Although Environmental Studies does not have a "pre-major" that must be completed before applying, students should complete at least one of the lower-division Environmental Studies courses (ENV S 1, 2, or 3) and at least two additional lower-division course required as part of the Preparation for the Major. Exceptions for those who are currently enrolled in one of the above courses or for other extreme circumstances will be considered. There is no minimum GPA requirement to declare a major in Environmental Studies. A student should just be in good academic standing (overall GPA of 2.0 or higher) at the time they submit the change of major forms.

Freshman are discouraged from declaring or changing majors (including undeclared students) until they have completed a minimum of two quarters at UCSB (one quarter for Transfer students). Exceptions can be made for those who are trying to enroll in a course that requires a student to be declared in a major that requires such course(s) as a requirement (i.e. Chemistry 1A/AL).

The change of major process takes on average three to four weeks. An email will be sent to you once Environmental Studies has signed off on your forms and sent them to the College of Registrar for a final review. You will then need to check GOLD to see when your change of major has been finalized.

If you have any questions please email advising@es.ucsb.edu or visit the ES Academic Advisor in Bren 4313. 

How to Declare

Once you have identified the degree you would like to pursue, please click on the corresponding link provided below. Each link is specific and only works for the degree option listed, so be sure it is the correct one. Then, please fill out the form via DocuSign. Once you complete the document it will be submitted for department approval. You will receive a copy automatically once all advisors have signed the petition.

Please note that the DocuSign links above are only to be used when declaring Environmental Studies or Hydrologic Sciences and Policy as a single major. Please see below for exceptions for using the DocuSign links.


Double Majors

If you are adding Environmental Studies or Hydrologic Sciences and Policy as a Double Major, please follow the process outlined below:

  1. Review the Major Worksheet for the major you intend to declare (available here),
  2. Download and complete the Change of Major Petition (available here). Be sure to indicate that you are switching from your current major to both your current major and Environmental Studies and specify whether you are pursuing the B.A. or B.S. for the Environmental Studies major or which emphasis you are pursuing for the Hydrologic Sciences and Policy major,
  3. Download and complete the Memo of Understanding for Double Majors (available here),
  4. Save all forms as a PDF and submit to advising@es.ucsb.edu.

Note: If you are already a declared Environmental Studies or Hydrologic Sciences and Policy major and are adding a major from another department, you do not need to receive approval from Environmental Studies. Please send all forms directly to the department for the major you are adding.

Switching Majors from Another College

If you are a student in the College of Creative Studies or College of Engineering and are interested in declaring the Environmental Studies or Hydrologic Sciences major, you will need to download and complete the Change of College Petition (available here) and submit it to advising@es.ucsb.edu. Be sure to specify whether you are pursuing the B.A. or B.S. for the Environmental Studies major or which emphasis you are pursuing for the Hydrologic Sciences and Policy major.

Over 200 Units

If you are going to go over 200 total units prior to earning your degree and will be at UCSB for more than 4 years (started as a Freshman) or two years (Transfer Students), you must complete a Proposed Schedule of Graduation Petition and submit to advising@es.ucsb.edu. On the form, you must:

  • Explain why you need additional units and time at UCSB,
  • Provide a quarter-by-quarter plan to fulfill your remaining requirements for graduation, and
  • Obtain the endorsement of the departmental advisor in your major(s) and minor (if you are pursuing one).

 Proposed Schedule for Graduation - (Offsite link)