Major in Environmental Science

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Soil, Water and Environmental Science with a major in Environmental Science


Environmental science is the study of human impacts on natural systems from molecular to global scales. These natural systems include soil, water, air, and ecosystems.

The BS degree program in Environmental Sciences is coordinated by the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science (SWES) providing a strong background in biological, chemical, and physical sciences. All environmental sciences students take a interdisciplinary core curriculum of classes in common.  Sub-plans are in the areas of Biology; Physics and Chemistry; Land, Air and Water; or Society and Environment.

The ENVS degree program is focused on training students in scientific investigation and quantitative analysis of human interactions with natural systems. The goals of the Bachelor of Environmental Science Degree are to:

• Offer a rigorous science-based preparation for careers in environmental science and related fields;

• Prepare students for graduate studies in environmental science and related fields;

• Facilitate assuming a leadership role in academia, business, government, private organizations, or other career venues;

• Provide the academic tools needed to address fundamental and applied problems related to human-impacted parts of the Earth.

The ENVS degree program provides students with a broad scientific understanding of environmental systems, with sub-plans that allow in-depth study in preferred areas of study. The ENVS program requires all students to complete a defined set of General Education classes, a General Science Core, and Environmental Science Core, and Career Preparation classes. The General Education and General Science Core courses provide the foundation for the Environmental Science Core set of classes that were designed to span the core areas of Environmental Science including Microbiology, Physics, Chemistry, Soil Science, Hydrology, Physical Geology, Pollution Science, and Environmental Risk Assessment. This core set of courses is required for all ENVS majors and provides a common set of skills for all ENVS students.

Expected Learning Outcomes for the BS Environmental Sciences


1.  Graduates will have an integrated working knowledge of core scientific disciplines and their application to natural systems and environmental problems. (Examples: the physics, chemistry and biology of soil, water and air with emphasis on sustainability, human health, conservation and preservation of natural resources and the environment).

2.   Graduates will be able to characterize environmental systems and apply scientific and mathematical concepts to field and laboratory data to critically evaluate increasingly complex environmental issues at local, regional and global scales.

3.  Graduates will be able to design strategies for sustainable management of environmental systems and for the remediation or restoration of degraded environments and human health protection.

4.  Graduates will be able to apply the scientific method by forming a hypothesis, designing an experiment using basic environmental quality measurements, site assessments, and statistics to test the hypothesis, and analyzing and interpreting results.

5.  Graduates will be able to communicate a scientific understanding of environmental issues and develop sound arguments in writing and oral/visual presentation on technical and non-technical levels.