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Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science (BSEnviroSci), offered by the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Natural Sciences, and the Jackson School of Geoscience, 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.

Students must apply for admission to the degree program after completing prerequisite coursework. To be competitive for admission, students should have a grade point average of at least 2.75. More information about admission requirements is given in Admission to the Environmental Science Program .

The BSEnviroSci curriculum consists of 126 semester hours of coursework. 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: two flagged courses beyond Rhetoric and Writing 306 or its equivalent
  2. Quantitative reasoning: one flagged course
  3. Global cultures: one flagged course
  4. Cultural diversity in the United States: one flagged course
  5. Ethic and leadership: one flagged course
  6. Independent inquiry: one flagged course

All students must complete the University’s core curriculum . The specific degree requirements consist of prescribed work and major requirements. 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 if the course carries that flag, unless otherwise specified.

Prescribed Work

  1. Mathematics: Mathematics 408C, or 408N and 408S
  2. Chemistry: Chemistry 301 or 301H, 302 or 302H, and 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: Biology 373 and 373L, or Marine Science 320 and either 120L or 152T (Topic: Marine Ecology)
  6. Geological sciences: Geological Sciences 401 or 303, 346C, and an approved geological sciences course in sustainability
  7. Geography: Geography 335N
  8. Field experience: One course in each of the following areas:
    1. Introductory field seminar: Environmental Science 311
    2. Senior field/research experience: Environmental Science 371 or Biology 377 (with prior approval of the faculty adviser)
  9. Research methods: Environmental Science 331
  10. Environmental and sustainability themes: One course in each of the following thematic areas:
    1. Environmental and sustainability policy, ethics, and history: Geography 334, 336C, 340D, 342C, 356C, 356T (approved topics), Philosophy 325C
    2. Geographic information systems: Geography 360G, 462K, Geological Sciences 327G
    3. Climates and oceans: Biology 456L, Geography 333K, 356T (approved topics), Geological Sciences 371C (approved topics), 377P, Marine Science 320, 440, 354Q, 354T, 367K
    4. Environmental economics, sustainability, and business: Economics 304K, 330T
  11. Environmental Science 141 and 151

Marine Science 320 may not be used to satisfy both requirement 5 and requirement 10c.

Major Requirements

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

  1. Geological Sciences 404C or 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, 303L and 103N
  4. One of the following courses on climate and water: Geological Sciences 371C (approved topics), 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 semester hours of upper-division elective coursework in geological sciences
  6. Enough additional coursework to make a total of 126 semester hours.

Special Requirements

Students must fulfill the University-wide General Requirements  and the Special Requirements of the Jackson School given earlier in this section. They must also earn a grade of at least C- in each mathematics and science 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 .