College of Arts and Sciences


Interdepartmental Major in Environmental Science - B.S.

The Interdepartmental major involving Biology, Chemistry, and Geology in Environmental Science provides rigorous interdisciplinary background in the natural science segment of the environmental sciences, combined with a significant background in the allied disciplines of physics and mathematics, and coursework in environmental affairs.  The degree is designed to prepare students for graduate programs, or employment as scientists in technical fields associated with the environmental industry and government sector.  These disciplines include hydrology, environmental hazard mitigation, waste management, water and air quality issues, ecology, and habitat issues. 

This is an interdepartmental degree.  Students fulfill core requirements from the disciplines of geology, chemistry, and biology and choose two disciplines for an interdepartmental concentration area. Students are required to complete a minimum of 40 credit hours in the interdepartmental major – with a minimum of 12 credit hours at the 300- or 400-level in each area.  Students are required to complete additional coursework in associated areas of study.


Complete the general education requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in the College of Arts and Science. Fulfill the following:

  • Geology, Chemistry, and Biology requirements
    • G101 – G102 Intro to Earth Science/Intro to Earth Science Lab (4 cr.)
    • G221 – Mineralogy – Lecture/Lab (4 cr.)
    • C105 – C125  Principles of Chemistry I/Experimental Chemistry I (5 cr.)
    • C106 – C126  Principles of Chemistry II/Experimental Chemistry II (5 cr.)
    • L101 – Introduction to Biological Sciences I – Lecture/Lab (4 cr.)
    • L102 – Intro to Biological Sciences II – Lecture/Lab (4 cr.)
  • Public and Environmental Affairs allied environment requirement
    • Select one of the following
      • SPEA E400 (Topics in Environmental Studies) – Environmental Law (3 cr.)
      • SPEA E400 (Topics in Environmental Studies) – Environmental Mediation (3 cr.)
    • Complete a combined total of 40 credit hours from two scientific disciplines in the major.  The 40 credit hour concentration need not be equally divided between the two disciplines. Each of the two areas should include a minimum of 12 credit hours of 300- 400-level coursework.  The list of acceptable coursework is listed below.  Coursework completed in the students’ chosen disciplines from 2. above (Geology, Chemistry, and Biology requirements) count toward the total credit hours.
    • Biology
      • B351 – Fungi – Lecture/Lab (3-4 cr.)
      • B355 – Plant Diversity (4 cr.)
      • L473 – Ecology – Lecture/Lab (3-4 cr.)
      • L482 – Restoration Ecology (3 cr.)
      • Z406 – Vertabrate Zoology – Lecture/Lab (3-4 cr.)
      • L490 – Individual Study in Biology (3-6 cr.)
    • Chemistry
      • C341 – Organic Chemistry I (3 cr.)
      • C343 – Organic Chemistry I Lab (2 cr.)
      • C303 – Environmental Chemistry (3 cr.)
      • C310 – Analytical Chemistry + Analytical Chemistry Laboratory (5 cr)
      • C409 – Chemical Research (3-6)
    • Geosciences
      • G317 – Field and Laboratory Techniques (3 cr.)
      • G334 – Sedimentology and Stratigraphy – Lecture/Lab (4 cr.)
      • G451 – Hydrogeology – Lecture/Lab (4 cr.)
      • G407/G408 – Senior Geosciences Research Project (3-6 cr.) Must be advisor approved
      • G429e – Environmental Geology Field Camp (6 cr.) offered through IU Bloomington – or other chair-approved hydrogeology/Environmental Geology field camp. See list of pre-requisites in the list of classes at end of bulletin.
      • G490 – Senior Seminar (1 cr.) – must be environmentally-based and advisor approved
      • GEOG 415/515 – Advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (3 cr.) (offered through VIGGA – class will meet at Valparaiso University).
      • Students are responsible for fulfilling prerequisites for this course (GEOG 215) that are not part of the Environmental Science program.
    • Allied Sciences (18 credit hours)
      • M215 – Calculus I (5 cr.)
      • K300 – Statistics (3 cr.)
      • P201 or P221 – Physics I (5 cr.)
      • P202 or P222 – Physics II (5 cr.)
    • Senior Seminar (capstone) (integration of Biology/Chemistry/Geology into environmental topics of current importance) (1 cr.) – G490/L403/C30


The following list is designed to provide stdents with gidance in course selection. Students should speak to their advisors to choose elective courses that best meet their educational goals.

  • Any coursework from Biology, Chemistry, and Geology that was not used to satisfy major requirements.
    • M216 – Calculus II (5 cr.)
    • SPEA H316 – Environmental Health (3 cr.)
    • SPEA E400/V450 – Environmental Planning (3 cr.)

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