Environmental Science Program

FACULTY COORDINATING COMMITTEE Taylor (Chemistry); McConnaughay (Biology); Roos (Physics).

The interdepartmental major in environmental science is sponsored jointly by the departments of biology, chemistry, and physics. The objectives of the program are to provide the student with the necessary background for a professional career in the area of environmental science or entrance into a graduate program.

A student must choose one of three concentrations: environmental science-biology, environmental science-chemistry, or environmental science-physics. Each student will be assigned an advisor from the department of the chosen concentration. For all concentrations the student must take the following core courses:

  • BIO 111 Introduction to Cell Biology - 4 hrs.
  • BIO 112 Introduction to Ecology and Evolution - 4 hrs.
  • BIO 460 Ecology - 4 hrs.
  • BIO 470 Seminar - 1–3 hrs.
  • CHM 110, 111, 116, 117 General Chemistry - 9 hrs.
  • CHM 250 Organic Chemistry - 4 hrs.
  • CHM 316 Environmental Chemistry - 3 hrs.
  • GES 101, 102 Principles of Earth Science - 4 hrs.
  • GES 110, 111 Principles of Historical Geology - 4 hrs.

One of the following: 3–4

  • GES 201 Mineralogy
  • GES/BIO 302 Invertebrate Zoology
  • GES 321 Paleontology
  • Calculus - 8 hrs.
  • PHY 107, 108 General Physics - 8 hrs.

Total 56–57 hours

Students pursuing the biology concentration are strongly encouraged to take the BIO 150, 151, 250, 251, 260, 261 sequence in place of BIO 111, 112, 250.
The biology concentration requires only one semester of calculus (4 hours).

Each concentration has the following additional requirements:

Biology Concentration

  • BIO 250 Organismic Biology - 5 hrs.
  • BIO 420 Ecosystems Ecology or BIO 463 Plant Ecology - 4 hrs.

Two of the following: 7–8 hrs.

  • BIO 302 Invertebrate Zoology
  • BIO 419 Ethology
  • BIO 323 Comparative Anatomy
  • BIO 324 Plant Diversity
  • BIO 334 Reproduction and Identification of Flowering Plants
  • BIO 381 Comparative Animal Physiology
  • BIO 406 General Microbiology
  • Two additional biology courses approved by the advisor (3 of these hours may be reading/research) - 6-8 hrs.

Total 22–25 hours

The student must have a grade of C or better in all biology courses.

Physics Concentration

  • PHY 110, 201 University Physics** - 8 hrs.
  • PHY 202 Applied Quantum Physics - 3 hrs.
  • and the appropriate section of PHY 350 Advanced Physics Experiments - 1 hr.

Three of the following: 9 hrs.

  • PHY 320 Optics
  • PHY 330 Nuclear Physics
  • PHY 345 Radiation Biology
  • PHY 361 Electronics

Total 21 hours

**Replaces PHY 107, 108 in the core.

Chemistry Concentration

  • CHM 292 Chemical Informatics - 1 hr.
  • CHM 326 Analytical Chemistry - 4 hrs.
  • CHM 351 Organic Chemistry - 4 hrs.
  • CHM 470 Physical Chemistry - 3 hrs.
  • CHM 520 Instrumental Analysis - 4 hrs.

Total: 16 hours



This Catalog represents the University’s best effort to communicate information on academic programs, policies, rules, and regulations that were in effect at the time of its publication. Students should be aware that the University reserves the right to modify these programs, policies, rules, and regulations at any time within a student’s term of residence. The University’s policy is to provide notice of any such modifications sufficiently in advance of their implementation to ensure adjustments without undue inconvenience. Before pre-registering for any academic term, students should contact the administrative office of their academic department or college to verify the most current information.