Course Petitions

As part of the Graduate Program in Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health, trainees are required to complete 16 credits of course work that provides a foundation in Biogeoscience, Environmental Health, and Statistics across topics that span air, water, and climate. These courses include: Colloquium (2 credits), Applied Research MethodsĀ  (2 credits), Internship course (0-4 credits), and an approved course of your choice in Biogeoscience, Environmental Health, and Statistics (4 credits each).

We carefully created a suite of approved courses that provide a broad and coherent background in urban biogeoscience and environmental health, which is why not all BU courses that fall under either Biogeoscience or Environmental Health fulfill the URBAN course requirement (i.e., they are not sufficiently focused on cities). The course petition process allows for students to submit a course that (A) exists beyond BU and may qualify; or (B) exists at BU and is worth reconsidering because it indeed provides a coherent background on urban biogeoscience or urban environmental health. The petition process can also be used if (C) students have gained a coherent background in either urban biogeoscience or urban environmental health through some other mechanism, for example a combination of other coursework or an intensive field program or training program; or (D) taking an approved course is either materially impossible or would sufficiently delay Time to Degree. For condition D, we would consider a substitute course.

Trainees may petition any course (or combination of courses/training experiences) to fulfill the URBAN course requirement along with which condition (A, B, C, or D) describes the situation. Please be aware that filling out this petition does not guarantee approval. Should you have any questions, email the Program Manager at

Note: In order for condition B to be met, the course must be sufficiently focused on cities to merit its inclusion in our list of approved courses. We will then add the course as an option for all future trainees.