Undergraduate Bulletin

Fall 2023

Requirements for the Major in Coastal Environmental Studies (COS) 

The Bachelor of Science in Coastal Environmental Studies is designed to give students a solid foundation in science and environmental studies. It provides the skills, knowledge, and preparation for students to assess and address environmental problems.  Students also will take courses in leadership skills and courses related to environmental policy and systems studies. This major prepares students for graduate study in environmental science, marine science, geoscience, environmental planning and related fields as well as for entry-level employment in the public, private, or non-profit sectors concerned with assessment, abatement, or regulation of a wide range of environmental problems.

Completion of the major requires 73 credits. No more than one course (4 credits maximum) with a passing grade lower than C can be credited towards the major. Courses taken with the Pass/NC option may not be applied to the major.

Requirements for the Major in Coastal Environmental Studies

A. Required Foundation Courses for Major (35 credits)

B.  Career and Leadership Skills

  • SUS 301 Technical Writing and Communication (formerly offered as CSK 302)
  • SUS 305 Collective Action and Advocacy (formerly offered as CSK 305) or ENS 301 Contemporary Environmental Issues and Policies

C. Core Courses

  • ATM 305 Global Atmospheric Change or ENV 304 Global Environmental Change
  • BIO 351 Ecology
  • ENV 320 Chemistry for Environmental Scientists
  • ENV 321 Chemistry for Environmental Scientists Laboratory
  • GSS 313 GIS Design and Applications I
  • GSS 314 GIS Design and Applications Laboratory 

Students are required to select 9 credits from group A and 6 credits from group B.

Group A: Environmental Science Electives (choose 9 credits)

  • BIO 352 Ecology Laboratory*
  • CHE 312 Physical Chemistry for the Life Sciences*
  • CHE 321 Organic Chemistry
  • ENS 311/BIO 386 Ecosystem Ecology and the Global Environment
  • ENV 310 Sustainability and Renewable Energy—Costa Rica
  • ENV 315/GEO 315 Groundwater Hydrology
  • ENV 316 Coastal Zone Management
  • ENV 340 Contemporary Topics in Environmental Science
  • GEO 313 Understanding Water Resources for the 21st Century
  • GSS 354 GIS for the Coastal Zone
  • MAR 303 Long Island Marine Habitats
  • MAR 304 Waves, Tides, and Beaches
  • MAR 308 Environmental Instrumental Analysis*
  • MAR 315 Conservation Biology and Marine Biodiversity
  • MAR 320 Limnology
  • MAR 333 Coastal Oceanography
  • MAR 336 Marine Pollution
  • MAR 388 Tropical Marine Ecology
  • MAR 394 Environmental Toxicology and Public Health
  • SUS 319 Restoration Ecology (formerly offered as EHI 310)

Group B: Environment, Society, and Policy (choose 6 credits)

  • EDP 301 The Built Environment I*
  • EDP 305 Risk Assessment and Sustainable Development
  • EDP 309 Planning: Policies and Regulations*
  • ENV 339 Economics of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems
  • SOC 344 Environmental Sociology
  • SUS 309 Global Environmental Politics (formerly offered as SBC 309)
  • SUS 311 Disasters and Society* (formerly offered as SBC 311)
  • SUS 312 Environment, Society, and Health* (formerly offered as SBC 312)
  • SUS 317 Environmental History of North America (formerly offered as SBC 307)
  • SUS 318 American Environmental Politics* (formerly offered as SBC 308)
  • SUS 321 Ecology and Evolution in American Literature (formerly offered as SBC 321)
  • SUS 324 Human Geography and the Environment
  • SUS 325 Environmental Writing and the Media (formerly offered as SBC 325)
  • SUS 330 Extreme Events in Literature (formerly offered as SBC 330)
  • SUS 340 Ecological and Social Dimensions of Disease (formerly offered as EHI 340)
  • SUS 341 Environmental Treatises and Protocols
  • SUS 342 Energy and Mineral Resources
  • SUS 366 Philosophy of the Environment*

*These courses have additional prerequisites outside of the major

D. Systems Course (3 credits)

One Integrative, Collaborative Systems Project course:

  • ENS 443 Environmental Problem Solving
  • ENV 301 Sustainability of the Long Island Pine Barrens
  • ENV 487 Research in Environmental Science (see Note 1)
  • ENV 488 Internship (see Note 2)
  • SUS 401 Integrative, Collaborative Systems Project (formerly offered as SBC 401)

Note 1: ATM, ENS, MAR, or SUS 487 may, with permission, be substituted for ENV 487 
Note 2: ATM, ENS, MAR, or SUS 488 may, with permission, be substituted for ENV 488 
Note 3: PHY 121; PHY 125 and PHY 126 and PHY 133; PHY 131 and 133; or PHY 141 and
133 may be substituted for PHY 119/ENS 119
Note 4: CHE 129/130 or CHE 152 may be substituted for CHE 131; CHE 154 may be substituted for CHE 133

E. Upper-Division Writing Requirement

The advanced writing component of the major in COS requires registration in the 0-credit ​SUS 459 and approval of either a term paper or a laboratory report written for an advanced course in ​the appropriate major at Stony Brook (including Readings and Research courses). Completion of  SUS 459 with a grade of S will result in approval of the WRTD requirement. A list of preapproved courses can be obtained through the department. 

Students should consult with the department advisor to ensure that their plan for completing the Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent with university graduation requirements for General Education.  Students completing the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) must complete a course that satisfies the "Write Effectively within One's Discipline" (WRTD)  learning objective to graduate.  The Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent in most cases with the SBC learning outcomes for WRTD.

Double Majors

Excluding ENV 301 (Sustainability of the Long Island Pine Barrens), SUS 301 (Technical Writing and Communication), SUS 305 (Collective Advocacy and Action), and SUS  401 (Integrative Collaborative Systems Studies), no more than 6 credits of 300-400 level course credits can be applied to two majors within the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.

Study Abroad

Stony Brook University offers study abroad experiences that are focused on issues of sustainability in Costa Rica, Madagascar, and the Turkana Basin (Kenya). While issues of climate change, water and energy security, sustainable agriculture, environmental justice, sustainable economic development, conservation of unique and threatened ecosystems, population growth, and human health are important everywhere, viewing these issues through the lens of a different place and a different culture provides a valuable perspective. Students are encouraged to participate in study abroad experiences and to talk with their major director to determine how study abroad coursework can be used to fulfill some requirements for their major. 

Minor in Coastal Environmental Studies (COS) 

The Coastal Environmental Sciences minor is intended to provide a coherent foundation of scientific study on the physical processes and interactions of the coastal zone environment.

At least 12 credits applied to the minor may not be applied to any major or other minor.

Declaration of the Minor 

To progress efficiently through the minor, students should declare the minor in Coastal Environmental Studies no later than the middle of their sophomore year, at which time they should consult with the minor coordinator or undergraduate director and plan their course of study for fulfillment of the requirements. 

Requirements for the Minor in Coastal Environmental Studies (COS)

  • No more than one three-credit course in the minor may be taken under the Pass/No Credit option.
  • All upper-division courses offered for the minor must be passed with a letter grade of C or higher.
  • Completion of the minor requires 22 to 23 credits.

Required two introductory courses (6-7 credits):

Required advanced courses (10 credits):

Required two advanced elective courses chosen from the following, for a minimum of 6 credits:

  • BIO 319 Landscape Ecology Laboratory
  • BIO 351 Ecology
  • SUS 319 Restoration Ecology (formerly offered as EHI 310)
  • ENV 304 Global Environmental Change
  • ENV 317 Ecology of Algae and Plants of Coastal Plains Freshwater Habitats
  • ENV 340 Contemporary Topics in Environmental Science
  • ENV 487 Research in Environmental Science
  • GSS 325 GIS Design and Applications II
  • GSS 354 GIS for the Coastal Zone
  • MAR 303 Long Island Marine Habitats
  • MAR 304 Waves, Tides, and Beaches
  • MAR 336 Marine Pollution
  • SUS 309 Global Environmental Politics (formerly offered as SBC 309) or SUS 317 Environmental History of North America (formerly offered as SBC 307)