Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

Admission to the Environmental Science Program

All freshmen and external transfer students majoring in environmental science (EVS) are first admitted to the University as entry-level EVS majors in the Jackson School of Geosciences, the College of Liberal Arts, or the College of Natural Sciences. After completing a minimum of 24 hours in residence, students may select the EVS degree plan that best suits their long-term interests and, if necessary, transfer to the appropriate college/school in accordance with the regulations and procedures set forth in that college or school's General Information Catalog.

Freshman Admission

Freshmen applicants seeking admission to the EVS major through the Jackson School of Geosciences, the College of Liberal Arts, or the College of Natural Sciences must meet the calculus readiness requirement by the official admissions application deadline. More information about the calculus readiness requirement is available through the University Admissions Office or online.

Freshmen applicants to the EVS major from all three colleges/schools are reviewed and admitted as a single cohort. Applicants should use the ApplyTexas online application and select the "Environmental Science, Entry-Level" major option listed in the Jackson School of Geosciences, the College of Liberal Arts, or the College of Natural Sciences as a first-choice major. Applicants should apply to the EVS program in the college that best suits their anticipated area of focus (geological sciences, or geographical sciences, or biological sciences, respectively).

External Transfer Admission 

Students who wish to transfer to the University from another college or university must apply to the Office of Admissions as described in General Information. External transfer applicants seeking admission to the Environmental Science (EVS) Degree Program through the Jackson School of Geosciences, the College of Liberal Arts, or the College of Natural Sciences must demonstrate calculus readiness by the official admissions application deadline. Details regarding transfer calculus readiness are available through the University Admissions Office or online.

External transfer applicants to the EVS major from all three colleges/schools are reviewed and admitted as a single cohort. Applicants should use the ApplyTexas online application and select the "Environmental Science, Entry-Level" major option listed in the Jackson School of Geosciences, the College of Liberal Arts, or the College of Natural Sciences as a first-choice major. Applicants should apply to the EVS program in the college that best suits their anticipated area of focus (geological sciences, geographical sciences, or biological sciences, respectively).

Internal Transfer Admission

Internal transfer, entry-level applications submitted to the EVS major through the Jackson School of Geosciences, the College of Liberal Arts, or the College of Natural Sciences are reviewed and admitted as a single cohort. All internal transfer applicants should use the online EVS Program Transfer Application and must meet the requirements for internal transfer given in the General Information Catalog.

To be competitive for admission, internal transfer applicants should have a grade point average of at least 3.00 in Biology 311C, Chemistry 301, Mathematics 408C or 408N or 408K, and Geological Sciences 401 or 303.

Additional Information for all internal transfer applicants:

  • Application Deadline:  March 1st for entry the following academic year.
  • Only currently enrolled students in good academic standing with their college of residence may apply.
  • Students may apply during the semester they are completing the minimum requirements to be eligible for consideration.
  • Entry-level admission to all Environmental Science majors is offered as a space is available to the students who are best qualified.  Decisions are based on the student's grade point average in the introductory science and math courses listed above, University grade point average, and other factors including, but not limited to, difficulty of course load, course repetitions, proven mathematical ability, and interest in the field of Environmental Science.

Students should consult with an Academic Adviser for additional information on the application process and deadlines.

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science degree program is designed for students interested in an interdisciplinary scientific perspective on environmental and sustainability issues, analysis, and management. The degree program provides the broad foundation in physical, life, and social sciences needed for a career or graduate study in environmental science and related fields such as climate change, ecology, and conservation. Students who complete the program successfully will be able to assess environmental issues critically from multiple perspectives; perform field, laboratory, and computer analyses; and conduct original research. The program is designed to prepare graduates for careers in local, state, and federal government laboratories and nonprofit agencies, environmental consulting firms, environmental education and outreach agencies, and universities and other research settings. The degree is offered by the Jackson School with a major in geological sciences, by the College of Liberal Arts with a major in geographical sciences, and by the College of Natural Sciences with a major in biological sciences. The degree programs share common prescribed work, but each major has its own specific requirements. Students may earn only one Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science degree from the University. 

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science curriculum consists of 126 semester hours of coursework. All students must complete the University's core curriculum. The specific degree requirements consist of prescribed work, major requirements, and electives. In some cases, a course that is required for the degree may also be counted toward the core curriculum.

A course in one prescribed work area may not also be used to fulfill the requirements of another prescribed work area; the only exception to this rule is that a course that fulfills any other requirement may also be used to fulfill a flag requirement unless otherwise specified.

In the process of fulfilling the core curriculum and other degree requirements, all students are expected to complete the following Skills and Experience flags:

  1. Writing:  three flagged courses beyond Rhetoric and Writing 306 or its equivalent; students in the College of Natural Sciences and the Jackson School of Geosciences must complete only two flagged writing courses. For students in the College of Natural Sciences, at least one writing flag must be from an upper-division course.
  2. Quantitative reasoning: one flagged course.
  3. Global cultures: one flagged course.
  4. Cultural diversity in the United States: one flagged course.
  5. Ethics and leadership: one flagged course.
  6. Independent inquiry: one flagged course.

Prescribed Work Common to All Environmental Science Majors

  1. Mathematics: Mathematics 408C, or 408N and 408S, or 408K and 408L
  2. Chemistry: Chemistry 301 or 301H; Chemistry 302 or 302H; and Chemistry 204
  3. Physics: Physics 317K and 117M, or another four-hour calculus-based physics sequence.
  4. Biological Sciences: Biology 311C and 311D, or 315H
  5. Ecology:
    1. Biology 373 or Marine Science 320. Marine Science 320 may not be used to satisfy both requirement 5a and requirement 10c
    2. Biology 373L or Marine Science 120L. Environmental Science majors in the College of Natural Sciences must choose Biology 373L
  6. Geological Sciences: Geological Sciences 401 or 303, 346C, and an approved geological sciences course in sustainability
  7. Geography: Geography 335N
  8. Field experience and research methods: Environmental Science 311 and 121
  9. Senior field/research experience: one of the following pairs:
    1. Environmental Science 271 and 371 or Environmental Science 171 and 471
    2. Environmental Science 172C and 472D or Environmental Science 272C and 372D
    3. Environmental Science 271 or Marine Science 348, and one of the following: Chemistry 320M, Geography 360G, 368C, 462K, Geological Sciences 327G, Mathematics 408D or 408M. Note: Geography 360G, 462K, and Geological Sciences 327G may not be used to satisfy both requirement 9c and 10b. Biology 277 may substitute for Environmental Science 271 with prior approval of the faculty adviser.

  10. Environmental and sustainability themes: One course in each of the following thematic areas:
    1. Environmental and sustainability policy, ethics, and history: Geography 334, 336C340D, 342C356C, Journalism 346F, Marine Science 367K, and Philosophy 325C. Biology 337, Geography 356, 356T, or Sociology 321K may be counted with prior approval of the faculty adviser
    2. Geographic information systems: Geography 360G, 462K, Geological Sciences 327G
    3. Climates and oceans: Biology 456L, Geography 333K, Geological Sciences 347D, 347G, 377P, Marine Science 320, 440, 352, 354Q, 354T, 356. Marine Science 320 may not be used to satisfy both requirement 5 and 10. Geography 356T, Geological Sciences 371C, and Marine Science 352 may count with prior approval of the faculty adviser
    4. Environmental economics, sustainability, and business: Economics 304K, Economics 330T, Advanced Placement credit for Economics 304L may be used to satisfy this requirement
  11. Environmental Science 141 and 151

Major Requirements

BS EVS:  Geological Sciences

The following 36 semester hours of coursework are required; these hours must include at least 12 hours of approved upper-division work in geological sciences.

  1. Geological Sciences 405, 416K, 416M and 420K
  2. Mathematics 408D or 408M
  3. Four semester hours of physics in one of the following second semester sequences: Physics 316 and 116L, 317L and 117N, or 303L and 103N
  4. One of the following courses on climate and water: Geological Sciences 347D, 347G, 376E, 476K, 476M, 376S, 377P (The same course may not be used to satisfy both requirement 4 of the major requirements and requirement 10 of the prescribed work).
  5. Nine additional semester hours of upper division elective coursework in geological sciences not otherwise used to satisfy either prescribed or other major requirements.
  6. Enough additional coursework to make a total of 126 semester hours.

Special Requirements

Students must fulfill the University-wide General Requirements, the Special Requirements of the Jackson School, and the Requirements for All Geological Sciences Degree Plans given earlier in this section. They must also earn a grade of at least C- in each course required for the degree, and a grade point average in these courses of at least 2.00. More information about grades and the grade point average is given in General Information Catalog.

To graduate under the honors option, students must remain in good standing in the Dean's Scholars Honors Program, must submit an honors thesis approved by the program honors adviser, and must present their research in an approved public forum, such as the college's annual Undergraduate Research Forum.  More information about the Undergraduate Research Forum is available online

Suggested Arrangement of Courses

BS Environmental Science:  Geological Sciences

First Year
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
UGS 3033EVS 3113
GEO 401 or 3033BIO 311C3
CH 3013CH 3023
M 408C4M 408D4
RHE 3063Visual / Perf Arts3
 16 16
Total credit hours: 32
Second Year
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
BIO 311D3GEO 4054
PHY 317K3GEO 346C3
PHY 117M1GeoSci Sustainability3
GOV 310L3EVS 1211
E 316L, 316M, 316N, or 316P3Env Eco & Bus3
Social Science3CH 2042
 16 16
Total credit hours: 32
Third Year
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
GEO 416K4GEO 420K4
GEO 416M4PHY 317L3
GRG 335N3PHY 117N1
GEO UD3EVS 2712
Elective2GEO UD3
 History3
 16 16
Total credit hours: 32
Fourth Year
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
EVS 1411EVS 1511
EVS 3713Climate & Oceans3
GIS3Env Policy & Politics3
MNS 3203GOV 312L3
MNS 120L1History3
Climate & Water3GEO UD3
 14 16
Total credit hours: 30

Total Credit Hours  126