University Requirements

General Education

The UMKC General Education Core is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete.  The 30-credit hour core curriculum includes three course types designated as Anchor, Discourse and Focus and is detailed in the General Education section of the catalog.

Constitution Course 

Every undergraduate student must take a course covering the United States Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution before graduation. Course options are included in the program requirements section below.

RooWriter Assessment

Candidates for all baccalaureate degrees must complete the online UMKC RooWriter Writing Assessment after they have passed Discourse 200 (or its equivalent) but before they have attained 90 credit hours. Incoming transfer students with more than 90 credit hours must complete the RooWriter by the end of their first semester of enrollment or within one semester after passing Discourse 200 (or its equivalent). Students who have not completed the RooWriter Writing Assessment within two semesters after passing Discourse 200 (or its equivalent) will be blocked from enrollment until they successfully complete the RooWriter. Additional information is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Exit Examinations

Information on exit examinations and/or major field exams is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Describe the components and function of Earth systems.
  • Explain environmental policy and ethical approaches to environmental issues and global challenges such as climate change, global water scarcity and ocean acidification, energy, consumption and waste management, and urban sustainability.
  • Explain environmental challenges from multiple cultural perspectives and through world experiences.
  • Apply advanced geographical knowledge, quantitative, and analytical skills to new settings and complex problems.
  • Characterize environmental elements analytically and communicate their findings effectively.

Program Requirements

Program Specific Recommendations for UMKC General Education Core Coursework

Anchor I 13
Anchor II 13
Anchor III 13
DISC 100Discourse I: Reasoning and Values (Speech and Writing)3
DISC 200Discourse II: Culture and Diversity (Writing and Speech)3
DISC 300Discourse III: Civic and Community Engagement (Speech and Writing)3
Focus A 13
Focus B (Satisfied in program requirements below)
Focus C (May be satisfied by the Constitution course requirement below)
Focus Elective (Satisfied in program requirements below)
'Total credits' in this section indicates the number of General Education Core credit hours that are not met by the degree specific requirements outlined below.
Total Credits21

See the UMKC General Education Core section of the catalog for available Anchor and Focus course options. 

Constitution Course Requirement

Section 170.011.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, 2015, states that all candidates for a degree issued by a college or university in the state of Missouri must have “satisfactorily passed an examination on the provisions and principles of the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.” 

Courses at UMKC that satisfy this state requirement are:

Choose one of the following:3
The Supreme Court And The Criminal Process
U.S. History to 1877 (Focus C) 1
U.S. History Since 1877 (Focus C) 1
Constitutional History of the United States
Honors American Government (Focus C) 1
American Government (Focus C) 1
Total Credits3

 Course may satisfy both the UMKC General Education Core (Focus C) and Constitution requirements.

There are a few other ways this requirement can be satisfied for students transferring to UMKC:

  • Take an equivalent course from the list above at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Earn credit for one of the above courses through AP, IB, or CLEP.
  • Take a course that directly satisfies the Missouri Constitution Requirement at another Missouri institution.
  • Have a previous bachelors degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Have an Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Complete the 42 Hour Core at a Missouri institution and have it listed on the official transcript.

College of Arts & Sciences Degree Requirements

Students pursuing the bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees must complete a major. Students pursuing the bachelor of liberal arts degree must complete a minor. Additional details are available in the Student Services section of the catalog.

ALEKS Math Placement
Arts and Humanities Division of CAS 16
Science and Math Division of CAS (Satisfied in program requirements below)
Social and Behavioral Sciences Division of CAS 3
Writing Intensive Course (300-level or above; Satisfied in program requirements below)
College Algebra (or any 200-level or above Math/Stat course; Satisfied in program requirements below)
Mathematics For Liberal Arts
Laboratory Science Experience (Satisfied in program requirements below)
Total Credits9

ENGLISH 110, ENGLISH 225, COMM-ST 110, and foreign language courses at 211 or below do not fulfill this requirement.


This requirement may be fulfilled by courses from either the UMKC General Education Core or the College of Arts and Sciences Degree Requirements.

 Major Requirements

Students must successfully complete the major requirements below with at least 12 hours of the noted upper division (300+) course requirements completed at UMKC.

Core Requirements
Understanding the Earth: Introduction to Environmental Science and Laboratory
and Understanding the Earth Laboratory (Focus B)
ENV-SCI 210Issues in Environmental Science (Focus B)3
GEOG 203Introduction to Geographic Information Systems4
or UPD 203 GIS For Urban Planning
GEOG 215Introduction to Weather and Climate4
or GEOG 319 Descriptive and Synoptic Meteorology
GEOLOGY 250LField Methods in Earth and Environmental Science3
Select one of the following WI courses:3
Environmental Studies Practicum
Geography Seminar
Geology Seminar
History and Philosophy of Geoscience
Required Supporting Sciences
General Biology I
and General Biology I Laboratory (Focus B)
CJC 210/SOCIOL 263Introduction To Statistics In Sociology/Criminal Justice3
or STAT 235 Elementary Statistics
General Biology II
and General Biology II Laboratory (Focus B)
or GEOG 360 Principles of Biogeography
CHEM 211
General Chemistry I
and Experimental General Chemistry I (Focus B)
General Chemistry II
and Experimental General Chemistry II (Focus B)
Select three of the following (at least one from each of three division of learning):9
Natural Sciences (NS):
General Ecology
Invertebrate Zoology
Marine and Freshwater Biology
Vertebrate Zoology
Plant Biology
River Stability and Scour
Environmental Chemistry I
Field Experience in Waste Management
Environmental Sustainability
Energy Resources
Global Water and Sustainability
Environmental Internship
All Physical Geography courses are applicable as natural science electives:
Principles of Geomorphology
Descriptive and Synoptic Meteorology
Introduction to Waste Management
Principles of Biogeography
Advanced Geographic Information Science
Environmental Remote Sensing and Digital Image Analysis
Global Environmental Change
Paleoecology: Microfossils and Climate Change
Energy Resources
Quaternary Environments
Spatial Data Analysis
Satellite Climatology
Any Geology course may be used for additional natural science electives, but the following courses are particularly relevant to the Environmental Studies major:
Evolution and the Geologic Record
Principles of Geomorphology
Cc:Archaeology of Ancient Disasters
Introduction to Geochemistry
Social Sciences (SS):
Environment, Resources And Economic Growth
Ecosystem Science for Decision Makers
Environmental Sustainability
Cultural Perspectives on the Environment
Gender and the Environment
Urban Geography
Economic Geography
Geographic Elements of Urban Planning
Population Geography
Transportation Geography
Special Topics In Public Administration (Urban Environmental Policy)
Special Topics In Public Administration (Managing for Sustainability in an Urban Environment)
Political Science And Politics
Politics Of The Environment
Land Use Planning
Transportation Planning
Planning For Historic Preservation
Urban Environment Planning And Design
Neighborhood And Community Development
Ethics, Jurisprudence, and Culture (E)
Cultural Perspectives on the Environment
World Political Geography
Cultural Geography
Geography of the United States and Canada
Geography of South America
Geography of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean
Geography of Europe
History and Philosophy of Geoscience
Geography Seminar
American Environmental History
Water Law
Law And The American Indian
Preservation Law
Environmental Law
U.S. Environment Protection Agency Law Internship:National Agricultural Compliance Assistance Center
Environmental Ethics And Policy
History Of Planning And Urban Design
Planning Theory And Practice
Planning Law And Practice
Total Credits52

Math and Science Requirements

The Bachelor of Science degree requires a minimum of 60 hours in math and science coursework. The number of credit hours needed to meet this minimum requirement are listed below.

Additional Math/Science Coursework14

General Electives

Students must take elective credit hours to meet the minimum credit hour requirement for their degree, including at least 36 credit hours of coursework at the 300-level or above. The minimum required by the university is 120 credit hours, of which at least 30 credit hours must be taken at UMKC, but some degree programs require more.

General Electives21

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Total Credit Hours: 120

Tools for Planning and Fulfilling Academic Requirements

UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, semester by semester plans that lead a student to complete all degree requirements within four years.  Plans include benchmarks and critical courses by term that assist a student’s evaluation of progress and major “fit”.  In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for this major.

UMKC’s Degree Audit System provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education Core, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for student’s officially recorded (Office of Registration and Records) and “what if” plans of study.  This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.