Internships, Study Abroad, Honors Thesis, and FAQs


The Environmental Science and Management major requires 3 units of internship. Each unit of internship is equal to 30 hours of work. There are two main criteria we look for in an internship for it to qualify for the major requirement - that the internship be science-based and related to the environment. You can find more information on internships, including resources for finding internships and where our students have interned before on our internship FAQ page. We have also set up a google doc that lists opportunities for on-campus environmental internships, and see the California Intern Network website for a resource for off-campus internships. Another option is to reach out to a professor if there is a professor doing research that you are interested in. For more information on research by faculty members in our departments, please see our ESP & LAWR faculty research spreadsheet, which includes the type of research undergraduates in their groups might do.

The steps to registering for internship credits are:

1. Find an internship; check out our FAQ for tips and resources.

2. Find a faculty sponsor.  This might be someone you’ve had as a professor for a class relevant to the internship, or one of the track advisors or lead faculty advisors.  If you are doing undergraduate research for your internship, this is the faculty leader of the lab you’re working in.

3. Fill out the internship form with the faculty sponsor, who will pick the internship evaluation activity.  

4. Send your internship form to Melissa or Lacole for a CRN to enroll.

5. Complete the internship evaluation activity.

Study Abroad

Studying abroad can be an amazing experience, and you can study environmental science almost anywhere in the world. You can find more information on study abroad, including common programs for ESM students and testimonials from other students, please see our study abroad page.


Find answers to commonly asked questions such as careers, double majors and minors, and choosing a track on our FAQ page.

Honors Thesis

An honors thesis an independent research project sponsored and advised by a UC Davis professor. Usually an honors thesis happens when a student has already been working in a lab as a research assistant or intern (see this site for research opportunities), and either the student comes up with an independent project idea based on what they have been doing, or the advisor has a project that the student is excited and qualified to take the lead on. However, this isn’t the only way to do an honors thesis. Previous research isn’t a requirement, if a student has an independent research idea and can find a relevant faculty advisor that’s all they need. Previous work in a lab is the most typical way for an honors thesis to begin but it’s not the only way.

Here are the requirements for an honors thesis:

  • Have senior standing
  • Maintain a cumulative 3.5 GPA
  • Complete the thesis proposal form and send to your lead faculty advisor
  • Enroll in the appropriate number of ESM 194H units with the thesis advisor as the instructor of record (send the thesis proposal form to your student advisor for the CRN). The number of units you will register for depends on the number of hours per week you dedicate to the thesis. The thesis requires a minimum of six hours per week (2 units) and would be a maximum of 18 hours per week (6 units).
  • Complete the thesis itself, signed by the thesis advisor
  • For writing up your thesis, because environmental science compasses so many fields with different writing norms and standards and your faculty mentor is your best source of expertise for the field your thesis is in, please look to communicate with your faculty mentor for guidance and expectations on the write-up.  For example write-ups for undergraduate research in general, check out the archives of Explorations, the university undergraduate research journal, and AggieTranscript, the undergraduate life sciences journal.
  • Present (poster or oral) or publish your work in some way, such as at the UCD Undergraduate Research Conference in the spring or in the UCD undergraduate research journal, Explorations. [Note: only one of presenting or publishing is required, but we encourage both, and it does not have to be at a UCD venue; presenting at a scientific meeting or publishing in a peer-reviewed journal certainly fulfills this requirement]
Q: What are some resources for funding research?