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Environmental Science

Julian Silverman, Ph.D.
Program Director

Environmental issues represent some of the most important challenges facing the planet in the 21st century. As the nation's focus on the environment continues to grow, there is an ever-increasing demand for environmental science jobs. If you're seeking a career in this field, you can look forward to a far more robust job market than graduates of many other disciplines according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The goal of the Environmental Science program is to provide a foundation for understanding issues and solving problems involving our natural environment. It is an interdisciplinary science program that focuses on the state of the environment and serious environmental problems that the world faces. The program provides students with a strong science background focused on the environmental issues. Students will be expected to take a variety of courses in numerous departments. Through a series of academic courses and co-curricular activities, you will get hands-on experience and obtain the critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary in order to solve the complex, interdisciplinary environmental problems facing the local community and society at large.  The Environmental Sciences Program offers Bachelor of Science degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Sciences.

Our interdisciplinary science program is supported by a team of academic departments. Professors work closely with Environmental Sciences undergraduates as their study becomes more specialized. Such individual attention leads to fruitful partnerships when students become involved in research and other student-centered learning activities. Through coursework, projects and activities, you will develop scientific research, writing, and presentation skills.

Degree Plans
The following programs are offered:

  • Major in Environmental Science
    • Bachelor of Science Degree
    • Bachelor of Arts Degree
  • Minor in Environmental Science

Individual Attention and Mentoring

Students will receive individual attention during their entire undergraduate career. Each student plans a course of study in close cooperation with a faculty advisor, and the student's progress is closely coordinated with developing interests. Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to pursue independent research as an essential part of their educational program.

Career Choices

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of environmental scientists is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. You will be prepared to enter government, academic, private or non-profit careers or to continue your education in a variety of scientific disciplines. Graduates would be trained to work in fields including environmental consulting, laboratory or field research, environmental education, medical school, environmental law, engineering, toxicology and waste management. 

Major in Environmental Science

A minimum grade of C is required for all courses in the major.  Students in this program must maintain a 2.8 GPA in the major by the end of the fourth semester. Students who do not maintain this GPA are advised not to continue in the major.

The following courses are required for all bachelors degrees (B.A. and B.S.).  In addition, students pursuing a B.S. degree take 3 major elective courses* and students pursuing a B.A. degree take 2 major elective courses*.   

ENSC 101Intro to Environmental Science3
ENSC 201Sustainable Science and Technology3
ENSC 301Environmental Science I3
ENSC 302Environmental Science II4
CHEM 101General Chemistry I3
CHEM 103General Chemistry Laboratory I1
CHEM 102General Chemistry II3
CHEM 104General Chemistry Laboratory II1
CHEM 302Analytical Chemistry5
CHEM 319Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 323Organic Chemistry Laboratory I2
BIOL 111General Biology I4
BIOL 113General Biology I Laboratory0
BIOL 112General Biology II4
BIOL 114General Biology II Laboratory0
BIOL 223Ecology4
BIOL 220Ecology Lab0
MATH 185Calculus I (MATH 155 or MATH 185)3
MATH 186Calculus II (MATH 156 or MATH 186)3
MATH 336Applied Statistics3
PHYS 107Introduction to Physics I4
PHYS 197Introduction to Physics I Lab0
PHYS 108Introduction to Physics II4
PHYS 198Introduction to Physics II Lab0
CMPT 155Computer Applications for Life Sciences3
SOC 250Introduction to GIS3
Total Credits66

Students pursing the B.S. degree will also need to take: 

CHEM 335Inorganic Chemistry3

*Major Elective Courses

CHEM 309Physical Chemistry I3
CHEM 433Biochemistry I3
CHEM 111Nanoscience I3
CHEM 320Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 323Organic Chemistry Laboratory I2
CHEM 333Solid State Materials4
BIOL 217Genetics4
BIOL 225Microbiology4
BIOL 231Evolution4
BIOL 305Plant Biology4
BIOL 320Animal Physiology4
ENGS 204Environmental Engineering Principles I3
ENVL 517Environmental Law3
SOC 350Advanced Topics in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)3
SOC 334Sustainable Development3
POSC 223Environmental Politics3
PHP 418Introduction to Environmental Health3
ENVG 510Hazardous Waste Management3
ENVG 506Water and Wastewater Treatment Processes3

Plans of Study:

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENSC 1013CHEM 1023
CHEM 1013CHEM 1041
CHEM 1031BIOL 1124
BIOL 1114BIOL 1140
BIOL 1130MATH 156 or 1863
MATH 155 or 1853SCI 1011
SCI 1001RELS 1103
ENGL 1103ECON/POSC/SOC/PSYC3
 18 18
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOL 2234ENSC 2013
BIOL 2200CHEM 3353
CHEM 3193PHIL 213 or LLRN 1023
CHEM 3232MATH 3363
Modern Languages3Modern Languages3
CMPT 1553SOC 2503
 15 18
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENSC 3013ENSC 302 4
CHEM 3025PHYS 1084
PHYS 1074PHIL 1503
Free Elective3RELS Catholic Studies3
 15 14
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Major Elective3-4Major Elective3-4
Major Elective3-4Free Elective6
RELS Contemporary Studies3MUSC 150 or ART 1503
ECON/POSC/SOC/PSYC3ENGL 1503
HIST 1503Research1
 15-17 16-17
Total Credits: 129-132

Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENSC 1013CHEM 1023
CHEM 1013CHEM 1041
CHEM 1031BIOL 1124
BIOL 1114BIOL 1140
BIOL 1130MATH 156 or 1863
MATH 155 or 1853SCI 1011
SCI 1001RELS 1103
ENGL 1103 
 18 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOL 2234ENSC 2013
BIOL 2200MATH 3363
CHEM 3193LLRN 102 or PHIL 2133
CHEM 3232ECON/POSC/SOC/PSYC 1503
Modern Languages3Modern Languages3
CMPT 1553SOC 2503
 15 18
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENSC 3013ENSC 3024
CHEM 3025PHYS 1084
PHYS 1074PHIL 1503
Free Elective3RELS Catholic Studies3
 15 14
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Major Elective3-4Major Elective3-4
Two Free Electives6RELS Contemporary Global3
ECON/POSC/SOC/PSYC 1503MUSC or ART 1503
HIST 1503Free Elective3
 ENGL 1503
 15-16 15-16
Total Credits: 125-127

Minor in Environmental Science

The minor in Environmental Science requires the following courses for a total of 17-credits.  A minimum grade of C is required for all courses.  

ENSC 101Intro to Environmental Science3
CHEM 101General Chemistry I3
CHEM 103General Chemistry Laboratory I1
CHEM 102General Chemistry II3
CHEM 104General Chemistry Laboratory II1
ENSC 301Environmental Science I3
CHEM 319Organic Chemistry I3

Courses

ENSC 101. Intro to Environmental Science. 3 Credits.

The course will introduce the field of environmental science and examine the environment from a scientific viewpoint. We will explore the concept of sustainability and how it relates to us, contemporary environmental issues related to health and disease, pollution, water resources, nonrenewable and renewable energy sources and global climate change. The course promotes critical thinking, problem solving, scientific and environmental literacy.

ENSC 201. Sustainable Science and Technology. 3 Credits.

ENSC 201 is intended for undergraduate students in environmental science, environmental studies, and related disciplines. In this course, you will learn about the history and practice sustainable science and technology, focusing on understanding a scientific approach to addressing interconnected environmental, social, and economic issues. To better learn to evaluate these topics following preventative approach elements of toxicology and comprehensive assessment developments will be explored. Prerequisites for this course include ENSC 101, Introduction to Environmental Science, and CHEM 101, General Chemistry I course. Students will not only examine case studies, engage in discussion of readings, and work on a semester long project, but have an opportunity to tailor this work to their interest and major subject of study using open-access technologies.

ENSC 301. Environmental Science I. 3 Credits.

Throughout the semester, students will study the science of air, water, soil and anthropogenic activities of Earth. The course will be designed to provide students with an understanding of the sources, reactions, transport and fates of natrually occurring and man-made systems. Major pollutants and their effects upon the environment will be studied.

ENSC 302. Environmental Science II. 4 Credits.

This course is the continuation of Environmental Science I (ENSC 301). During this course students will study the chemistry of the water and soil, and how anthropgenic activities affect this checmistry on planet Earth. Specifically, we will examine the sources, reactions, transport, effects, and fates of chemical species in water, and soil environments, and the effects of technology thereon. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Pre-requisite: ENSC 301.