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Academic Advising Centre

Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Arts)

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.


Program structure and requirements

Watch a recorded planning session or read the guide below.

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

  1. Environmental core (20-26 credits)
  2. Research, Methods, and Engagement core (19-22 credits)
  3. Breadth requirements (34-38 credits)
  4. Elective courses (34-37 credits)

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

The BES does not require the completion of these credits/courses within a specific timeframe. Your pace is based on your personal schedule and goals—it needs to work for you.

If you want to complete this program in four years, this means you will need to complete 30 credits or 10 courses each year.

Many students complete this degree in 5+ years, adjusting their course workload in relation to work schedules, non-academic commitments, etc.

This program planning guide focuses on the lower-level requirements for each learning area as they are the most pertinent pieces in your planning at this time.

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:


3-4 courses per semester


9-12 hours per week in class


And at least
9-12 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 (first semester)

In choosing courses, try to select a mix of what you like and what is required:

  • Environmental core: GEOG 111 (Geography)
  • Research, methods, and engagement core: PHIL 100 (Philosophy), CMNS 125 (Communications)/ENGL 105 (English)
  • Personal interest elective (100-level)
  • Yes, really—something that sounds interesting to you.
  • Academic skills course: UNIV 101 (University Studies)
  • A course on "how to" UFV – there is a lot to learn.


Here are two examples of how you may want to organize your fall and winter semesters.

Fall (Sep-Dec)Winter (Jan-Apr)
CMNS 125 or ENGL 105 PHIL 100
GEOG 111 GEOG 103
UNIV 101 (University Studies) CMNS 180, 235, or 251
AGRI 124 (Agriculture), AGRI 163, ECON 100 (Economics), ECON 101, GEOG 140, MACS 130 (Media and Communications), PSYC 102 (Psychology), SOC 101 (Sociology), VA 180 (Visual Arts) AGRI 204, ANTH 268 (Anthropology), BUS 204 (Business Administration), CIS 145 (Computer Information Systems), IPK 102 (Indigenous Peoples Knowledge), MACS 210 (Media and Communication Studies), MACS 240, PSYC 101, SOC 247, SOC 260, SOC 289, VA 271


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

Prepare for registration

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

Explore courses of interest

Find official course descriptions and outlines in the Academic Calendar.

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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