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Important Information Regarding COVID-19

In light of the University’s newly released policy regarding COVID-19 -- recommending the community minimize social contact -- we encourage students to utilize virtual options when seeking support or information from the Earth Systems Program. Please contact staff via email or phone and we will be happy to assist! Latest information about the University's response to COVID-19 can be found here:


Minor in Earth Systems, Sustainability

The minor in Earth Systems, Sustainability subplan, provides students with foundational knowledge, skills, and frameworks needed to understand social-environmental systems and address intergenerational sustainability challenges. Students declaring the minor in Earth Systems must also declare the Sustainability subplan by completing this form:

To minor in Earth Systems, students must take the core courses listed below and approved electives for a minimum of 35 units. Courses that count toward the fulfillment of major requirements may not be counted toward the minor, and all courses must be taken for a letter grade. 

Students declaring a minor in Earth Systems must do so no later than two quarters prior to their intended quarter of degree conferral; for example, a student must declare a minor before the end of Autumn Quarter to graduate the following Spring Quarter. The Sustainability subplan must also be declared in Axess when declaring the minor. 

Prior to your minor declaration being approved, you must meet with a Student Advisor and complete a Minor Course Plan Proposal.  Student Advisors are located in Y2E2 131, Monday-Friday during the academic year. 


Required Course Work


  • EARTHSYS 10: Introduction to Earth Systems, 4 units
  • EARTHSYS 111: Biology and Global Change, 4 units
  • EARTHSYS 112: Human Society and Environmental Change, 4 units (ECON 1 recommended as a pre- or co-requisite to EARTHSYS 112) 
  • EARTHSYS 131: Pathways in Sustainability Careers, 1 unit
  • SUST 210: Pursuing Sustainability: Managing Complex Social Environmental Systems, 3 units (Prerequisites to SUST 210 for the minor: EARTHSYS 111, EARTHSYS 112)


Students must take a minimum of 19 units of electives at the 100-level or above that address dimensions of environmental systems and social-environmental systems in theory or practice, with at least one course taken in each of the following four categories: Earth Systems Science/Engineering; Environmental Justice; Applied Problem Solving; and Skills. Students may double-count courses in these categories (i.e. if a course fulfills both the Environmental Justice and Applied Problem Solving requirements, it can be applied to both categories). 

A list of approved electives is available online here: Earth Systems Minor Track Sheet and in the Earth Systems Program office (Y2E2 131).

Students may petition to count one relevant freshman or sophomore seminar toward the minor.

Stanford @ Sea may count for up to 6 units of elective units for the Earth Systems Minor.