Bloomington Campus

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Science

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, which is offered jointly by the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, is an integrated course of study in the applied natural and physical sciences.


Students must complete a set of fundamental skills and distribution requirements, a core curriculum, a concentration in a particular branch of environmental science, and a sufficient number of elective hours to reach the minimum of 122 credit hours.

Fundamental Skills Requirements
(Credit hours vary, depending on course selection.)

  • ENG-W 131 Elementary Composition (3 cr.)
  • ENG-W 231 Professional Writing Skills (3 cr.)
  • An Intensive Writing course—satisfied by the core via the senior research thesis
  • Fundamental Mathematics—satisfied by the core
  • CMCL-C 121 Public Speaking (3 cr.) or approved option
  • First-Year Foreign Language (8cr.)

Distribution Requirements (Credit hours vary, depending on course selection.)

Freshman Topics Course: Select either COAS-E 103 (will satisfy one of the Arts and Humanities courses) or COAS-E 104.

Arts and Humanities

(Two courses for a minimum of 6 credit hours)

Both must be designated as an Arts and Humanities credit by the College of Arts and Sciences. One of the two could be COAS-E 103 Topics course (3 cr.)

Social and Historical Studies

(Two courses for a minimum of 6 credit hours)

One of the following:

  • ECON-E 201 Introduction to Microeconomics (3 cr.)
  • ECON-E 202 Introduction to Macroeconomics (3 cr.)
  • ECON-E 364 Environment and Resource Economics (3 cr.)
  • POLS-Y 103 Introduction to American Politics (3 cr.)
  • POLS-Y 313 Environmental Policy (3 cr.)
One of the following:
  • SPEA-V 263 Public Management (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 376 Law and Public Policy (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 378 Policy Processes in the United States (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 449 Senior Policy Seminar (3 cr.)

Natural and Mathematical Sciences—satisfied by the concentration

Core Requirements (61-63 credit hours)

School of Public and Environmental Affairs (One course)

  • SPEA-E 262 Environmental Problems and Solutions (3 cr.)

Biology (Two courses)

  • BIOL-L 111 Evolution and Diversity (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 473 Ecology (3 cr.)
  • or SPEA-E 332 Applied Ecology

Chemistry (Three courses)

Note: Students who did not earn at least a B– in high school chemistry should consult with the chemistry department. Students may complete any of the following sequences:

  • CHEM-C 117 Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry I (5 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 118 Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry II (5 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 341 Organic Chemistry Lectures I (3 cr.)
  • or CHEM-C 117, R 340, A 314 and A 316
  • or CHEM-C 117, R 340, and N 330

Computer Science (One of the following courses)

  • CSCI-A 202 Introduction to Programming II (4 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 250 Computer Methods in Geography (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 325 Computing for Environmental Scientists (2 cr.)

Geography (One course)

  • GEOG-G 304 Physical Meteorology and Climatology (3 cr.)

Geological Sciences (Two courses)

  • GEOL-G 225 Earth Materials (4 cr.)
  • GEOL-G 329 Field Geology in the Rocky Mountains (5 cr.)

Note: Students with some concentrations may substitute two of the following for GEOL-G 329:

  • BIOL-L 465 Advanced Field Biology (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 442 Habitat Analysis—Terrestrial (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 443 Habitat Analysis—Aquatic (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 350 Instrumentation and Field Methods in Atmospheric Science (3 cr.)

Mathematics (Three courses)

  • MATH-M 211 Calculus I (4 cr.) or MATH-M 199 and MATH-X 201
  • MATH-M 212 Calculus II (4 cr.)
  • MATH-M 343 Introduction to Differential Equations with Applications I (3 cr.) or
  • SPEA-E 426 Applied Mathematics for Environmental Science (3 cr.)

Physics (Two courses)

  • PHYS-P 221 Physics I (5 cr.)
  • PHYS-P 222 Physics II (5 cr.)

Statistics (One course)
One of the following:

  • SPEA-K 300 Statistical Techniques (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 488 Applied Spatial Statistics (3 cr.)
  • MATH-K 300 Statistical Techniques (3 cr.)
  • MATH-M 365 Introduction to Probability and Statistics (3 cr.)

SPEA-E 490 Directed Research in Environmental Science
Guided by a faculty member, each student undertakes a project closely related to his or her concentration. A minimum of 3 credit hours of senior research must be completed within the department of the sponsoring faculty member. For other departments these research credits would be taken in BIOL-L 490, CHEM-C 409, CSCI-Y 390,GEOG-G 450, GEOL-G 410, INFO-I 460, MATH-M 490, PHYS-S 406, SPEA-E 490 or other courses as appropriate gen the affiliation of the faculty advisor. A written report and public oral presentation are required.

Concentration Area (Minimum of 18 credit hours)
Whereas the core curriculum provides each student with a solid background in the basic subjects pertinent to the environmental sciences, the concentration is aimed at preparing students for graduate study or professional employment in specific fields. The concentration designations are as follows: atmospheric sciences, ecosystem science, water resources, hydrology, general, mathematical modeling, pollution control technologies and remediation, and surficial processes.

Academic Bulletins

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