Undergraduate Bulletin

Spring 2020 Bulletin

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
  • 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
  • SUS 319 Restoration Ecology (formerly offered as EHI 310)
  • 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

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*
  • SUS 340 Ecological and Social Dimensions of Disease (formerly offered as EHI 340)
  • ENV 339 Economics of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems
  • SUS 317 Environmental History of North America (formerly offered as SBC 307)
  • SUS 318 American Environmental Politics* (formerly offered as SBC 308)
  • 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 321 Ecology and Evolution in American Literature (formerly offered as SBC 321)
  • SUS 325 Environmental Writing and the Media (formerly offered as SBC 325)
  • SUS 330 Extreme Events in Literature (formerly offered as SBC 330)
  • 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 123PHY 122/PHY 124 or PHY 125PHY 126, PHY 127 or PHY 131/PHY 133PHY 132/PHY 134 or PHY 141, PHY 142 may be substituted for PHY 119/ENS 119 
Note 4: CHE 129/130 may be substituted for CHE 131

E. Upper-Division Writing Requirement

Proficiency in writing, oral communication, and computer literacy will be encouraged in all students. In addition to SUS 301 , these skills will be developed within the context of other formal coursework and no additional credits are required. To meet the upper-division writing requirement, students must submit two 6 to 10 page long science based, with scientific references, papers from any 300-level or 400-level course in the major to the Director of the COS Undergraduate Program.  Papers must receive a grade of B or higher and be submitted with the instructors grading comments. 

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.

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 within the Sustainability Studies Program.

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 340 Contemporary Topics in Environmental Science
  • ENV 317 Coastal Pond Algal Ecology
  • 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 309or SUS 317 Environmental History of North America (formerly offered as SBC 307)