of their work experience and applicants may be invited to an interview by the program coordinator.

The Certificate in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing (GIS) may be completed either as a direct entry or concurrently with a degree program at York University (an Honours degree). Candidates who previously completed an undergraduate degree in a related field must have a minimum grade point average of 5.00 (C+). As well, individuals without an undergraduate degree but have previous relevant work experience may also apply to this program. GIS and Remote Sensing encompasses the art, science and technology involved in collecting and managing geographically-referenced information.

The certificate prepares students with hands on technical training. Students develop skills in areas dealing with spatial analysis applications, topographical surveying, geospatial database development, cartographic imaging, and project planning/management.

Notes:

  1. Students intending to pursue the GIS Certificate with the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change should enrol in EU/ENVS 2009 3.00 in their second year of study.
  2. Other courses that may be considered as an electives are LE/EECS 1530 3.00 and EU/ENVS 4523 3.00

Other requirements:

Students working towards this certificate must:

  • maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 6.00 (B) or higher in the courses taken for certificate and achieve a Cumulative GPA of 5.00 (C+) in all courses
  • register in the program after completing 24.00 credits
  • maintain continued enrolment in the Honours program
  • candidates who simultaneously enrolled in an undergraduate degree and the certificate program must successfully complete both requirements to be awarded the certificate.

How to Apply for Current York Students

To apply for the GIS Certificate, students must fill out the GIS application form and submit it to the Office of Student and Academic Services (OSAS) after completion of first year.

Students who have been exempted from any of the required courses or Special Students who have successfully completed the equivalent of any of the required courses must substitute additional credits from the certificate program elective courses list, for an overall total of 24.00 credits in the certificate program.

The Faculty does not award certificates retroactively.

How to Apply for Non-York Students

Candidates who previously completed an undergraduate degree in a related field must have a minimum grade point average of 5.0. Future Students can apply to York University through the Future Students Website http://futurestudents.yorku.ca/.

While pursuing the BES degree, students may earn a General Certificate in Refugee and Migration Studies while, and in addition to, fulfilling the requirements for the BES program.

Students should apply to enter the certificate program at the beginning of their third year. Students admitted to the certificate program must submit a completed checklist for the General Certificate in Refugee Migration Studies to the education coordinator at the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS), to ensure that all certificate requirements have been considered. Further information is available from the education coordinator, Centre for Refugee Studies, or the coordinator's academically accredited designate.

Required courses:

A list of pre-approved environmental studies courses follows. Other relevant courses may be selected and submitted from the available courses. Students can discuss the applicability of other courses with the Centre for Refugee Studies Education Coordinator.

Environmental studies courses for the General Certificate in Refugee and Migration Studies:

Other requirements:

To be awarded the certificate, students must:

  • Students must also achieve a cumulative GPA of 5.0 or higher in the courses taken for the Certificate.
  • All students enrolled in the General Certificate Program must attend a minimum of 8 CRS seminar presentations over the course of their degree. Note: Any seminar in addition to the regular CRS seminars that are either hosted or co-sponsored by CRS can also count towards fulfilling this requirement.
  • Students are required to complete 15 hours volunteer participation in the Student Caucus and/or other CRS activities. Please see list of activities for suggestions

Other courses are listed at the Glendon Campus and the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies sections of the Undergraduate Calendar. For more information, please visit the Centre for Refugee Studies website at crs.info.yorku.ca.

How to apply

Students should apply to enter the certificate program at the beginning of their third year. Students admitted to the certificate program must submit a completed checklist for the General Certificate in Refugee Migration Studies to the education coordinator at the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS), to ensure that all certificate requirements have been considered. Further information is available from the education coordinator, Centre for Refugee Studies, or the coordinator’s academically accredited designate.

Explore and gain applied skills in the area of sustainable energy (SE), specifically in energy efficiency, conservation and demand management and renewable energy sources. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified sustainable energy technologies and practices as foundations of cost-effective strategies to prevent dangerous climate change. There is a growing market for sustainable energy practitioners in Canada and around the world.

The certificate encompasses the policy, economic, technological and managerial aspects of sustainable energy and provides students with applied skills in the field.

Students will complete the certificate as part of their Honours BES degree. The SE certificate will enhance the theoretical foundation provided by student's Area of Concentration with expertise in sustainable energy policy, economics, law, technology, management, communications and evaluation and hands-on applied training. These skills are in high demand in the growing sustainable energy sector. Students completing the certificate program can pursue career paths with government agencies, local energy distribution companies, renewable energy developers and energy service companies.

Other requirements
Students working towards this certificate must:

  • maintain honours standing and have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 6.00 (B) or higher in the courses taken for the certificate
  • achieve a cumulative GPA of 5.00 (C+) in all courses
  • register in the certificate program after completing 48-60 credits
  • candidates who simultaneously enrolled in an undergraduate degree and the certificate program must successfully complete both requirements to be awarded the certificate.

Students who have been exempted from any of the required courses or Special Students who have successfully completed the equivalent of any of the required courses must substitute additional credits from the certificate program elective courses list, for an overall total of 24 credits in the certificate program.

The Faculty does not award certificates retroactively.

How to Apply

To apply for the Sustainable Energy Certificate Program, students must fill out the SE application form and submit it to the Office of Student and Academic Services (OSAS) at the beginning of the third year of their Honours BES program and after completing 48-60 credits.

The Certificate in Urban Ecologies (UE) program is an interdisciplinary program designed to help you learn how the many conflicts between the natural and urban environments emerge, is represented and can be addressed. The program emphasizes urban ecology as an innovative and interactive approach to critically study urban landscapes, places, sites and ecologies.

Through this certificate, you will develop theoretical and practical knowledge to help address complex contemporary urban environmental challenges through thoughtful planning, design and ecological action.

12 credits of core courses:

In addition to the above core courses, students must complete an additional 12 credits from the following list of courses:

Other Requirements

Admissions Requirement: Students seeking entry to the certificate program must complete EU/ENVS 2009 3.00 or equivalent in their second year of study and prior to completion of 45-60 credits of their undergraduate program.

Additional Requirements:

  • meet the minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) requirement for their program.
  • achieve a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 5.00 or higher in the courses taken for the certificate.
  • candidates who simultaneously enrolled in an undergraduate degree and the certificate program must successfully complete both requirements to be awarded the certificate.

The Faculty does not award certificates retroactively.

How to Apply

The certificate is open to any undergraduate York University student enrolled in an Honours degree program. To register for the Urban Ecologies Certificate program, you must fill out the Urban Ecologies application form and submit it to the Office of Student and Academic Services (OSAS) in 137 HNES. Your application will be forwarded to the Urban Ecologies Program Coordinator for approval.

A Dual Credential program allows you to get the best of both the college and the university experience. Taking advantage of the outstanding professors, facilities and courses offered by both schools, you can receive a university degree and college diploma or certificate in less time than it would take to do them separately.

These programs are currently available:

  • Environmental Management & Technology, Urban Sustainability or Ecosystem Management:Receive a combined university degree and college advanced diploma from either Seneca College or Fleming College in five years (instead of seven).
  • International Development: Receive a combined university degree and Post-Graduate Certificate from Humber College in four years (instead of five).

The accelerated programs at Seneca and Fleming colleges can begin either at the respective college or at York University  and are then completed at the partner institution. Students enrolled in Dual Credential programs must fulfill the Dual Credential program requirements of both institutions. 

Visit Dual Credential Programs with Ontario Colleges for degree requirements.