Department of Environmental Sciences, College of the Environment
Environmental Science draws on basic knowledge of the physical, chemical, biological and quantitative aspects of natural systems. The knowledge of how natural systems work is applied to solving problems largely created by human activities. Often these problems are represented by disturbances in the functioning of natural systems. Humans are altering their own life-support systems – the air, the water and soil. The scale of disturbance ranges from the molecular and cellular to individuals, populations, ecosystems, and regional and global levels.
The Environmental Science major will acquire the scientific and problem solving skills needed to conserve and restore the natural environment. Students of Environmental Science will go directly into an environmental science career or on to graduate school to further their study.
Students wishing to complete an Environmental Science major in four years should complete the general chemistry series during their freshman year and the general biology series during their sophomore year. Prospective environmental science majors are strongly advised to take additional preparatory courses that provide a strong background in chemistry, biology and mathematics. The preparatory courses are listed with the major; preparatory classes may also be used to fulfill GURs. All preparatory courses required for admission should be completed on a lettered or numeric grading scale, not P/NP, and must be completed with a grade of C- or better.
Why Consider an Environmental Science Major?
Are you excited by how natural systems work? Do you want to solve the problems of the natural environment caused by human activities? Do you love to work outdoors? Do you love the sciences and scientific inquiry? Then Environmental Science is for you.
Wildlife Biologist | Naturalist | Endangered Species Biologist | Environmental Inspector | Environmental Scientist | Fisheries Biologist | Marine Biologist | Safety and Health Specialist | Park Ranger | Aquatic Toxicologist | Wetlands Ecologist | Biological Survey | Water Resources Specialist | Environmental Chemist | Soil Conservation Specialist
How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):
Admission to the Bachelor of Science program in Environmental Science is selective, based upon prior academic performance and a written application that addresses an applicant’s experience, motivation, and goals.
Students may apply for pre-major status at any time if they are in good academic standing (cumulative GPA ≥ 2.0). It is strongly advised that pre-majors meet with a College of the Environment admissions advisor as they begin their preparatory classes. Students will remain at pre-major status until all the preparatory classes have been completed. Students may then apply to be considered for full-major status by completing the major application.
The admission application can be found here. Priority for admission will be given to students who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the preparatory courses (averaged across the preparatory classes). Students with a GPA below 3.0 in the preparatory courses will be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis to the extent that space is available.
Applications are accepted by April 18 for fall, October 6 for winter and January 15 for spring. It is strongly advised that students meet with the College of the Environment admissions advisor as they begin their preparatory classes. Students can also declare as an Environmental Science pre-major during their first advising meeting to receive access to some 300-level courses, be assigned a faculty advisor and join the College of the Environment student listserv.
A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.