student in the field

Bachelor of Science

Interdisciplinary Studies - Environmental Science

Program of Study

The BS in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Concentration in Environmental Science is a combined major and minor where you can choose from one of four specializations:

  • Climate Change
  • Ecosystems
  • Geography
  • Sustainability Science and Policy

Each track has a customized set of classes. In addition to environmental science, you will complete core coursework in math, biology, chemistry and physics. Benefit from the expertise of faculty, who are highly recognized and active researchers in the field of environmental science.


Honors Program

Students who have by the end of their fourth semester attained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 and a grade point average of at least 3.50 in courses required of the major in environmental science may apply to the department chair for the program leading to a B.S. degree with honors in environmental science.


See the Undergraduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact Robert Fovell at rfovell@albany.edu.

General Program

Program (70-71 credits minimum)

  • Atmospheric Structure, Thermodynamics, and Circulation
  • Environmental Statistics and Computation
  • Meteorological and Environmental Measurement
  • General Biology: Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics
  • General Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Physiology
  • Introduction to Biological Investigations I and II
  • Principles of Ecology and Evolution
  • General Chemistry I and II or Advanced General Chemistry I and II (and labs)
  • Introduction to Environmental Science (and labs)
  • Ocean Science
  • Major Topics in Environmental Science
  • Understanding the Earth
  • Algebra and Calculus II or Calculus I
  • Physics I: Mechanics
Specializations
Ecosystems

(22 credits)


Required courses

(7 credits)

  • Introductory Genetics
  • Ecology


Electives

(15 credits) In addition to environmental science courses, you can take electives in areas like anthropology, biology, public health, geography and political science. Sample courses:

  • Culture, Environment, and Health
  • Genetics of Human Disease
  • The Adirondack Environment
  • Urban Ecology
  • International Political Economic Science
  • Global Environmental Issues and Their Effect on Human Health
Climate Change

(21 credits)


Required courses

(12 credits)

  • Climate Variability and Change
  • Water and Climate Change
  • Climate Laboratory
  • Paleoclimatology


Electives

(9 credits) Choose from courses in atmospheric sciences, environmental sciences, math, political science, public health and public administration & policy. Sample courses:

  • Air Quality and Air Pollution Policy
  • Environmental Internships
  • Calculus II
  • International Environmental Policy
  • International Political Economic Science
  • Global Environmental Issues and Their Effect on Human Health
Geography

(22 credits)


Required courses

(10 credits)

  • Introductory Urban Geography
  • Introduction to Cartography
  • Geographic Information Systems


Electives

(12 credits) Sample Courses:

  • Climatology
  • Computer Mapping
  • Environmental Planning
  • Water and Climate Change
  • Sustainable Development: Energy and Resources
Sustainability Science and Policy

(21 credits)


Required courses

(9 credits)

  • Air Quality and Air Pollution Policy
  • Sustainable Development: Energy and Resources
  • Selected Topics in Political Science


Electives

(12 credits) Select from anthropology, atmospheric science, biology, environmental science, geography, public administration, political science and public health courses. Sample courses:

  • Culture, Environment, and Health
  • Weather, Climate Change, and Societal Impacts
  • World Food Crisis
  • The Adirondack Environment
  • Introductory Urban Geography
  • Environmental Planning
  • International Environmental Policy
  • International Political Economic Science
  • Global Environmental Issues and Their Effect on Human Health

Content

Applied Learning

UAlbany is home to the New York State Mesonet, a collection of more than 100 weather stations that give you a unique opportunity to study environmental data. The nearby environment is also diverse, with many parks, wildlife preserves and sanctuaries to put your coursework to practice.

Past students have taken advantage of opportunities for coordinated study abroad involving Departmental collaborations with universities in Argentina, Brazil, and Taiwan.

You can also conduct research in a wide variety of environmental topics relating to climate and weather, the natural and human environment, ecology and conservation biology, including endangered species.

 

 

The University's location at the state capital provides access to environmental science internship programs and career opportunities with organizations including:

  • New York State Museum
  • Albany Pine Bush Preserve
  • Huyck Preserve
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

Content

 

Undergraduate student researchers at the summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet
Career Outcomes

With an environmental science degree you will be prepared for jobs in the public and private sector. Potential job titles include:

  • Environmental scientist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Environmental attorney
  • Environmental engineer
  • Renewable energy specialist
  • Air quality scientist
  • Data scientist
  • Secondary and primary school education

“The environmental science program is excellent in fostering genuine curiosity and passion for environmental issues and in encouraging students to become global citizens. The program equipped me with skills in GIS and statistical programming that put me ahead of my peers when I went on to earn my master's degree."

- Michelle Tran, Class of 2013

Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

Bachelor of Science
  • Effectively communicate with colleagues or others via clear and efficient writing or presentation technique.
  • Acquire new knowledge and abilities by embracing a lifelong perspective of inquiry, discovery and learning.
  • Identify and describe the various systems comprising the Earth's environment, including recognizing key aspects of these systems’ interaction and feedback loops.
  • Perform quantitative analyses specific to environmental evaluation, including assessing relevant parameters and interpreting their trends in space and/or time.
  • Apply field methods, data, concepts, and models to the solution of problems in the environmental sciences.

What Makes The University at Albany Great

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Living-Learning Communities

Live and take classes with other incoming freshmen who share your personal interests, passions or intended academic major.

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Study Abroad

Become a global citizen: international experience is crucial to success in business, education, research, and public policy.

Undergraduate Research

Research, scholarship, and creative activities at the University at Albany is an option for all students, across all academic disciplines. You will be able to learn more about a specific academic field or career path all while building a long-lasting mentoring relationship with a faculty member or principal investigator.

Explore Minors

Build competency in a passion or strengthen your resume.

A minor consists of 18–24 graduation credits which must include a minimum of 9 graduation credits of advanced coursework at or above the 300 level. Most undergraduate degrees require completing a minor and it has to have a different title from your major.

Full List of Minors
  • Acting
  • Africana Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Bioethics
  • Biology
  • Broadcast Meteorology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese Studies
  • Cognitive Science
  • Communication
  • Computer Science
  • Creative Writing
  • Criminal Justice Studies
  • Documentary Studies
  • Economics
  • Educational Studies
  • Electronics
  • Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity
  • English
  • Film Studies
  • Financial Market Regulation
  • Forensic Science
  • French
  • Geographic Information Science
  • Geography
  • Globalization Studies
  • Hebrew
  • History
  • Informatics
  • International Studies
  • Italian
  • Japanese Studies
  • Journalism
  • Judaic Studies
  • Korean Studies
  • Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Law and Philosophy
  • Leadership
  • Legal Studies
  • LGBTQ Studies
  • Library and Information Science
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Music
  • Musical Theatre
  • Neuroscience
  • Organizational Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Portuguese
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Public Policy
  • Religious Studies
  • Russian
  • Russian and Eastern European Studies
  • Social Welfare Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Statistics
  • Sustainability
  • Theatre
  • Theatrical Design/Technology
  • Urban Studies and Planning
  • U.S. Latino Studies
  • Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies