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The Undergraduate Calendar

School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability

Bachelor of Environmental Studies

Environment, Resources and Sustainability Honours (Regular & Co-op)
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ERS 101 must be completed with a grade of 65% or higher. Please see the English Language Proficiency Requirement section for the Faculty of Environment if you fail to meet this requirement.

Year One

ERS 100 Foundations: Environment, Resources and Sustainability
ERS 101 Approaches: Environment, Resources and Sustainability
ERS 102 Sustainability and the Really Long View
ENVS 178 Introduction to Environmental Research Methods
ENVS 195 Introduction to Environmental Studies
ENVS 200 Field Ecology

plus electives for a total of five units (see note 4)

Year Two

ERS 201 Environmental Policy, Politics and Governance
ERS 202 Natural Resources Ecology
ERS 215 Environmental and Sustainability Assessment 1

plus electives for a total of five units (see note 4)

Year Three

ERS 300 Social Ecological Systems Analysis
ERS 301 Sustainability Thought, Practice and Prospects

plus electives for a total of five units (see note 4)

Year Four

ERS 400 Social-Ecological Approaches to Sustainability
ERS 401 Sustainability Science and its Critiques 

One of the following two options:

Option one:
ERS 402 Senior Honours Seminar
One additional ERS course (.50 unit) at or above -300 level

Option two:
ERS 403A/ERS 403B Senior Honours Thesis

plus electives for a total of five units (see note 4)


  1. Minimum Required Units
    Total: 20 units. Required: 7.5 units. Core Electives: 3.5 units (see note 4). Electives: 9 units.
  2. Course Load
    No more than 2.5 units may be taken in a term without school approval.
  3. Average Requirements
    Students in Environment, Resources and Sustainability Honours Regular and Co-op plans must maintain an overall cumulative average of at least 65% and a major cumulative average (all ERS and ENVS labelled courses) of at least 70%. All required courses must be passed.
  4. Core Electives
    In addition to the listed required courses, an additional 3.5 units of ERS and/or ENVS labelled courses are required. Of these 3.5 units, 2.5 units must be labelled ERS.
  5. Fourth Year Core
    Students in 4th year will normally enroll in ERS 402 Senior Honours Seminar (0.5 unit/Winter term), plus one additional ERS 300- or 400- level course for a total of 1.0 unit. ERS 403A/ERS 403B Senior Honours Thesis, upon approval can replace this requirement.
  6. Restriction on number of First-Year Courses
    A student must have at least 13.5 units (27 courses) above the 100-level.
  7. Double-counting
    A course can be used to satisfy requirements for a maximum of two credentials. Double counting of courses applies as follows: once for the SERS plan and once for a joint honours or concurrent degree, option, minor, diploma, or specialization. There is no limit on the number of courses that may be double counted unless otherwise stated.
  8. Joint Honours Degree
    Many Honours plans may be combined with SERS. However, before embarking on a Joint Honours plan, it is highly recommended that students consult with the Associate Director/Chair of both programs. Students must meet the requirements of both plans as stated in the Calendar, and they should be aware that combining some Honours plans may require more than the normal number of academic terms to complete. Admission to a Joint Honours plan will not be approved prior to Year Two of studies. 
    A Joint Honours degree with SERS is available to all University of Waterloo students.
  9. Transfer students
    Students wishing to transfer to Environment, Resources and Sustainability may receive credit for courses previously completed. Students should meet with the Undergraduate Associate Director to determine transferable courses and course selections for first year. See Transfer Credit Allowance section of this calendar for more information.

Notes for Co-op Students:

  1. Co-operative Plan Requirements
    Co-op plan requirement details are stated in the Faculty of Environment, Academic Plans, Overview of Co-op Plans section of the Calendar.
    Students are expected to follow the academic/work sequence noted in the Co-operative Education and Career Action section of this calendar.
  2. Transfer from ERS Co-op to ERS regular
    Students will be permitted to transfer from Co-op to the Regular Honours academic plan if all requirements of the Co-op academic plan have been met up to the time of transfer.


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