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Current Students

Welcome EVS Students!  As the EVS Program continues to grow, the Program Office has compiled this page as a portal to answer some of your most frequent questions.  If you have an idea for something that should be added to this page, please let us 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)

Geography Advising
CLA 1.216
(512) 232-6344 (website)

Geography Advising
CLA 1.216
(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 the 2010-122012-14, and 2014-16 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 course progression that indicates the general manner in which degree requirements are generally addressed, but please be sure to consult your academic advisor and/or degree audit to make sure you are meeting your degree requirements.

Declaring Your Track

Declaring your track is simple, and can be done anytime after you have started taking the Introductory Field Seminar in Environmental Science & Sustainability (EVS 311).  Just:

  1. Complete a Declaration of EVS Track.
  2. Complete a "Transferring to another College or School" (page 2 of the declaration form) if necessary.
  3. Drop the form(s) off at the EVS Program Office anytime.

Declarations are generally processed at the during the first 8 days of each long term or the first 4 days of each summer session, if a student is registered for summer courses.  Track declarations submitted over the course of the term will be held until the next processing window.

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. Choose your college, your degree (B.S. Environmental Sciences) and your catalog (usually it has the same year as you started at UT).

Submit your audit, look at the results, and make sure all your courses and credits are properly counting towards your degree requirements. An accurate degree audit is essential for two reasons:

  1. Registration appointments are allocated based on the percentage of your degree completed as determined by your degree audit.
  2. You cannot graduate until your degree audit reads 100% complete.

Common Audit Issues

  • If UGS 303 (Sustaining a Planet) is not satisfying the "approved geological sciences course in sustainability" (GEO 302P) requirement email your academic advisor to request a correction.
  • If thematic course listed as satisfying a requirement on the course list (e.g. a Policy or climates & Oceans class) is not satisfying that requirement on the audit, then email your academic advisor to request a correction.
  • If advanced placement credit sent to UT is not being reflected on the degree audit, then make sure you have claimed the AP credit (click here to view scores and claim credit).
  • If a previously requested correction is not appearing on the audit after more than 4 weeks, make sure you are using the correct catalog year (try re-running your audit in a different catalog).

Correcting Your Audit

If something is not properly registering on your degree audit, please contact your college's academic advisor.  Note: Audits cannot be corrected until you have declared your track and are enrolled in the college from which you will graduate. Go here for information on how to declare your track.

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 EVS Faculty Committee to consider.  Note these requests can take up to 6 weeks for complete processing.
  • 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 Requirement Climates & Oceans Requirement

GRG 356 & GRG 356T Topics

  • Farming, Food & Global Hunger
  • Human Health & the Environment
  • Environment, Development & Food Production
  • Children's Environmental Health
  • Envir-Cultural Dynamics in Botswana
  • Water Resources in Latin America

SOC 321K Topics

  • Environmental Sociology
  • Building a Sustainable City

GRG 356 & GRG 356T Topics

  • Environmental Change & Mgmt. of Large Rivers
  • Water and Watersheds

GEO 371C Topics

  • Marine Geology
  • Glaciology
  • Climate Systems Discussion
  • Paleo-Oceanography

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).

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.

The EVS Capstone Experience

All EVS students complete a senior captone experience prior to their graduation. There are two ways to approach this requirement:

  1. The majority of EVS students complete a year-long, independent research-project (EVS 271 & EVS 371) after completing a 1-hour Research Methods course (EVS 121) in their sophomore year.  Under this option students find a faculty lab in which to work whose research is of personal interest to them.  They complete a contact with the faculty mentor and complete a project designed to prepare them for graduate school or professional practice.  If you are looking for inspiration or ideas, click here for a list of topics your EVS forebearers have addressed or here for a copy of the EVS Research Experience Agreement.
  2. Students not interested in research can complete a an approved field course and an additional technical course.  Note that the only approved field course for all three tracks is MNS 348 - part of UTMSI's Semester By the Sea program.  Contact the EVS Program Office or your academic advisor for information on approved field and technical courses.

Students should start thinking about their capstone experience before or during the start of their junior year in order to ensure adequate time to plan and execute their intended project.

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 continuing to work on developing support for its students as they begin to take their first steps outside 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) all opportunities for EVS students (regardless of track) are collected on GeoSource.  Additional information about popular recurring opportunities is collected on our student opportunities page.

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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