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Bachelor of Environment Program | Faculty of Environment
Simon Fraser University Calendar | Summer 2023

Bachelor of Environment

Bachelor of Environment majors are interdisciplinary, containing required and elective courses that are directly related to environment and sustainability. Each BEnv major requires a core of social and natural sciences, as well as courses in methodology and communication. A capstone course provides students with the opportunity to integrate and demonstrate knowledge and skills.

Students can meet the Bachelor of Environment requirements through one of the following options:

• a major program

• a joint major program

The total BEnv core requirements are approximately 15 courses or 55-60 units. This allows for specialization through upper division courses within specific BEnv majors

Total 21 courses -64-76 units
Core 10-11 courses -30-33 units
Major Courses 10-11 courses -33-45 units

Two BEnv majors (Resource and Environmental Management and Global Environmental Systems) and one joint major (Sustainable Business) are currently available.

All students undertaking a BEnv would require preparation in earth systems, ecology, the human role in nature, social and built environments, stewardship and governance, and the global scale. Methodology is treated as a core requirement, with both lower division and upper division requirements. Students must also complete one of the identified capstone courses which encompass practice and communication: they may vary according to the major. BEnv program educational goals as articulated below would drive the selection of core courses required for BEnv majors.

The Natural Sciences

• Earth Systems- earth processes including earth history, landforms, soils, atmosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere, and their roles and interrelationships in ecosystems and climate.

• Ecology - diversity and relationships of microorganisms, plants, and animals, and the abiotic and biotic factors that influence the distribution and development of ecosystems and their potential impacts on human health and livelihood.

• Biology- basic biochemical and physiological mechanisms of human and other living organisms.

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The Social Sciences

• Human role in nature - the interaction of humans, natural resources and the biophysical environment in the past, present and future. Human cultural development, landscapes, livelihoods and industries.

• Social and built environments - human settlements, urban structure, and sociospatial organization; the interaction of the built environment with health, housing, transportation, and public policy.

• Stewardship and governance - normative ethical theories and their application to the natural environment and the obligations that humans bear with respect to it. Ecosystem services, externalities, and environmental policy, science and values

• The global scale- global environmental change and its causes and effects, such as population growth, the ecological footprint, human health and social organization and technology as they affect landscapes, ecosystems and food supply. The cumulative effects of urbanization, energy, raw materials and climate change.

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Methodology, Practice, Integration and Communication

• Quantitative and geospatial analysis -quantitative data collection, statistics & probability, modeling, and the use of these techniques in environmental problem solving

• Students will gain experience applying those methods in models, laboratories, or fieldwork, and skills in communicating the results of those applications to professional and general audiences

• Complexity and decision-making - BEnv majors address the complexity of environmental systems, their potential social and biophysical impacts at various temporal and spatial scales, and their communication and resolution in environmental decision-making

• Sustainability- Students will have knowledge and appreciation of the various concepts of sustainability and sustainable futures. Students will be familiar with sustainability strategies at multiple spatial, temporal and comparative scales.

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WQB Graduation Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required to earn W, Q or B credit



W - Writing


Must include at least one upper division course, taken at Simon Fraser University within the student’s major subject
Q - Quantitative


Q courses may be lower or upper division
B - Breadth


Designated Breadth Must be outside the student’s major subject, and may be lower or upper division
6 units Social Sciences: B-Soc
6 units Humanities: B-Hum
6 units Sciences: B-Sci


Additional Breadth 6 units outside the student’s major subject (may or may not be B-designated courses, and will likely help fulfil individual degree program requirements)

Students choosing to complete a joint major, joint honours, double major, two extended minors, an extended minor and a minor, or two minors may satisfy the breadth requirements (designated or not designated) with courses completed in either one or both program areas.

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