Global Environmental Change Specialist (HBSc)

Admissions Category: Physical & Environmental Sciences

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Program Overview

This program was formerly known as Specialist in Environmental Biology.

Humans are considered to be the dominant force shaping nearly all of Earth’s biotic and abiotic patterns and processes, including those within the world’s atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. Many scientists now suggest that anthropogenic impacts on the environment are so pervasive, that they have moved Earth into a novel geological epoch called “The Anthropocene”: a time in Earth’s 4.6 billion-year history where humans are the dominate force shaping the environment. In the Specialist program in Global Environmental Change students will gain a deep understanding of: 1) the fundamental environmental processes occurring within Earth’s spheres; 2) how humans are profoundly influencing these processes at local and global scales; and 3) how anthropogenic changes to Earth’s environment are both unfolding rapidly, and unique in the context of Earth’s history. The program entails learning these themes through a comprehensive mix of: 1) core and advanced scientific courses; 2) applied environmental skills courses; and 3) undergraduate environmental research opportunities.

Complementary Programs:


Check out future career opportunities and skills acquired from completing this program:

Competencies & Skills

  • Focus on geoscience, ecology, and evolutionary biology
  • Environmental management
  • Understanding of biodiversity science, conservation biology, and other environmental science disciplines.
  • Focus on climatology, soil science, biogeochemistry, hydrology, and ecosystem science.
  • Intersection of environmental science, environmental studies, and environmental change.
  • Theory and skills related to research in the areas of environmental science and global environmental change.
  • Ability to analyze quantitative and qualitative the environmental sciences
  • Qualitative methods associated with the physical, environmental, and biological sciences.

Careers for Graduates

  • Ecologist with regional Conservation Authorities
  • Environmental Scientist or Biologist with government, or planning and engineering firms
  • Environmental Impact Assessor in environmental consulting firms
  • Conservation Biologist in governmental, or national and international conservation organizations
  • Climate Change Risk Assessor in the private sector
  • Environmental planner in the fisheries, forestry, or mining sector

Further Education

  • Environmental Science –Master/ PhD.
  • Environmental Engineering – Master/ PhD
  • Conservation Biology – Master/ PhD
  • Environmental Biology – Master/ PhD
  • Biotechnology – Master/ PhD

Program Pathway

Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4

Year 1
Choose Your Courses Wisely
  • BIOA01H3 Life on Earth: Unifying Principles 
  • BIOA02H3 Life on Earth: Form, Function and Interactions 
  • CHMA10H3 Introductory Chemistry I: Structure and Bonding 
  • CHMA11H3 Introductory Chemistry II: Reactions and Mechanisms 
  • EESA01H3 Introduction to Environmental Science 
  • EESA06H3 Introduction to Planet Earth 
  • MATA30H3 Calculus I for Physical Sciences 
  • [MATA35H3 Calculus II for Biological Sciences or MATA36H3 Calculus II for Physical Sciences or MATA37H3 Calculus II for Mathematical Sciences]*
  • [PHYA10H3 Physics I for the Physical Sciences or PHYA11H3 Physics I for the Life Sciences]
  • *Note: MATA35H3 cannot be used to fulfill the prerequisites for PHYB57H3

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • Attend Facilitated Study Groups.
  • Schedule an appointment with your Program Librarian for in-depth library research assistance.
  • Writing support is available at the Centre for Teaching & Learning (CTL) Writing Centre.

Apply Theory to Practice
  • Attend the UTSC Faculty Mix & Mingle Fair to connect with professors and learn more about their specialties.
  • Start building your Co-Curricular Record (CCR) and search for Experiential Learning opportunities.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
  • Join the Environmental and Physical Sciences Students’ Association (EPSA) and get involved in their activities.
  • Volunteer in the Alternative Reading Week program to gain experience and knowledge about social change and community development.

Plan for Your Future Career

Year 2
Choose Your Courses Wisely

[CSCA08H3 Introduction to Computer Science I or CSCA20H3 Introduction to Programming]
BIOB50H3 Ecology
BIOB51H3 Evolutionary Biology
CHMB55H3 Environmental Chemistry
EESB03H3 Principles of Climatology
EESB04H3 Principles of Hydrology
EESB05H3 Principles of Soil Science
ESTB01H3 Introduction to Environmental Studies
STAB22H3 Statistics I
0.5 credit from the following:
BIOB52H3 Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Laboratory
EESB15H3 Earth History
EESB16H3 Feeding Humans - The Cost to the Planet
PSCB90H3 Physical Sciences Research Experience

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
Apply Theory to Practice
Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career
  • Gain experience by applying for a summer, part-time or Work Study position via CLNx (>Jobs & Recruitment).
  • Considering grad school?  Speak to professors and advisors early so you choose the right courses.
  • Explore careers through the AA&CC’s Job Shadowing and In The Field programs.

Year 3
Choose Your Courses Wisely

Third and Fourth Years (5.0 credits):

3.5 credits as follows:
BIOC58H3 Biological Consequences of Global Change
BIOC63H3 Conservation Biology
EESC03H3 Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing
EESC04H3 Biodiversity and Biogeography
EESC30H3 Environmental Microbiology
EESC38H3/ESTC38H3 The Anthropocene
EESD06H3 Climate Change Impact Assessment
1.5 credits from the following, of which 0.5 credit must be at the D-level:
BIOC37H3 Plants: Life on the Edge
BIOC51H3 Tropical Biodiversity Field Course
BIOC52H3 Ecology Field Course
BIOD52H3 Biodiversity and Conservation
BIOD54H3 Applied Conservation Biology
EESC13H3 Environmental Impact Assessment and Auditing
EESC16H3 Field Camp I
EESC18H3 Limnology
EESC19H3 Oceanography
EESC20H3 Geochemistry
EESC24H3 Advanced Readings in Environmental Science
EESD02H3 Contaminant Hydrogeology
EESD09H3 Research Project in Environmental Science
EESD10Y3 Research Project in Environmental Sciences
EESD11H3 Advanced Watershed Hydrology

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • Enter to win the UTSC Library Undergraduate Research Prize or Poster Forum.

Apply Theory to Practice
  • Build on your skills and knowledge through relevant events offered through your department, student groups, DSL and the AA&CC.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
  • Consider running for an elected position in EPSA or another campus club.

Plan for Your Future Career

Year 4
Choose Your Courses Wisely

3.5 credits as follows:

  • BIOC58H3 Biological Consequences of Global Change
  • BIOC63H3 Conservation Biology
  • EESC03H3 Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing
  • EESC04H3 Biodiversity and Biogeography
  • EESC30H3 Environmental Microbiology
  • EESC38H3H3/ESTC38H3 The Anthropocene
  • EESD06H3 Climate Change Impact Assessment

    and 1.5 credits from the following, of which 0.5 credit must be at the D-level:

  • BIOC37H3 Plants: Life on the Edge
  • BIOC51H3 Tropical Biodiversity Field Course
  • BIOC52H3 Ecology Field Course
  • BIOD52H3 Biodiversity and Conservation
  • BIOD54H3 Applied Conservation Biology
  • EESC13H3 Environmental Impact Assessment and Auditing
  • EESC16H3 Field Camp I
  • EESC18H3 Limnology
  • EESC19H3 Oceanography
  • EESC20H3 Geochemistry
  • EESC24H3 Advanced Readings in Environmental Science
  • EESD02H3 Contaminant Hydrogeology
  • EESD09H3 Research Project in Environmental Science
  • EESD10Y3 Research Project in Environmental Sciences
  • EESD11H3 Advanced Watershed Hydrology


Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • Apply for the Academic Travel Fund through DSL to conduct research, present at a conference, or engage with the academic community internationally.

Apply Theory to Practice
  • Attend the Summer & Full-time Job Fair in January to meet with potential employers looking to hire students for summer and full-time positions relevant to your field.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
  • Participate in the AA&CC’s Partners in Leadership program to learn and network with an alumni mentor about transitioning into the work field or further education.

Plan for Your Future Career
  • Attend the AA&CC’s Get Hired job search conference in April/May.
  • Attend a Jobs for Grads orientation for a job search “crash course” and for access to full-time job listings.
  • Discuss grad school plans early with staff at the AA&CC and your professors; get your Personal Statement reviewed in the AA&CC.


  • AACC - Academic Advising and Career Centre (
  • CCR - Co-Curricular Record (
  • CLNx - Career Co-Curricular Learning Network (
  • CSU - Chemistry Society (
  • CTL - Centre for Teaching and Learning (
  • DSL - Department of Student Life (
  • EPSA - Environmental and Physical Sciences Students Association (
  • SCSU - Scarborough Campus Students Union (


Departmental Contact

Prof. Heidi Daxberger

Location: EV

Environmental Science Librarian

Sarah Guay


Academic Advising & Career Centre

Location: AC213

Department of Student Life

Location: SL157

Environmental & Physical Sciences Students’ Association (EPSA)

Location: EV264

Environmental Science offers three combined Master’s degree programs: