Environmental Studies (Associate of Arts)

Learning Format
Admission Type
Open Enrolment - General Admission Requirements


Learn about the environment from different perspectives with an Associate of Arts Degree in Environmental Studies. You'll choose from a wide range of academic and environmental courses in anthropology, economics, geography, sociology, criminology, philosophy, history, political science, and earth and environmental science. Participate in discussions and presentations, gain valuable field experience and engage in classroom lectures to develop and enhance your critical-thinking, writing, research and presentation skills. 

Get paid, full-time work experience during your studies

Gain valuable field experience and put your skills to work by joining the optional Co-operative Education Program, which alternates semesters of study with paid, full-time work in your field. You’ll earn money while gaining experience, building your resume and getting an employer reference, all before you graduate. To participate in Co-op you need to plan two semesters in advance, so we strongly recommend contacting the Co-op Office at the start of your program.

Further education

This environmental studies program can also lead to a degree in the environmental field. In most cases, an associate degree will allow you to enter the third year of a four-year bachelor's degree program. To make sure your courses transfer, use the B.C. Transfer Guide as it has all the up-to-date information you'll need to plan your education. 

Admissions Requirements


You can get an average cost for your program - tuition and student fees, books, uniforms, lab fees etc - on the Program Cost page. 

Only programs approved for student loan funding are listed on the Program Cost page. For all other programs, refer to the Tuition Fee page.

Program Requirements

Curriculum Framework

Graduation Requirements:

  • Successful completion of 60 University Transfer credits as listed below
  • Require a minimum program GPA of 2.00
  • All courses must be University Transferable - a University Transferable course is a course that transfers to one of the Research Universities - SFU, UBC (UBCV or UBCO), UNBC, or UVIC in the BC Transfer Guide
  • 50% (30 credits) of all coursework must be completed at Douglas College
  • Time limit to complete program graduation requirements: seven (7) years

Course Requirements:

Students pursuing an Associate of Arts in Environmental Studies must meet the general requirements for an Associate of Arts Degree at Douglas College and the following specific program requirements:

Students must choose at least four courses from List A.


ANTH 2230*

Ecology and Culture

ECON 2460*

Environmental Economics

EAES 1120

Introduction to Earth Sciences

GEOG 1110

Earth Environments: Weather and Climate

GEOG 1120

Earth Environments: Land and Water

GEOG 1130

Human Impact on the Environment

GEOG 2311*

Urban Environmental Sustainability

PHIL 2123*

Environmental Ethics

SOCI 2270*

Society and the Environment

Students must choose at least four courses from List B.

List B

ANTH 1170

Anthropology in Developing Countries

CRIM 3320*

Environmental Crime and Law

GEOG 1100

Introduction to Human Geography

GEOG 1140

Environment and Media

GEOG 1160

The Geography of British Columbia

GEOG 1180

The Geography of Canada

GEOG 1190

Selected Regions

GEOG 2210*

Atmospheric Environments: Climatology

GEOG 2213*

Social Geography

GEOG 2220*


GEOG 2230*

The Geography of Biodiversity

GEOG 2270*

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

HIST 1104

World History Since 1945

HUMS 1101

Frontiers of Thought

IDST 1102

Perspectives on the Environment Creating a Sustainable Society

POLI 1103

Introduction to World Politics

POLI 2203*

Current International Issues

BIOL 1110

Principles of Biology: The Biosphere

BIOL 1210

Principles of Biology: The Organism

BIOL 2300*

Marine Biology

BIOL 3305*


BIOL 3500*

Plant Biology

BIOL 3700*


CHEM 2303*

Environmental Chemistry

EAES 1121

History of the Earth

EAES 1201

Global Environmental Change

EAES 1207

Introduction to Environmental Science

EAES 1240

Ocean and the Environment

EAES 1900

Resources from the Earth

EAES 2340*

Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

EAES 2537*

Environmental Science Project

*Course may have prerequisites. Please check the Program and Course Catalogue.

The following are the general requirements for an Associate of Arts Degree at any B.C. college:

  • 6 credits first-year English* electives
  • 6 credits Humanities** electives
  • 6 credits Social Sciences** electives
  • 6 credits Arts** electives
  • 18 credits second-year Arts** electives in 2 or more subject areas
  • 3 credits Lab Science elective
  • 3 credits Math, Statistics or Computing Science elective
  • 3 credits Math, Statistics or Science elective
  • 9 credits other University Transfer electives

*English courses can include courses in written Communications (CMNS) and Creative Writing (CRWR) that transfer to one of the B.C. research universities (SFU, UBCV, UBCO, UNBC, or UVIC) as English credit. A maximum of 3 credits can come from such an equivalent; at least 3 credits must be earned in an actual ENGL course, so-named. For purposes of the Associate of Arts degree, English courses cannot be counted as Humanities courses.

** Arts courses are available in the Faculty of Languages, Literature, and Performing Arts, and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. To confirm whether a course is designated as "humanities" or "social sciences", check the Associate of Arts Degree Graduation Requirement Checklist. Courses in Economics and Mathematics also may be used as Arts electives toward an Associate of Arts Degree. 


A course is defined by the subject for which it is granted transfer credit at one of the research universities (SFU, UBCV, UBCO UNBC, or UVic).

  • An Arts course is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate of Arts Degree at one of the research universities.
  • A Science course is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate of Science Degree or Baccalaureate of Applied Science Degree at one of the research universities.
  • The requirements specified above are intended to provide breadth of exposure to a variety of disciplines in both Arts and Sciences. In some instances there may be some ambiguity as to whether a course is in the Humanities or Social Sciences and is an Arts course or a Science course. Most Physical Geography and Mathematics would be designated as Science courses.
  • A course in an "other" area is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate Degree other than in Arts, Science or Applied Science at one of the research universities.
  • first-year course is defined as a course that has assigned or unassigned transfer credit at the 100-level at one of the research universities.
  • second-year course is defined as a course that has assigned or unassigned transfer credit at the 200-level or higher level at one of the research universities.
  • laboratory science course is one in which a substantial component of instruction involves the study of natural phenomena, either in the laboratory or in the field.

For detailed information you should meet with a Student Success Advisor.

Co-operative Education Option:

Students enrolled in this program may be eligible for a Co-operative Education designation. Co-operative Education involves alternating full-time academic and work terms. For information contact the Co-operative Education Office.


Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this program and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the program, consider the previous version as the applicable version.


Alejandra Llanes

Designing a greener future

Environmental Studies student pursues architecture career in sustainable housing.

Career Pathways

With further education, this credential is a first step towards the following careers:

  • Park planner
  • Environmental consultant
  • Environmental impact assessment 
  • Policy analyst
  • Land use planner
  • Community engagement
  • Climate change analyst
  • Recycling program officer
  • Sustainability program officer
  • Urban Planner
  • Land claims officer
  • GIS mapping technician