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Program Title
Earth Systems (Minor)
Degree Type
Earth Systems
Program Overview

Minor in Earth Systems

There are 2 subplans available for students interested in pursuing a minor in Earth Systems:
1) Sustainability
2) Environmental Justice

Students declaring a minor in Earth Systems must do so no later than two quarters prior to their intended quarter of degree conferral; for example, a student must declare a minor before the end of Autumn Quarter to graduate the following Spring Quarter. The chosen subplan must also be declared in Axess when declaring the minor.

1) Earth Systems, Sustainability

The minor in Earth Systems, Sustainability subplan, provides students with foundational knowledge, skills, and frameworks needed to understand social-environmental systems and address intergenerational sustainability challenges. Students declaring the minor in Earth Systems must also declare the Sustainability subplan. 

2) Earth Systems, Environmental Justice

The minor in Earth Systems, Environmental Justice subplan integrates diverse academic offerings on environmental justice-related topics. Through pursuing the environmental justice minor, students will

  • Apply a holistic understanding of environmental justice frameworks, histories, and theories to the problematization of socio-environmental challenges across multiple disciplines. 

  • Develop the capacity to support and integrate environmental justice frameworks within institutions, organizations, and places of employment as part of one’s career.

  • Translate and communicate environmental justice knowledge from communities, stakeholders, academia, and others to diverse audiences including decision makers. 

Prior to graduation, students pursuing the minor must complete the Multiple Major/Minor Form and have it reviewed by all applicable departments/programs. This form must be submitted to the Student Services Center by the application to graduate deadline for the term in which the student intends to graduate.

External Credit Policies


Degree Requirements

Required Coursework

1) Sustainability Subplan




Introduction to Earth Systems



Biology and Global Change



Human Society and Environmental Change


(course recommended as a pre- or corequisite to course)


Pathways in Sustainability Careers



Pursuing Sustainability: Managing Complex Social Environmental Systems (prerequisites: coursecourse)


Students must take a minimum of 19 units of electives at the 100-level or above that address dimensions of environmental systems and social-environmental systems in theory or practice, with at least one course taken in each of the following four categories: Earth Systems Science/Engineering; Environmental Justice; Applied Problem Solving; and Skills. Students may double-count courses in these categories (i.e., if a course fulfills both the Environmental Justice and Applied Problem Solving requirements, it can be applied to both categories). 

Students may petition to count one relevant freshman or sophomore seminar toward the minor.

Approved electives :

Please complete the Earth Systems Minor Course Plan Proposal found under the Minor Forms section here: Please submit your completed Minor Course Plan Proposal to Deana Fabbro-Johnston ( and Anahid Babekian ( for an approval signature and acceptance into the Earth Systems Minor Program. 

2) Environmental Justice Subplan

Completion of a minimum of 25 units of environmental justice-related course work:

  1. Gateway: EARTHSYS 194: Introduction to Environmental Justice: Race, Class, Gender and Place (4 units)

  2. At least one course in each of three streams:
    a. History of socio-environmental movements: Courses that offer depth of study in histories and theories of environmental justice and perspectives on the roles that race, class, and gender play in perpetuating environmental injustices.

    b. Ethical Frameworks: Courses that employ ethical frameworks and approaches for interrogating problems and developing solutions using an environmental justice lens. 

    c. Practice: Courses dedicated to practical application of environmental justice principles through skills development and advocacy training and that engage collaboratively with communities impacted by environmental injustices.

  3. EARTHSYS 134, Environmental Justice Minor Reflection

    Students will write a formal reflection to integrate and synthesize learning from coursework in the Environmental Justice Minor, inclusive of community-engaged learning experiences, in addition to relevant co-curricular learning achieved through involvement with student or community organizations.

  4. A total of twelve units must be earned through completing coursework with a community-engaged learning component. These units must be earned in courses designated as Cardinal Courses by the Haas Center; alternatively, a student may petition for one non-Cardinal Course that includes a community engaged component to count toward this requirement. These courses will require students to synthesize multiple sources of knowledge to understand EJ problems and develop solutions; and build understanding and gain experience in how to engage ethically with community members and organizations across power imbalances (see Principles of Ethical and Effective Service). Through fulfilling requirements for the Minor in Earth Systems, Environmental Justice subplan, students will be eligible for the Cardinal Service Notation.  

  5. All courses to be counted toward the minor must be taken for a letter grade, except where letter grades are not offered, as required by University policy.

    Students may not double-count courses for completing major and minor requirements.

Please complete the Earth Systems EJ Minor Course Plan Proposal found under the Minor Forms section here: Please submit your completed Minor Course Plan Proposal to Deana Fabbro-Johnston ( and Anahid Babekian ( for an approval signature and acceptance into the Earth Systems Minor Program.