Bachelor of Arts: Environmental Studies

University Requirements

General Education

UMKC Essentials is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete. The 30-credit hour program includes a First Year Experience course; three critical thinking courses in the areas of Arts & Humanities, Natural & Physical Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences; a Culture and Diversity course; a Civic & Urban Engagement course; two courses in Written Composition and one course in Oral Communication; and a Math Pathway course. Transfer students entering UMKC will elect from the UMKC Essentials General Education Program or the Missouri Core 42 General Education Curriculum.  Academic advisors will meet with incoming transfer students to determine which option best serves the student’s educational needs. More information about General Education may be found here:

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.

Exit Examinations

Information on exit examinations is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination

In accordance with Missouri Senate Bill 807 (section 170.013.1), 'any student entering a public institution of higher education for the first time after July 2019 who is pursuing an associate's or bachelor's degree from such institution shall successfully pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics with a score of seventy percent or greater as a condition of graduation from such institution'.  To satisfy this requirement at UMKC, students access the exam through the Canvas site. This requirement will be listed in the degree audit system as, 'Take State Mandated Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination', and listed on the transcript as 'Missouri Civics Examination'.   

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • interpret human & environmental patterns using spatial analysis.
  • describe the components and functions of socio-ecological systems.
  • analyze the complex relationships between humans and the natural environment.

UMKC Essentials

First Semester Experience Course (GEFSE)3
Written Communication:
ENGLISH 110Introduction to Academic Prose3
ENGLISH 225English II: Intermediate Academic Prose3
Oral Communication (choose one of the following):3
Fundamentals of Effective Speaking and Listening
Introduction to Communication
Argumentation And Debate (offered via dual credit only)
Interpersonal Communication
Math Pathway (satisfied in major requirements below)
Critical Thinking in Arts & Humanities (GECRT-AH)3
Critical Thinking in Natural & Physical Sciences (GECRT-SC)3
Critical Thinking in Social & Behavioral Sciences (GECRT-SS)3
Culture & Diversity Course (GECDV)3
Civic & Urban Engagement Course (GECUE)3
Total Credits27

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
U.S. History Since 1877
Honors American Government
American Government
Total Credits3

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.

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.

One writing intensive (WI) course is required for the major (may be satisfied in coursework below).

Foreign Language* coursework (3rd semester level) is required for the major.

*To determine the correct placement in a foreign language, please visit:

Foreign Language Requirement (3rd semester level)9
Required Courses
One of the following course sets:5
Understanding the Earth Laboratory
and Understanding the Earth: Introduction to Environmental Science and Laboratory
MOTR Physical Geography with Lab
General Geology
and General Geology Laboratory
GEOG/UPD 203Introduction to Geographic Information Systems4
GEOLOGY 250LField Methods in Earth and Environmental Science3
or GEOLOGY 251L Field Methods in Earth and Environmental Science: Off-Campus
GEOG 215Weather and Climate4
ENV-STDY/GEOG 325Cultural Perspectives on the Environment3
GEOG 444Spatial Data Analysis4
GEOG/URBAN ST 499WIGeography Seminar3
or ENV-STDY 499WI Environmental Studies Practicum
or GEOLOGY 499WI Geology Seminar
or GEOG 403WI History and Philosophy of Geoscience
B.A. Supporting Requisites
MATH 110Precalculus Algebra (satisfies Math Pathway)3
STAT 235Elementary Statistics3
or CJC 303 Introduction to Statistics in Sociology and Criminal Justice
or SOCIOL 363 Introduction to Statistics in Sociology/Criminal Justice
Supporting Social Sciences - Choose 4 Courses In 3 Different Subject Areas12
Environment, Resources And Economic Growth
Climate Change Impact Assessment and Policy Response
Global Environmental Change
Global Water and Sustainability
American Environmental History
Politics of Developing Countries
Immigration and the City
Cities and Society
Urban Environment Planning And Design
Environmental Electives - Choose one from each category9
Natural Sciences (NS)
General Ecology (prerequisite coursework required)
Marine and Freshwater Biology (prerequisite coursework required)
Vertebrate Zoology (prerequisite coursework required)
Plant Biology (prerequisite coursework required)
Environmental Sustainability
Any 300- or 400-level ENV-SCI, GEOG, or GEOLOGY course except those listed under Social Sciences (SS)
Social Sciences (SS)
Urban Anthropology
Environment, Resources And Economic Growth
Modern Latin America
Latinx Immigrants, Migrants, and Refugees in the U.S
Sociology Of Gender
Race And Ethnic Relations
Land Use Planning
Neighborhood And Community Development
Transportation Planning
Ethics, Jurisprudence, and Culture (EJC)
Consumer Society
Water Law (with permission)
Law And The American Indian (with permission)
Preservation Law (with permission)
Environmental Law (with permission)
Environmental Law Seminar (with permission)
U.S. Environment Protection Agency Law Internship:National Agricultural Compliance Assistance Center (with permission)
Environmental Ethics And Policy
Culture and Society
History Of Planning And Urban Design
Planning Theory And Practice
Planning Law And Practice
Total Credits62

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 Electives28

Total Credits: 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. Please see the tab above to view the major map for this program.

UMKC’s Transfer Guides provide detailed guidance on recommended transfer coursework, plans of study, transfer timelines, and transfer contact information. To ensure a seamless transfer experience, students are encouraged to work with both their community college advisor and a UMKC advisor when planning their coursework.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Audit’ degree audit system provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for students' officially recorded (Office of the Registrar) and “what if” exploratory plans of study.  This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Plans’ degree planning tool enables students to develop a personalized semester by semester plan of study towards completion of degree requirements for student’s officially recorded (Office of the Registrar) and “what if” exploratory plans of study. Update and edit your full plan to degree completion each term and confirm accuracy each semester with your Academic Advisor(s).