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Environmental Science Major and Minor

The environmental science major reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the field of environmental science. Solutions to the environmental issues facing our society must be scientifically sound, yet they must also be socially, economically and politically informed to be successful in promoting effective and lasting change. The curriculum provides a solid foundation in the natural sciences, with courses in biology, chemistry, and applied environmental science. Students also take environmentally focused courses in the humanities and social sciences.

Students gain hands-on experience in the field of environmental science through a required experiential component, which may be completed through an internship, research project or independent study. Environmental science majors are well prepared to pursue an environmental career or graduate education in the field.

Environmental Science Major

Environmental science majors are required to complete a minimum of 43 credit hours of coursework in biology and chemistry. Students must complete:

Environmental science majors must also complete one of the following natural science courses:

Students must select two of the following interdisciplinary electives: CJUST 320, ECON 312, ENG 388, PHIL 333, PSCI 337, PSCI 348, PSYCH 360, THEOL 341. Alternate environmental-related humanities or social science courses may fulfill this requirement upon approval by the department chair.

Students must complete an experiential component consisting of 1-3 credits of an internship (BIOL 480), independent study (BIOL 398) or research project (BIOL 450).

MATH 247 Calculus I is strongly recommended for students planning to apply for graduate school.

► See a sample four-year course sequence
► See all biology course descriptions
► See all chemistry course descriptions
► See all environmental science course descriptions

Environmental Studies - Interdisciplinary Minor

The interdisciplinary minor in environmental studies offers students the opportunity to explore the role and responsibilities of the individual and society in causing and addressing environmental problems.

The minor consists of six courses:

  • BIOL 225, (PHIL 333, and one of the following: BIOL 411, 450, or 480)

  • Environmental Science Focus - or - Environmental Values and Policy Focus

    Environmental Science Focus: two natural science electives with labs, and two interdisciplinary electives.
    Environmental Values and Policy Focus: four interdisciplinary electives.

All students are required to complete an experiential component, which will be planned in consultation with the Environmental Studies Program director.

No more than three courses can count toward both major and minor requirements. Special courses of study may be designed in consultation with the director.

Experiential Component

The environmental science major is unique among the majors in the science department in that it requires an experiential component. This requirement can be fulfilled by completing one of the following:

  • ENV 398 Independent Study (1-3 credits)

  • ENV 450 Independent research (1-3 credits)

  • ENV 480 Internship (1-3 credits)

Declaration of Major and Declaration of Minor forms are available through the registrar's office.

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