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Current Students

Welcome EVS Students!  As the EVS Program continues to grow, we are compiling what we hope will be a useful resource page for you that can answer some of your most frequent questions.  If you have an idea for something that should be added to this page, please let Deborah know!

Advising: Where To Go

Prior to selecting your track (while your major is listed as "EVS-Entry"), you can be advised by the EVS Program Office or in your college's advising office.  After declaring your track you should begin working primarily with your college's advising office, as they will be the office that ultimately sees you through to graduation.  Your college's advising office can also answer questions about things like concurrent enrollment and petitioning to have degree requirements modified or waived.  Of course, you're still always welcome to come by the EVS Program Office for advising anytime!

School (Track)

EVS-Entry Advising Track-Specific Advising

Natural Sciences (Biology)

First Year / Transfer Students Advising
WCH 1.106
(512) 471-3796 (website)

Biological Sciences Advising Center
NHB 2.206
(512) 471-4920 (website)

Liberal Arts (Geography)

Student Division Academic Advising
GEB 2.306
(512) 471-4271 (website)

Geography Advising
CLA 1.3216
(512) 232-6344 (website)

Jackson School (Geology)

Geosciences Advising
JGB 2.108
(512) 232-4544 (website)

Geosciences Advising
JGB 2.108
(512) 232-4544 (website)

Four Year Plans & Course Lists

The EVS Program received official state approval in the Fall of 2010, and therefore EVS degrees are currently found in both the 2010-2012 and the 2012-2014 undergraduate catalogs.  Requirements for each catalog can vary slightly, so it is important that you are clear about what catalog you are operating under (generally the one that was in effect when you started at UT-Austin).

The Program Office has created a sample four year plan that satisfies both the 2010-2012 and 2012-2014 catalogs.  You can also take a look at the overall course list, but please be sure to consult your academic advisor and/or degree audit to make sure you are meeting your degree requirements.

How to Run a Degree Audit

To run your degree audit, click here and launch IDA 2.0 (Interactive Degree Audit 2.0) then select "Create Audit" from the left-hand menu.  Then follow the below instructions for your desired track.

  • EVS-BIO: from the top drop-down menu (all areas of study in all colleges) select "Natural Sciences" and click submit.  On the next page, click on "Biology" then on "Environmental Science." Then click on your catalog year and you will run your audit.
  • EVS-GRG: from the top drop-down menu (all areas of study in all colleges) select "Liberal Arts" and click submit.  On the next page, click on "Geography & the Environment" then on "B S Environmental Science."  Then click on your catalog year and you will run your audit.
  • EVS-GEO: from the bottom drop down menu (all degree plans in all colleges) select "Geosciences" and click submit.  On the next page, click on "B S Environmental Science, Geology." Then click on your catalog year and you will run your audit.

Then to take a look at your audit.  If you do not understand the results of your audit, or if you have questions about particular requirements and why they may or may not be satisfied, please check with your academic adviser.  You cannot graduate until you have a "clean audit" so be sure to check in periodically.

Petitioning to Modify or Waive a Requirement

If you have taken a course that you believe should satisfy an existing requirement (either at UT-Austin or at another school), or if you would like to request a waiver of a requirement due to unforeseen, exigent circumstances, you can petition to have the requirement modified or waived in your individual circumstances.

  • Core Curriculum petitions, such as government and history, must be made online through the School of Undergraduate Studies.  Click here for more information.
  • Prescribed Work petitions (relating to the coursework common to all three EVS tracks) should be made by completing this form and providing it to the EVS Program Office.  In this form you are required to explain the basis for your request and providing any supplemental material (e.g. a course syllabus) you would like the Faculty Committee to consider.
  • Track-Specific petitions (including the "Additional Prescribed Work" that is part of the geography track) should be made by contacting the track's advising office pursuant to that office's particular process. These petitions are within the sole purview of the resident school or college.

Thematic Core Pre-Approved Topics

Please note that additions to the pre-approved topics list can be made at any time, so if you see a course that you believe should satisfy one of the thematic core requirements please speak to your academic advisor before registering.

Policy, Ethics & History
GRG 356T Topics

Climates & Oceans
GEO 371C Topics

Climates & Oceans
GRG 356T Topics

  • Farming, Food & Global Hunger
  • Human Health & the Environment
  • Environment, Development & Food Production
  • Envir-Cultural Dynamics in Botswana
  • Marine Geology
  • Glaciology
  • Climate Systems Discussion
  • Paleo-Oceanography
  • Environmental Change & Management of Large Rivers

Concurrent (Dual) Enrollment

Taking courses at another college or university (including UT Extension) while you are also currently enrolled at UT-Austin is called "concurrent enrollment."  Each college has its own rules pertaining to concurrent enrollment, and the following general descriptions of each schools' policies are presented solely for illustrative purposes only.

  • EVS-BIO: "The College of Natural Sciences permits concurrent enrollment with certain restrictions. Math or science courses cannot be taken concurrently and counted toward a degree unless specifically approved in advance by the college. Students must see their academic advisor for detailed information and to petition for approval." Click here for more information.
  • EVS-GRG: "The College of Liberal Arts permits concurrent enrollment with certain restrictions."  Click here for more information.
  • EVS-GEO: "Concurrent enrollment is enrollment simultaneously at the University and at another educational institution or in University Extension.  During a long-session semester students in the Jackson School enrolled at the University are not allowed to take courses at another school or institution or by correspondence or extension at the University unless specifically approved in advance by the Dean.  Exceptions are considered on a case by case basis after the student meets with their academic advisor and submits a Concurrent Enrollment Petition to the Undergraduate Student Services Office in advance.   Exceptions to this policy for math and science courses are considered only in extremely rare circumstances.  No more than 30 percent of the semester hours required for any degree in the Jackson School may be completed online with by correspondence or University Extension."  Click here for more information (EID login required).

EVS Course Registration & Timing

Registration for all EVS courses is currently conducted through the EVS Program Office.  During early registration each term, the Program Office contacts all students with instructions on how to request a seat in various EVS courses. EVS Courses are offered (and should be taken) according to the following schedule:


Sustaining a Planet (the "Approved Geological Sciences Course in Sustainability")

All EVS students are strongly encouraged to take Sustaining a Planet (UGS 303) as their first year signature course. This course will not only satisfy your core curriculum signature course requirement, but it will also relieve you of your "approved geological sciences course in sustainability." It is, in fact, the only way to complete this requirement of your EVS degree.  It is offered each fall, so incoming freshmen should plan on taking it their first term at UT-Austin.

If you came to EVS after completing your signature course, or if you were required to take a different signature course as part of a first year academic enrichment program, please contact the EVS Program office to discuss your options.

Declaring Your Track

Declaring your track is simple.  Just contact the EVS Program Office anytime and let us know that you've made a final decision.  In the event you need to transfer in order to be enrolled at the school that houses your track, a short (hard copy) form will be necessary.  These forms are processed by the Office of the Registrar during the first eight days of each term (or the first four days of the summer term) so your transfer may not be immediately effective.

How to Complete Your Senior Research

All EVS students complete a senior research project (EVS 371) in the year leading up to their graduation.

1.  Find a Topic & Mentor: The first step to completing this requirement is to identify a mentor for your project.  The easiest way to do this is to speak to faculty members you know (or have identified through departmental websites) conduct research in an area related to the topic you want to explore. Students typically narrow their research topic as they meet and discuss ideas with various faculty members.  If you are looking for inspiration or ideas, click here for a list of topics your EVS forebearers have addressed.

2.  Complete Your Contract: After you have found a mentor, you will need to complete a Senior Research Contract (copies available in the EVS Program Office) which contains a standard set of guidelines that applies regardless of your college or track.  Both you and your mentor will sign this agreement, and it will set out the terms for your research and, ultimately, your grade.

3.  Get Registered: In order to be registered for EVS 371, you must obtain your mentor's signature on the Senior Research Contract, sign the contract yourself, and return it (along with the brief summary of your research) to the EVS Program Office during early registration in order to be permitted to take the course the following term.  This means you need to start seeking a mentor the semester before you want to conduct your research.

4.  Complete Your Project: Pursuant to the terms of the Senior Research Contract, you must complete a mid-term write-up, a final paper, and a research poster and submit these documents to the EVS Program office (in addition to your mentor).  You are also required to participate in the EVS Poster Session, which occurrs each April as part of Undergraduate Research Week at UT-Austin and gives you the opportunity to present your research to the wider UT-Austin community!

Scholarships Available

In addition to scholarships being available through your respective colleges, EVS has secured funding for scholarships that are exclusively for EVS students.  These scholarships currently come in three varieties:

  • EVS Scholars (S-STEM) Awards:  Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, these awards can run up to $9,706 each academic year.  Applicants must be eligible for federal student finacial aid, and the award cannot exceed the student's official "need" as determined by Student Financial Services.  Applications for continuing EVS Students are collected in March for the coming academic year, and awards are announced in May.
  • A&WMA Excellence Award:  The Central Texas Chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association has established a $1,500 award to support an EVS Student in his or her pursuit of an education leading to a career in air and waste management.  Applications are colleged in March for award at the April membership meeting.
  • Capstone Research Awards:  Students pursuing or planning to pursue their senior research can apply for up to $500 in scholarship funding to support their efforts as thei complete their culminating academic and research experience. Applications are accepted in connection with early registration each term, and awards are announced prior to the commencement of the following academic term.

Career Services & Opportunities

EVS is  developing a career services platform to support you as you begin to take steps outside of the university. And since EVS is coordinated through the Environmental Science Institute, we regularly hear about fantastic internship and volunteer opportunities for EVS students.  Although we sometimes highlight these by emailing you (particularly if the opportunity is exclusively for EVS students) our student opportunities page is our regular venue for letting you know about opportunities to volunteer, intern, conduct research, or have some other sort of fantastic experience.  Click here to get started!

EVS also offers resume and job search advising, networking opportunities, and professional training.  We're also working on organizing the first Environmental Science career fair, coming in the fall of 2013 - stay tuned for more information!

Hope you found this helpful.  Feel free to contact us at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have suggestions for additional topics!

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