Environmental Sciences Core and Requirements
The major in environmental sciences provides students with an interdisciplinary understanding of the natural science of environmental issues as well as the social science context of the intersection of social, cultural, political, and economic factors that contribute to policy and planning decisions. Through this major, students will gain the necessary professional and technical skills for entry into successful environmental careers or for graduate studies in environmental fields. The major offers five specialization options in environmental biology, environmental chemistry, environmental geology, environmental geography, and environmental policy.
Requirements for Major (BS) in Environmental Sciences
The requirements for the major in environment sciences have three parts:
- Foundational courses in supporting disciplines. Some of these courses also serve as prerequisites for courses within the specializations. These foundational courses must be completed before students enroll in ENST 304.
- A core requirement consisting of seven interdisciplinary ENST courses, two upper-level electives, and a culminating experience outside of the classroom (research, internship, service learning, or study abroad).
- A specialization consisting of 6-8 courses that focus on a specific area of study.
- A minimum 2.0 GPA for program credits, earning at least a C- in all ENST core courses.
Requirements for a double major with BS in environmental sciences
The following double major combinations will have the environmental sciences specialization course requirements waived for the BS degree in environmental sciences; all environmental sciences foundation and core course requirements must be completed. Required courses for the first degree major may not be used to fulfill upper-division environmental sciences elective requirements (7-10 credits).
Bachelor Degree (Disciplinary)
Bachelor Degree (Environmental Sciences)
BS Environmental Sciences: Environmental Biology Specialization
BS Environmental Sciences: Environmental Chemistry Specialization
BS Environmental Geological Sciences
BS Environmental Sciences: Environmental Geology Specialization
BS Environmental Sciences: Environmental Geography Specialization
BS Public Policy
BS Environmental Sciences: Environmental Policy Specialization
The interdisciplinary major in public policy (BS) may be combined with the environmental sciences specialization in environmental policy by completing the specific course requirements for both majors. Students who combine majors in public policy and environmental sciences with a specialization in environmental policy will earn a BS degree in public policy and a BS degree in environmental sciences. As some public policy requirements and electives count toward both degrees or majors, the additional coursework needed to fulfill the requirements of the second degree or major may be as low as 19 credits.
Students may complete more than one specialization within the environmental sciences major. To be eligible for a second specialization, a minimum of 20 unique credits must be completed; unique means credits that have not already been used towards another environmental sciences specialization.
Program Learner Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
- Students possess fundamental understanding of current environmental issues
- Describe the various perspectives that different constituencies bring to environmental issues
- Make informed decisions (e.g., voting and other life choices) that account for relevant environmental issues
- Develop critical thinking skills necessary to carry out scientific research and assess and develop policy choices
- Integrate knowledge from different perspectives
- Students possess oral and written communication skills
- Have depth of knowledge in an area of specialization
Core Courses Credits: 38-40
Culminating Experience Credits: (3-5)
Select one or a combination of the following (internship, research, service-learning, or study abroad experience):
Department-Approved Upper-Level Electives: Credits: 7-10
Select two of the following courses. Major advisor may approve alternative upper electives not included on this list to fulfill this requirement. Note: these courses cannot be used to fulfill specialization requirements.
Total Core Credits: 45-50