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Academic Advising Centre

Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Natural Sciences)

This guide has been prepared with the information you need to successfully register for your first year at UFV. Please review the information provided on this page thoroughly before contacting your academic advisor with questions.




Environmental Studies represents an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to examining human-environment relationships. The Bachelor of Environmental Studies, Natural Sciences (BES-NS) equips you with the tools needed to engage in proactive environmental citizenship and to work in environmental science fields in Canada and abroad. Upon completion, you will have developed the depth of knowledge required to continue to graduate or other professional studies, and you may seek additional related professional accreditation after graduation.

UFV’s interdisciplinary Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES-NS) provides you with the skills and knowledge to pursue environmental careers in a variety of settings, including agriculture and food security, climate change, land use planning/GIS, and environmental communications.


Co-operative education is an option within the BES-NS.

Combining academic studies with paid work terms related to your major and is a valuable addition to your program of study and an effective form of professional preparation.

Program structure and requirements

Watch a recorded planning session or read the guide below.

The Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES) — Natural Sciences degree requires the completion of a minimum of 120 credits (approximately 40 classes) and is broken down into four learning areas:

  1. Environmental core (24-26 credits)
  2. Research, Methods, and Engagement core (23-26 credits)
  3. Breadth requirements (53-61 credits)
  4. Elective courses (7-24 credits)

You will design your degree by selecting and completing courses from each of these learning areas to meet specific requirements.

Where can I find a list of courses for the program?

You can access a list of all approved and required courses for your program in two ways:


First time using MyGRADplan?

Visit MyGRADplan website to get login instructions and review tutorials. Specifically, you will want to learn about the 'What if' and 'Look ahead' features as they will be most helpful in your course planning.



Given that 3 classes correspond to approximately 20+ hours/week of school work both in and out of the classroom, it is very important that you consider your workload capacity carefully.

It is much better to start with less and add more coursework in future semesters than to start out feeling overloaded in your first semester.

Ultimately, the number of courses you take each semester is up to you, but here is what we recommend for first-year students:


3-5 courses per semester


9-18 hours per week in class


And at least
9-18 hours per week
for homework


Environmental Studies courses can be a heavy course load. If you are working, you want to make sure to keep a good balance between work and school:

  • Working 10hrs/week > 12 credits max. recommended
  • Working 20hrs/week > 9 credits max. recommended


Suggested course plan (4 years)

Here is an example of what a 4-year degree plan might look like.

Note: Many science courses require that you register in both a lecture and a lab (eg. BIO 111, CHEM 113). You must choose a lecture and a lab at the time of registration in order to add the course to your schedule. Lab sections are indicated with a # sign (A#A, A#B, etc.) in the timetables and are held on campus.


High school upgrading courses

If you are missing a high school level course or did not receive the grade you needed for a course prerequisite, you have the option of taking the equivalent course at UFV.

High school courseUFV equivalent course
Biology 11 BIO 083
Biology 12 BIO 093
Chemistry 11 CHEM 083
Chemistry 12 CHEM 110
Physics 11 PHYS 083
Physics 12 PHYS 093
Pre-calculus 12

MATH 092/093 or 094/095 or 096 or MATH 110 (if PC 12 taken with C or higher grade)


Next steps

Explore courses of interest

Find official course descriptions and outlines in the Academic Calendar.

Prepare for registration

Watch tutorials, review information on fee payment, important dates, and more.

Track your degree progress

Access your program audit & identify the requirements that are needed for graduation.


Still have questions?

Book an appointment with an academic advisor or email your questions to

If you are starting in the fall, book your next appointment prior to the winter registration (October).

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