Program Details

The B.S. in Environmental Science, technically known as a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a faculty-initiated concentration in Environmental Science, offers majors considerable flexibility to choose among four specializations depending on their interests, positioning them well for employment in the diverse field of environmental science. These four specializations are Climate Change, Ecosystems, Geography, and Sustainability Science and Policy. The program requires a minimum of 70-71 credits (depending on the specialization selected) from a combination of core courses required to be taken by all Environmental Science majors and specialization-specific required and elective courses. Incoming freshman may choose to declare their intention to major in this program and receive appropriate advising from the Advisement Services Center. Upon completion of 24 credits of coursework, students may formally declare this major, selecting a specialization at the same time.

Minors

If you are seeking this degree you 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:

  • Atmospheric science
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Geography
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Public health
  • Public policy

More detail on the possible minors available can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Major Academic Pathways

The Major Academic Pathway (MAP) for this each specialization in this degree can be found online:

Although these MAPs are tailored to a student starting as a freshman in the fall semester, the same major requirements apply to transfer students. Information regarding academic pathways for transfer students can be found below in the section, Transfer Students. For course requirements of the major, go to: http://www.albany.edu/undergraduate_bulletin/program_environmental_science.html

Core Courses

The core course sequence starts with a series of required introductory (100-level) math and science courses, including two semesters of biology, ABIO120 and ABIO 121; two semesters of chemistry, ACHM 120 (or TCHM 130) and ACHM 121 (or TCHM 131); two semesters of chemistry laboratories, ACHM 124 and ACHM 125; one semester of environmental science, AENV 105; one semester of environmental science laboratory, AENV 106; one semester of mathematics, AMAT 111 or AMAT 112 or TMAT 118; and one semester of physics, APHY 140 (or TPHY 141).

It is strongly recommended that the core mathematics and science courses be taken early in a student’s academic career as many of these courses are prerequisites for higher-level required or elective courses.

General Education Requirements

General Education requirements apply to all majors and must be met in addition to the Environmental Science program requirements. All other University level requirements also must be met.

Internships

Students can earn credit for working as interns with federal, state, or local government agencies, or private companies. Environmental Internships (AENV 496) provide you with practical work experience in the field of 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 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 (mvuille@albany.edu), who oversees internships for Environmental Science majors, should be contacted for more detailed information and for approval.

Research Opportunities

Research opportunities exist for undergraduates. This research, supervised by a department faculty or professional staff member, may be started at the beginning of the junior or senior year and may be repeated once for credit (AENV 498). It requires approval of both the instructor and the department Chair.

Student Advisement

Excellent student advisement 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 any problems from becoming acute. Many resources are available to help keep students on track toward completing the degree, provided that faculty advisors are adequately informed of relevant issues and difficulties as they arise. To be able to register, you will need an Advisement Verification Number (AVN), which after your formal declaration of the major will be available ONLY from your officially designated department advisor.

High School Preparation

Due to the importance of mathematics and science in this major, it is recommended that a pre-calculus or calculus course be taken in high school to build familiarity and competence with the subject, as well as standard or AP courses in biology, chemistry, and physics.

Scholarships

There are a number of scholarship opportunities available to new and continuing students from the University, the State of New York, and through the Federal Student Aid program (see http://www.albany.edu/financialaid/apply_scholarship.shtml), as well as the American Meteorological Society (http://www.ametsoc.org/). The Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences offers the Vince ’77 and Carol Idone ’78 Endowed Scholarship annually to an Environmental Science major who has demonstrated academic excellence, preferentially to a student of junior or senior standing interested in attending graduate school.

Transfer Students

Transfer students admitted for the fall semester lacking the required mathematics and science courses should attempt to complete these courses as soon as possible, preferably over the summer prior to the fall semester.

Transfer students arriving without any foundation coursework and intending to pursue a B.S. in Environmental Science should expect that the program will require eight semesters (four years) to complete.

Transfer credit equivalency can be determined via the Transfer Equivalency Data Bank: https://eapps.albany.edu/tas/