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Environmental Science

The Environmental Science major is designed for students with a strong interest in the life and physical sciences, and a desire to improve the quality of their environment by working toward sustainable development and environmental protection. The program offers a multi-disciplinary approach with its core curriculum firmly based in the lecture and laboratory experiences of foundation courses in Biology, Chemistry, and the Physical Sciences. The major also requires courses from the economic and political sciences to introduce the student to the economic and political influences that lend complexity to environmental decision making and the implementation of environmental solutions.

Students majoring in Environmental Science will select courses with the assistance of a faculty advisor and are required to take a minimum of 6 basic science courses and 8 environmental core courses (see below). A research or internship experience is also strongly recommended. The program is designed to provide the fundamental background necessary to understand environmental issues, while providing students with the skills to both investigate these issues and to design and implement actions aimed at solving environmental problems. Overall, this program enhances students' problem solving abilities, quantitative methods, modeling skills, ability to critically review scientific literature and information, field methods, critical thinking, and communication skills. In addition, the program should foster a stronger personal environmental ethic.

Students majoring in Environmental Science are required to take:

Basic Science Courses: General Biology (103-104), General Chemistry (CH130-131), Organic Chemistry I (CH250), Biostatistics (BI345)

Environmental Core Courses: Biosphere at Risk (BI205), Aquatic Ecology (BI319), Ecology (BI320), Conservation Biology (BI328), Environmental Plant Biology (BI329), Environmental Chemistry (CH260), Principles of
Microeconomics (EC141), Politics of the Environment (PO215).

Each Environmental Science student is encouraged to gain additional laboratory or field experience by (1) enrolling in either Directed Research in Biology (BI421-422 or BI423) or Research and Seminar in Chemistry (420-421), (2) developing an individual internship program with direction from the Internship Facilitator (BI451 and/or 452), or (3) participating in the Washington Internship Program (BI450). Should a student opt not to engage in one of the above research experiences, he/she must enroll in one additional non-introductory level laboratory course offered by the Biology Department.

Course Sequence


Freshman Year
Humanities I Humanities II
Freshman English 103 Freshman English 104
Language Language
Biology 103 Biology 104
Chemistry 130 Chemistry 131
Sophomore Year
Humanities III Humanities IV
Philosophy/Theology Philosophy/Theology
Language Language
Biology 345 Biology 305
Chemistry 250 Elective
Junior Year
Philosophy/Theology Philosophy/Theology
Biology 320 Biology 329
Chemistry 260 Politics 315
Economics 141 Elective
Elective Elective
Senior Year
Philosophy/Theology Philosophy/Theology
Biology 319 Biology 328
Biology 421/Chemistry 420 Biology 422/Chemistry 421
Elective Elective
Elective Elective