Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

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The bachelor of science degree in Environmental Science provides students with a strong science background with a focus on the environmental issues of the future. Through lecture, lab and field classes, you will get hands-on experience with biology, chemistry, the geosciences, physics and math. In this program students learn how to draw connections between these disciplines needed to solve the complex environmental problems facing the local community and society at large.

As part of the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, this degree allows you to combine diverse approaches to the environment which incorporate humanities and the social sciences. Through coursework and independent study, you will develop skills needed for scientific research, technical writing and grant preparation.

A culminating capstone experience gives you the opportunity to work with a scientist on your own undergraduate research project or to intern with a community group to gain practical experience. Our program prepares you to work in government, academic, private or non-profit careers or to continue your education in a variety of scientific disciplines.

Conservation Biology and Ecology option

In addition to the standard Environmental Science BS degree, you may complete a Conservation Biology and Ecology option as part of the degree, allowing you to obtain an interdisciplinary Environmental Science BS degree while demonstrating extra proficiency in the discipline of conservation biology and ecology. See TENSCI option degree requirements below for more information.

Geoscience option

In addition to the standard Environmental Science BS degree, you may complete a Geoscience option as part of the degree, allowing you to obtain an interdisciplinary Environmental Science BS degree while demonstrating extra proficiency in the discipline. See TENSCI degree requirements below for more information.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this degree will:

  • Be conversant in theoretical concepts of the biological and physical sciences and their application to understanding and studying the environment;
  • Develop a basic understanding of the humanities and social sciences, and the interdisciplinary connections between these subjects and the natural sciences, in order to understand and solve environmental issues;
  • Develop advanced scientific skills necessary to achieve an understanding of and solutions to environmental problems including physical and biological measurement techniques, statistical data analysis, hypothesis formulation and conceptual modeling, research project design and working collaboratively;
  • Exhibit the ability to interpret and communicate information related to environmental issues in written and oral forms appropriate to both scientific and non-technical audiences;
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply interdisciplinary training to environmental problems of local, regional, national or global significance;
  • Understand the role of individuals and participate in the creation of solutions for environmental problems;
  • Participate in engaged inquiry as a means of connecting classroom learning to real-world environmental problem solving and establishing the skills needed for life-long learning.

Our student learning objectives follow the model set forth by Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP). LEAP is an initiative that champions the value of a liberal education—for individual students and for a nation dependent on economic creativity and democratic vitality. The initiative focuses campus practice on fostering essential learning outcomes for all students, whatever their chosen field of study.

Other Study Options

Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences offers five options for studying environmental science:

  • Bachelor of science degree in Environmental Science
  • Bachelor of arts in Environmental Sustainability
  • Minor in Environmental Studies
  • Certificate/minor in Restoration Ecology
  • Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) jointly offered with Urban Studies

Environmental Science majors may not earn the Environmental Studies minor or Restoration Ecology minor. Environmental Science majors may earn the Restoration Ecology certificate.