Environmental Science and Biology Major

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Environmental problems are among the most urgent issues facing our civilization. In order to manage Earth's environment well, we must understand the processes that shape its surface; control the chemistry of its air, water and soil; and produce and maintain biological and other resources upon which humans depend. We must also understand interactions of animals, plants and other living organisms with their physical and chemical environments, or their ecology.

Through a curriculum with a common core in the disciplines of biology, ecology, chemistry and geology, and a focused track, environmental science majors develop the conceptual knowledge and technical skills necessary to address environmental problems.

Six tracks are offered in the environmental science major: aquatic ecology/biology, terrestrial ecology/biology, combined aquatic and terrestrial ecology/biology, wetland ecology, environmental chemical analysis, and earth science.

What can I do with an environmental science and biology major?

Admission to the Program

Any undergraduate student can declare this major.

Program Requirements

Students in the environmental science and biology major pursue a Bachelor of Science degree, and must complete its requirements.

The major requires a minimum of 62-73 credits balanced between required courses in the core curriculum (38 credits) and required, elective, or co-requisite courses in the student's chosen track (24-35 credits).

Core Curriculum (38 credits)

  • ENV202 Environmental Science (4 credits)
  • ENV204 Biology of Organisms (4 credits)
  • ENV303 Ecology (4 credits)
  • ENV452 Environmental Laws and Regulations (3 credits)
  • ENV492 Global Environmental Issues (3 credits)
  • CHM205 College Chemistry I (4 credits)
  • CHM206 College Chemistry II (4 credits)
  • CHM313 Quantitative Chemical Analysis (4 credits)
  • GEL201 Introduction to Physical Geology (4 credits)
  • MTH201 Calculus I (4 credits)

Students in the environmental science and biology major pursue one of the following tracks:

Aquatic Ecology/Biology Track (24 credits)

  • ENV419 Limnology (4 credits)
* Note: Additional courses may be chosen from these groups as electives.

Terrestrial Ecology Track (24 credits)

Combined Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecology/Biology Track (35 credits)

  • ENV419 Limnology (4 credits)

Wetland Ecology Track (32 credits)

  • ENV400 Plant Diversity (4 credits)
  • ENV435 Northern Wetlands (3 credits)
  • ENV446 Wetland Ecology (4 credits)
  • ESC412 Hydrology with Lab (4 credits)
  • ESC455 Introduction to Soils Science (3 credits)

Environmental Chemical Analysis Track (29 credits)

  • CHM301 Chemical Safety (1 credit)
  • CHM305 Organic Chemistry I (4 credits)
  • CHM306 Organic Chemistry II (4 credits)
  • CHM457 Geochemistry (4 credits)
  • ENV423 Biology of Pollution (3 credits)
  • ENV436 Water Quality Analysis (4 credits)
  • ENV462 Aquatic Toxicology (4 credits)

Earth Science Track (24 credits)

  • 20 credits chosen by advisement:
    • ENV419 Limnology (4 credits)
    • ENV436 Water Quality Analysis (4 credits)
    • ENV497 Undergraduate Internship (1 to 3 credits)
    • ENV498 Collaborative Environmental Biology Research (1 to 3 credits)
    • ENV499 Independent Study in Environmental Science (1 to 3 credits)
    • ESC300 Physical Oceanography (3 credits)
    • ESC313 Environmental Climatology (3 credits)
    • ESC314 Climatology Laboratory (1 credit)
    • ESC318 Watershed Science (3 credits)
    • ESC325 Wetland Systems (3 credits)
    • ESC332 Air and Water Pollution (3 credits)
    • ESC350 Computational Methods in the Field Sciences (3 credits)
    • ESC412 Hydrology with Lab (4 credits)
    • ESC420 Radar and Satellite Meteorology (4 credits)
    • ESC431 GIS Applications in Earth and Environmental Science (3 credits)
    • ESC455 Introduction to Soils Science (3 credits)
    • ESC457 Marine Geology-Bahamas (3 credits)
    • ESC464 Environmental Internship (1 to 3 credits)
    • GEL415 Geomorphology (4 credits)
    • GEL457 Geochemistry (4 credits)
    • GEL462 Groundwater (4 credits)
  • Corequisites: choose ONE from:
    • PHS205 ntroduction to Physics I (4 credits)
    • PHS235 Physics I (4 credits)
    • CHM305 Organic Chemistry I (4 credits)

Total Number of Credits: 62-72


This page was revised after publication to remove Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) which became out of date.

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