The Environmental Science B.S. is a combined major-minor (i.e. has a “built in” minor due to the required foundation coursework) that, in total, requires aminimum of 66 credits.
Students seeking this degree do not need to declare a separate minor. Nonetheless, many students in this major do so, to have an “edge” in seeking employment opportunities after graduation. Typical additional declared minors include geography, atmospheric science, biology and business (for a student who wants to work in the private sector, for example). More detail on the possible minors available can be found here.
This major requires advanced abilities in math, physics and chemistry. The emphasis of this Environmental Science B.S. degree is on the natural sciences, unlike some other programs that may focus more on environmental health, environmental policy or environmental law.
Each student must select one of four concentrations: Biology, Climate, or Geography. Each concentration represents an emphasis within the overall program that would best match a student’s interest and desired career path. Students most interested in land surface or hydrological processes would opt for the Geology concentration, while those seeking careers in land use planning and geographic information systems might opt for the Geography concentration. Correspondingly, students more interested in air pollution or climate change would select the Climate track, while those keen on aspects of biological processes and ecology would select the Biology concentration.
The MAP (Major Academic Pathway) for this degree can be found online here: Biology concentration Climate concentration Geography concentration
Please examine the MAP for the recommended sequence of courses in this major. As a transfer student it is important to understand where you are beginning this major. The Undergraduate Bulletin pertaining to this major can be found here.
Transfer students arriving devoid of all foundation coursework (Calc l and ll and Phy l and ll) should recognize that they will need eight semesters (four years) to complete the degree.
Transfer studentsadmitted for the fall semesterlacking Calculus I and II and/or Physics Ior II should attempt to complete either or both of these courses over the summer prior to the fall semester.
The core environmental science sequence starts with ABIO 120, AENV 105, AENV 201, AATM 210 and AENV 250; many of these courses build on each other; others have prerequisites, requiring foundation coursework such as Calculus (AMAT 111 or 112) and calculus-based Physics (APHY 140). It is therefore important to attend the required math and physics courses in the first year. Careful planning and consultation with your advisor is necessary if an interruption of the sequence is being considered.
Two semesters of introductory physics are required. Only calculus-based introductory physics courses are accepted toward the major; general or algebra-based physics such as APHY 105 and APHY 108 or equivalent, for example, are not accepted. Note that an introductory physics course (APHY 140) is a pre-req for AENV 250.
Two semesters of introductory chemistry are required, ACHM 120 and ACHM 121; no chemistry lab is required. One specific caution: ACHM 120 is a pre-req for AENV 250.
General Education requirements apply to all majors and must be met in addition to the major requirements; fortunately, there is some overlap. All other University level requirements also must be met.
Students can earn credit for working as interns with federal, state, or local government agencies, or private firms. This Environmental internship program (AENV 496)provides students with practical work experience in environmental science. Internships are open to qualified juniors and seniors having a grade point average of at least 2.5, both overall and in the Environmental Science major. A maximum of 3 credits may be applied toward the major and the internship may be repeated once for credit. It is the student’s responsibility to find an employer willing to serve as internship host, but Prof Mathias Vuille, who oversees the program within the department, should be contacted for more detailed information and for approval.
Research opportunities exist for undergraduates. This research, supervised by a department instructor should be done at the beginning of the senior year and can be repeated once for credit (A ENV 498). It requires approval of both the instructor and the chair.
Excellent advisement of students is a priority in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences and we encourage all majors to consult with their advisors regularly, to seek help or advice early on to avoid problems from becoming acute. Many resources are available to keep students on track toward completing the degree, provided that faculty advisors are adequately informed of relevant issues and difficulties as they arise. Lastly, consulting this document does NOT supplant an advisement session with your appointed advisor. To be able to register, you will need an AVN (advisement verification number), which after your initial admission to the major, will be available ONLY from your officially designated department advisor.
You are advised to complete and submit your Educational Plan as soon as possible, to maximize access to available seats. The plan does not have to be perfect or be the final plan.
Your Educational Plan will be reviewed by a member of the ENV faculty who will contact you by email with comments or questions. When your proposal is approved, you will receive your AVN (Advisement Verification Number). This will allow you access to the registration system to create your fall schedule.
Contact Advisement Services Center 518 442-3960 or ITS Help Desk (518 442-3700).