Honours BES Degree Requirements

You must pass courses worth a minimum of 120 credits in order to graduate with the BES Honours Degree. At least 60 credits and a maximum of 90 credits shall be Environmental Studies courses. An overall grade point average of at least 5.0 must be achieved in order to graduate.

Students choose their courses in the Honours BES program according to the following requirements:

General Education (12 credits):

Following York's philosophy of undergraduate education, BES students are required to study in humanities and the natural sciences.

Humanities Requirement:
The BES humanities requirement can be satisfied by taking ENVS 1800 6.0 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 science requirement is met by taking ENVS 1500 6.0 Introduction to Science for Environmental Studies or Biology 1000 3.0 and Biology 1001 3.0.  

Students who declared Environmental Management as their Area of Concentration are required to take either ENVS 1500 6.0 or Biology 1000 3.0 and Biology 1001 3.0 to fulfill their Science Requirement.

Required Core Environmental Studies Courses (18 credits):

  • ENVS 1000 6.0 Earth in Our Hands
  • ENVS 1200 6.0 Taking Action: Engaging People and the Environment
  • ENVS 2009 3.0 Quantitative Methods in Environmental OR ENVS 3010 3.0 Qualitative Methods in Environmental Studies

(i) Course-Based Option (CBO): students requesting the CBO are required to enrol in additional courses from their declared area of concentration and beyond the Faculty requirement. Those who have already completed ENVS 3010 3.0 or ENVS 2009 3.0 are not under any obligation to complete ENVS 4000 6.0 and can still opt for the CBO.

(ii) Students enrolled in the Environmental Management Area of Concentration are required to take ENVS 2410 3.0, ENVS 2420 3.0, ENVS 2009 3.0 and ENVS 3010 3.0.

Area of Concentration Requirement (at least 12 credits):

  • ENVS 2100 6.0 Foundations in Environment and Culture: Philosophy, Arts, Technology and Education
  • ENVS 2200 6.0 Foundations of Urban and Regional Environments: Analysis, Planning and Design
  • ENVS 2300 6.0 Foundations of Environmental Politics: Development, Globalization and Justice
  • ENVS 2400 6.0 Foundations of Environmental Management: Policy, Resources and Conservation

Faculty Requirement (27 credits):

A minimum of 27 credits at the 3000 level and 4000 level in Environmental Studies (ENVS) courses in addition to the above. Of these, at least 9 credits must be at the 3000 level in the declared Area of Concentration and at least 9 credits must be at the 4000 level in the declared Area of Concentration. The remaining 9 credits will be satisfied by taking ENVS 4000 6.0 or 6 credits Course Based Option courses and one other three-credit course at the 4000 level.

For the course-based option students need to take two 3-credit 4000-level courses to replace ENVS 4000 6.0.

Out-of-Faculty Requirements:

In addition to the general education requirements, students must take 24 credits outside of the Faculty. These courses are selected based on student's interest and/or other combination program requirements outside the BES program.

Free Electives:

Students must take up to 27 credits from any undergraduate program (including FES). These courses are selected in the context of the student’s interest.