Environmental Science, BS

College of Arts & Sciences

Program Description:

The B.S. in Environmental Science synthesizes quantitative studies of the interactions between the solid earth, oceans, atmosphere and biological processes taking place therein. The degree provides scientific training for environment-related occupations, including environmental sciences per se as well as peripheral fields such as Law and Medicine. Environmental Science covers a vast sweep of applied Earth science. Students, therefore, have considerable flexibility in tailoring the major to their individual interests while pursuing a common core of supporting math and science. By taking courses from four out of seven subdisciplinary groups, a wide variety of approaches to environmental science can be accommodated, including preparation for graduate study in the subdisciplines. Students pursuing this degree are strongly encouraged to consult the Environmental Science undergraduate advisor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at an early stage in their program in order to design their curriculum in the disciplinary groups. All majors are encouraged to pursue an undergraduate thesis (493 and 495) in collaboration with a faculty advisor.

Required Environmental Science Core Courses:
ENVS 101 or EPS 101, ENVS 102L or EPS 105L, ENVS 330, ENVS 430, EPS 428 or 433 or STAT 345 or higher, and EPS 490.

At least 6 credits each from four of the following seven groups (of which no more than 4 credits may be below 300), plus additional credits from Earth & Planetary Sciences above 300 (excluding 491-492, 493 and 495) for a total of 30 credits:

  1. Spatial analysis: EPS 455L; GEOG 381L, 487L, 488L
  2. Geochemistry: EPS 203, 407L, 410, 415, CE 437L
  3. Geoscience: EPS 201L, 301, 302L, 310L, 333
  4. Earth Surface Processes: EPS 304L, 333, 481L, 485L
  5. Hydroscience: EPS 462 or CE 441, EPS 443, 476
  6. Climate: EPS 352, 436, 437, 439
  7. Ecology: BIOL 203L, 310L, 405, 451, 461L, 463L, 475, 494, 495, 496L

Supporting Science required courses:
MATH 162, 163; BIOL 123/124L or higher; CHEM 121 and 123L; PHYC 160.

Students can satisfy the requirements for a distributed minor completing CHEM 122 and 124L, PHYC 161, and 7 additional hours from Chemistry (above 122 and 124L), MATH (above 163), Physics (above 161), Biology above 124L (not including courses counted in the Ecology subdisciplinary group) or Astronomy 270 or above or, with permission, from selected Anthropology, Engineering or Geography courses.

A student may also choose to complete a minor outside of the EPS Department. Six credits from courses in subdisciplinary group (g), all of which require additional Biology courses as prerequisites, will satisfy the requirements for a Minor in Biology (if taken separately from requirements for the B.S. in Environmental Science).


Career Opportunities:

Students who major in environmental science may be inclined to pursue graduate degrees in environmental science and eventually find careers in academia as researchers or instructors.  Others may prefer to find work outside of academia, either directly after graduation or after obtaining a professional degree.  Undergraduate study in environmental science can prepare students for attending professional programs in law, public administration, the health sciences, or business; or for entry into any field of work that makes use of people skills, an understanding of the scientific method, and the ability to read and write analytically.  Environmental science majors may find themselves working in research or advisory positions for government agencies, businesses, or non-profit organizations.  

Contact Information:

Laura Crossey: Professor
(505) 277-5349

Les McFadden: Professor
(505) 277-6121